2008 Scion tC

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20 CITY / 28 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • Exterior styling changes

  • Upgraded audio system

  • Two new exterior colors

  • iPod connectivity standard

  • Standard moonroof with panoramic power glass

  • Standard anti-lock brakes (ABS)
The Scion tC, a front-wheel-drive, 2-door hatchback coupe, carries some exterior styling changes for 2008: new upper mesh grille, lattice lower grille, and projector-type lower beam headlights with black trim. Refinements in the interior include silver-colored accents on door assist grips and center console, updated fabrics, and an upgraded audio system.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Scion tC hatchback coupe is available in its basic form with either manual or automatic transmission, or in Spec trim (containing less equipment) in manual or automatic transmission. The basic tC coupe comes standard with manual transmission or optional electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission; 17-inch alloy wheels; air conditioning; cruise control; rear-window defogger; front sport bucket seats with driver's side thigh and height adjustments; reclining 60/40 split-folding rear seat; center console with LCD display showing external temperature; seven fan speeds and a clock; exterior mirror with integrated turn signal lights; power mirrors and door locks; tonneau cover for rear cargo area; jam protection in power up/down windows; multi-function remote keyless entry with panic mode and engine immobilizer features; auto-off headlamps; electric hatch release; chrome-plated exhaust tip; and unique audio control cover. In addition, new seat fabrics and two new exterior colors are available: Azure Pearl and Black Cherry Pearl. All Scion tC models provide free 5,000-mile and 10,000-mile factory-recommended maintenance services, to be performed at authorized Toyota or Scion dealerships. The 2008 tC carries a 3-year/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle limited warranty. An additional 60-month warranty covers the vehicle's powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation.

Toyota Racing Development and Scion Genuine Accessories are sources for performance-related and customizing items like spoilers, ground effects, appliqus, and mud guards. A Spec package is available from Scion, however, that strips the Scion tC (either manual or automatic transmission models) to bare bones for individual customization. The tC Spec package includes standard steel wheels; 7-spoke wheel covers; P205/55R15 tires; grille and headlight garnish; fixed-glass panoramic moonroof; urethane steering wheel; unique upholstery; and choice of four colors (compared to the standard tC's seven colors).

Power for the 2008 Scion tC comes from a 2.4-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i). coupeed to a 5-speed manual transmission, the powertrain delivers 161 hp at 6000 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. An electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission is also available. Scion tC is certified as a California Air Resources Board (CARB) ultra low-emission vehicle (ULEV). EPA fuel economy estimates for the Scion tC equipped with manual transmission are 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway, while the automatic is rated at 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway.

All Scion tC models have dual-stage front air bags; front seat-mounted side air bags; front and rear curtain side-impact air bags; driver's knee air bag; tire-pressure-monitoring system; 3-point seat belts in all five seating positions; headrests; 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and a 2-step brake booster; and a first-aid kit. In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2008 Scion tC received a 5-star rating for driver front crash protection and a 4-star rating for the front passenger in frontal collisions. NHTSA did not rate the Scion tC for side crash tests. In rollover testing, the tC earned a 4-star rating.

Apple iPod connectivity is standard on all 2008 Scion tC models, as is a Pioneer maximum output AM/FM/CD audio system with 6 speakers (including two tweeters and a speaker in each door panel). The system features a head unit with iPod control to integrate track, artist and album information into a one-line head-unit display. Music is controlled through the head unit and steering wheel audio controls. A mini-jack port is also standard, along with rear head unit outputs to allow for the addition of external amps to boost power. An optional premium sound system allows buyers to download images, video clips and movies from Pioneer's Web site. The Pioneer software also gives consumers the ability to burn their own CDs with movies and images and upload them to the head unit. Both the standard and premium audio systems feature MP3 and WMA capability; customizable welcome screen; satellite radio capability; and three pre-set equalizer settings.

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