2012 Scion tC

The 2012 Scion tC is an affordable small car that comes with a redesigned exterior, spacious cabin and remarkable cargo space for its class. The tC comes with numerous sporty touches like well-bolstered seats and flat bottomed steering column.

In addition to that, the 2012 tC also attracts a lot of attention due to its broad power delivery, supple ride, and pleasant driving dynamics.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Hatchback Base Price: $19,480.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gallons (55l) MPG: 23 city / 31 hwy
Length: 174 in. (441.9 cm) Wheel Base: 106.3 in. (270 cm)
Height: 55.7 in. (141.4 cm) Width: 70.7 in. (179.5 cm)
Curb Weight: 3070 lbs (1392 kg) Ground Clearance: 6.3 in. (16 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 14.7 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 2.5L Inline 4 DOHC w/ VVT-i Compression Ratio: 10.4: 1
Horsepower: 180 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 173 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Available Trims & Engine
Option:RS 7.0 MSRP: $20,905; MPG: 23 city / 31 hwy

Engine & Performance

The tC gets its power from a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine that combines with a standard 6-speed manual gear box to produce 180 horsepower and 173 lbs-ft of torque. Customers can however opt for an optional 6-speed automatic transmission.

A tC with manual transmission can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds, while a tC fitted with anis that automatic transmission does that in 8 seconds. This car uses regular gas and front-wheel drive is standard. The fuel mileage of this car, regardless of the transmission, rates at 23 mpg in the city and 31mpg on a highway. The tC also comes with responsive and sharp steering, while its brakes have a solid stopping power.


The 2012 tC can accommodate up to 5 passengers, and is available in two trim levels: base and the Release Series 7.0. It is well designed and constructed, with the Release Series 7.0, a high-voltage yellow exterior coat contrasted by black 18-inch alloy wheels and side view mirrors.

The exterior looks more aggressive through the TRD body equipment that comes with side skirts, rear, and front lower valences. At the front, you are welcomed by a bumper that includes a honeycomb lower frame. This 2-door hatch back also has a rear side windows shape that accentuates the drop-off in the roof-line. Other notable features are: blacked-out A-pillars and chrome exhaust tip.


The Scion tC has a spacious interior, many standard features, and enough cargo hold for a coupe. This surpasses expectations of many people. The seats are comfortable even for tall passengers although the headroom might be a bit uncomfortable. The driver and the front passenger gets plush seats, while the tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering column creates more comfortable room for the driver.

For entertainment purposes, the tC gets a new Pioneer audio system with Bluetooth and HD radio that can be connected to an mp3 player or a phone. Other standard interior features include: air conditioning, power windows and locks. This car has an impressive cargo space of 14.7cubic ft, which is a lot for a coupe.

Safety & Reliability

The tC also comes with many standard safety features that include: traction control, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, active front head restraints, anti-skid system, integrated turn signal mirrors, child safety locks, and anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist. The 2012 tC is backed with a 3-year or 36,000 miles limited warranty from Scion, as well as 5-year or 60,000 mile engine warranty. Moreover, there is a 5-year warranty for rust damage, regardless of mileage.


  • Great stereo
  • Many standard features
  • Good handling
  • Smart iPod interface
  • Snappy performance
  • Comfortable ride


  • Cheap interior plastics
  • Not as sporty as it looks
  • Low fuel economy for class

The 2012 Scion tC can be described as being “urban agile”, due to its responsiveness and its entertainment system. The tC also offers comfortable commuting, making it a good choice for people in urban areas and those shopping for small cars.

Only the new Hyundai Veloster (MSRP $17,450; 28 city / 40 hwy) and the Kia Forte Koup (MSRP $18,800; 22 city / 32 hwy) can be compared to the tC.

Overall Rating
67 out of 100

What others say:

“The tC’s interior suffers from a small back seat and lower-grade trim.”Car Connection

“While tC doesn’t feel particularly sporty, its handling is pleasant and confident. In turns, body lean is well checked. The brakes have a firm and progressive pedal feel.”Consumer Guide

“The tC is a well-equipped, small, affordable coupe. The 180-hp, 2.5-liter engine provides good acceleration.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Scion’s attractive pricing combined with Toyota’s reputation for dependable motoring makes the 2012 tC coupe compelling for anyone looking for a fun coupe with fair amenities. The aftermarket on Scion allows for maximum customization on a minimal budget.”KBB

“The 2012 Scion tC is a good choice among compact coupes thanks to its roomy interior and generous cargo capacity. Just don’t expect its driving dynamics to match its sporty looks.”Edmunds