Competes with: Hyundai Veloster, Honda Civic Coupe, Kia Forte Koup
Looks like: Scion raided the FR-S parts bin
Drivetrain: 179-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, front-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: June
Toyota's youth brand, Scion, is updating its biggest seller, the tC sports coupe. Unveiled at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, the 2014 Scion tC is a mild refresh of the existing front-wheel-drive coupe aimed at making it more appealing while sharing showrooms with the much more capable rear-wheel-drive FR-S sports coupe. Changes are apparent front and rear, with a new front grille design, headlights and a lower valance that is meant to recall the FR-S' design. Standard LED taillamps reside out back, looking as if they came out of Scion's accessory catalog.
The drivetrain remains unchanged: A 179-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is mated to either a six-speed manual or new, faster-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The Scion's engine makes more power than the standard motor in either the Hyundai Veloster or Honda Civic Coupe, but less than both of those vehicles' optional engines; there is no high-powered option for the tC. Scion has retuned the suspension for more aggressive handling as well as stiffened the body structure for 2014.
Scion says that interior materials have been upgraded, and that a 6.1-inch touch-screen audio system will now be standard, not only in the tC but in all Scions. An uprated premium audio system featuring Scion's cloud-based Aha infotainment system will also be available, bringing location-based apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor into the car. The new tC will hit dealerships in June.