It's a fact that the Scion tC is part of a very exclusive club. Canadians know this all too well, since Scion has been a U.S.-only brand . . . until now.

But the tC, a new-to-us and new-to-Scion 2011 model, is also an entry into the rare category of the compact coupe.


Amidst the myriad of new 2011 vehicles, from the highest of high-roller exotics to the humblest of econo-boxes, the one area where choice is at a premium is the affordable sport-coupe category. Among the few that qualify, the tC earns a spot near the top of the scope-it-out list.

Since first opening shop in the United States for the 2004 model year, Toyota's youth-centred Scion brand has presented an assortment of mainly boxy designs that have met with mixed success. However the one continuing bright light has been the tC hatchback coupe that arrived for 2005. As with all Scions, the tC was loaded with normally extra-cost content, but proved to be light on its feet as a driver's car and required only a light touch on the pocketbook.

For the 2011 model year, the brand-new tC, which joins the new-to-Canada (but not brand new) xB and xD small wagons, uses the same basic platform as the original, but nearly every other piece of the car has been updated, refreshed, replaced, or significantly improved. The nose has a more aggressive look and the reshaped roofline gives rear-seat passengers a bit more headroom.

Scion dealers can install a variety of extra-cost add-ons, including 19-inch wheels, beefier suspension parts, cold-air intake and lower body graphics, just to name a few.

All that's left for you to do is pick a colour and drive away in one of the best sports car deals around.

  • Type: Two-door compact hatchback coupe

  • Engines (hp):?2.5-litre DOHC I4 (180)

  • Transmissions:?Six-speed manual; six-speed automatic (opt.)

  • Market Position:?You can count the number of affordable sport coupes available on one hand and still have some digits left over.

  • Stats:?L/100 km (city/hwy) 8.9/6.3 (MT); Base price (incl. destination) $23,300

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