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Ok, even though I'm still in the euphoric state after getting my tC this last wednesday, I'm going to be as objective as possible when giving the review for the tC.

As you can imagine I'm even more impressed with the car now that I've had it for a few days. I've driven other small size cars including the new civic, corolla, mazda 3, mitsu eclipse, vw beetle, mirage and a few others. (These are all just small cars, i'm not making any direct comparison to the tC so don't flame me) I'll try to go step by step in describing the different aspects and the pros and cons of some of the items.

EXTERIOR: Love the front end and the BMW-like head lights, also the front grille looks agressive, but not overly so. The mirror turning signals definitely adds some sexy point to this car, and I think is also good safety-wise. These do not come with any of the cars in this price range btw. The wheel wells are nice and big and offer plenty of room for modification (bigger rims, lowering springs, whatever). I actually like the way the stock rims look on the tC, even though a few people expressed distaste in the wheel well areas being too big for the stock rims. I think the rear looks.....nice. Not too orginal, but good enough. I think there is a bit of a lack of balance between the agressiveness of the front end and the lack there of on the back end. Nothing a lip spoiler and maybe some LED rear lams can't fix. I also noticed the exhaust tip is nice and big compared to what else is out there. Can't wait for the TRD exhaust to make it even bigger.

INTERIOR: Just like all the other reviews I found it to be very tight and fit, with sprinkles of the OCD of the engineers all over the place. Everything flows really nicely, especially the silver dash. Also the lack of the ugly passenger side airbag "compartment" is a plus too. It's integrated into the dash, which is an engineering accomplishment on its own. The glove box is huge too, and there's dampers all over the place that make the car feel way more expensive than it really is. The stock stereo is as good or better than most stereos offered in this car class, and I actually think it compares to some of the "premium" systems like infinity and maybe even bose...I may be going out on the limb when I say that, but I was thoroughly impressed after playing around with the setting to find "Alex" mode. I really like the gauge cluster, and how it's layed out, as opposed to the xA/xB/Mini/Saturn Ion center console. I guess I'm a bit old fashioned. The amber lighting of the dash is nice also, and who can forget that alluminum knob! This car is also one of the few in this price range that has digital a/c and heating controls, and the outside temperature sensor is great too. The seats are the most comfy I've ever sat in, and they offer very nice support and flexibility. I wish the passenger seat would have the same height adjustment options and "memory" as the driver's does. It gets a bit annoying having to adjust the passenger seat every time someone jumps in the back, but to me it really doesn't matter 'cuz I'm the one driving.

The rear seats are spacious compared with the others, and the leg room is impressive also. My dad and I are bigger than your average size joe, not by much, but he's 6'3 and I'm 6' and the both of us had no problem sitting in the back. The fact that the rear seats recline 45 degrees is just plain awesome, especially for road trips, which I take quite often. The trunk space on the other hand is a bit cramped, and if you put an aftermarket sub back there, fugghedaboutit. For a college kid like myself though, it's plenty. In terms of cargo area, I'm comin from a 2000 Jeep Cherokee, although not the biggest of SUV's but had plenty of room. So compared to that, the trunk seems small. Yeah, I know it's an unfair comparison, but whatever.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS: I think the factory set up of the rims and tires is as good as you're gonna get stock, especially for the price, and the car handles great and the steering is responsive and precise. This car is so much fun to drive, especially on the highway, and I really feel like I have to restrain myself not to speed, because it's just so easy to do. the engine provides plenty of low end torque, and then this thing gets up to about 3500 to 4000 rpm's I've felt pushed back in the seat, and was very impressed. I really think it accelerates no worse than your average v6. I really like the fact that they put the camry engine in this one, and not the 1.5L lawnmower engines found in the x's. The suspension is firm, but comfy, and I think overall the car is balanced very nicely between performance and comfort. It's a zero sum game, but I think the Scion/Toyota engineers did a great job. One negative thing I have to add though, is the blind spots. I know they're not as bad as some other cars in this class, like the celica, but still it takes a bit of guess work and double takes to merge safely on the highway, or makin u-turns. I guess I'm once again comparing this to the visibility of the Jeep I drove, which is imo the best...the thing is a big box with huge windows, you can't beat that.

To wrap it up, I now look forward to my morning and afternoon commute because of this car. It's sexy as hell, performs very well, and the monthly payments are really not that bad for the value that I feel i'm getting. I plan to mod a bit here and there, with "scion approved" accessories, hopefully doing most of the installation myself, but I really do feel that this car is great as is. It's definitely better than ANYTHING in the price range.

Hopefully you found this review interesting and not redundant, and these are all my opinions, which may be different from your own, so pelase respect that. I love this car, as I'm sure all of you that own one do too. I'm really glad I also came across this site to share my opinions and concerns and read about yours also.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, bud.
 

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Surprise, surprise -- I basically agree with everything you said about the tC, Alex. Among other things, I also think that the car is a BLAST to drive on the highway. I got mine back last night after driving an '04 Corolla for four days while my tC was at the dealership for work on the rattles, and this morning's drive to work was sweet.
I can't wait to take this baby on a road trip to Biloxi in October!


Oh, and congrats again on getting yours! It's a great feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
lol. We are twins, you and I, basilisk4. I'm taking it on a trip tonight to upstate NY, so I can't wait for those hills and climbs of the appalacian mts. It's gonna be such a blast. And yeah, I also love GOING to work now. What's the status on the rattle situation, did they fix what needed fixing?
 

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Well, they say it isn't entirely fixed, but they were on the phone with Toyota corporate all week long regarding both the rattling in the rear hatch and the popping from the sunroof. According to one service tech, my case "has been documented all the way to Japan," which is exactly what I wanted. Honestly, the noises weren't loud enough to bother me, but I wanted to get my concerns documented at the dealer in case they get worse later on.

I haven't really noticed any noises whatsoever since I got it back last night, but I've only driven for about a half hour since then and I have only spent a little bit of time specifically listening for noises. I'll try that some more later on and I'll let you know.

By the way, if you ever swing down by Georgia, give me a holler, hey?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by basilisk4@Sep 3 2004, 07:32 AM
By the way, if you ever swing down by Georgia, give me a holler, hey?
Oh dude, definitely. That goes the same for you if you're around NY. You can stop by anytime.
 

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That's another tC for NY
. Congrats on finally getting your car Alex


I agree with your review that this car is such a great value for the price you pay. I have no regrets whatsoever about getting tC and not my original choices (mazda 3 and subaru impreza 2.5RS).
 

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Great review man!! Let's just face it... TC rules and we rule for owning one. I love the stares and compliments I get when driving this car... besides college, this is up there w/ one of the best decisions I've made in my life!! Hah!!!
 

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Originally posted by VoLIMIT@Sep 3 2004, 04:23 PM
Great review man!!  Let's just face it... TC rules and we rule for owning one.  I love the stares and compliments I get when driving this car... besides college, this is up there w/ one of the best decisions I've made in my life!!  Hah!!!
Totally agreed!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
haha, I set it to Hear and Xb I think by playing with the SSP button. That's just how I like it, so it's an "Alex" setting...well....because I'm Alex.
 

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I think I'm using xB and "feel"

After playing with it a bit I found that EVERY SINGLE setting other than stock sounds better than stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
^^ yep, me too! Whenever I turn it back to "tC", i'm like, wtf were they thinking, the sound is awful. It is a nice stereo, you just have to finesse it.
 

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Originally posted by whosthatrussian@Sep 3 2004, 06:14 AM
As you can imagine I'm even more impressed with the car now that I've had it for a few days. I've driven other small size cars including the new civic, corolla, mazda 3,
Hey I was going to buy a mazda 3.
but after looking at this car, I know i'm going to pruchase a flint mica, manual.
(hopefully no later than friday)
I never tested a mazda 3.
what did you think.
did it compare to the tC?
GREAT Review by the way!
 

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The Mazda 3 didnt compare. The tC blows its doors off. My mom(who doesnt know a thing about mechanics) noticed the diffrence. tC excells in everything.
 

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Originally posted by QuadinScionTC@Sep 7 2004, 07:25 PM
The Mazda 3 didnt compare. The tC blows its doors off. My mom(who doesnt know a thing about mechanics) noticed the diffrence. tC excells in everything.
great info!
thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #18
^^ Hey tech, don't get me wrong, the mazda3's a nice car I really liked it when I drove my friend's ride. He had the S model, so it's really similar to the tC spec-wise. The ride was nice too, the interior was also neat and seemed more expensive than the sticker would suggest. He had the auto/tip-tronic tranny, and that was fun to play around, but I really felt that the car would kick in toward the higher rpm's, and it didn't feel that great. I'm guessing that the 5spd is more responsive, so I don't really know. But nonetheless, if you compare the package that you get with the tC and the $$ it takes for the mazda 3 to be equal (sport package, moon roof, audio, whatever) the tC is less epensive. It's a greater value, and I like coupes better and the 3 is only in 4dr. I also think that the wagon is kinda ugly.

Conclusion: the 3's a nice car and a good competitor for the tC, but the tC is definitely better, and toyotas are historically more reliable, and the resale value is higher. Don't forget, Mazda's partially owned by Ford, and I've had enough experience to never deal with ford and most domestics out there. (Jeep being an exception for me personally, b/c before the tC i was driving a 2000 cherokee, never had a problem. Loved that car, but the tC is just amazing.)

So, get the tC, you won't regret it. And get in 5spd if you can. It rocks.
 

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Alex,
just what I wanted to know.

I was interested in the M3-S manual.(i agree the hatch is ugly)
but I didnt like the interior(blk/blue)
so i would've ordered it in leather and with a moonroof.
I get an employee discount,(work for a local ph co) but even with that it still would have been around $17.5k before tax.
I like the coupe/hatch style of the tC better.
Plus it's so unique, stylish and oozes of quality inside.
Thanks for the helpful camparison of the 2!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
no problem tech, always glad to help. I know that when people first buy their cars they get euphoric and tend to overlook certain flaws or negatives about their new cars, but I can honestly say that I'm over that euphoric state, and still love my car. I also think it's a very good investment looking down the line. 5 or so yeas from now or whenever, I'll be out of college, possibly married and makin a decent living, so I'll probably have to sell this car to get something more "family friendly", and it's just good to know that Toyota stands as one of the most reliable car makers with some of the highest resale values. Just something to keep in the back of your mind.

Good luck!
 
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