- 2005 Scion tC

Is A Barely Driven tC Just As Good As A Modern Hatch?

Considering this is my personal vehicle, I am comparing it to what I have driven.

This 2005 Scion tC has just crossed over 41,000 miles on the clock now. I bought it back in February for a mere $1,800 and have driven over 1,000 miles since then. I have driven many miles to understand what it is like and if it is any good compared to a modern car. I have also driven many modern cars to see how far we have come when it comes to transportation. So, my question is; is a barely driven tC just as good as a modern hatchback?

Exterior Styling

"...Dents, Rust, and..."

The exterior styling is not far off from where we have come when it comes to what the body of a car looks like. The Scion tC has curves and edges fairly similar to that of a modern hatchback such as the Corolla hatchback mixed with a bit of boxier sides. It is a beautiful vehicle to look at while catching it with each angle. But what one can't tell or see, is that there is some damage that has been done to it. It is a previously owned car. The tC has some dents, rust, and scratches. What I did do is take photos of the better side of the vehicle. What would one expect? It is 15 years old with some issues. Who is not 15 years old with some tough memories? Exactly.

Interior Design

"...back to the..."

As far as the interior goes, the tC has a retro-style design mixed with spartan craftsmanship and applications. The two-tone leather and plastics mix together to make the retro-styling of the mid-2000s bring the reality of the decade of how fashion was 15 years ago with spartan options that make complete sense. The infotainment system only offers a CD player, FM/AM radio with a door that hides it when one doesn't want to go back to the past of boring. As far as space goes, the interior ahs a decent-sized trunk big for a couple of suitcases with the backseats that are collapsable. Speaking of backseats, I can't sit behind myself at all in any way to be comfortable, but there are cup holders on the sides. And as far as front seats go, the driver/passenger in mind is big enough to hold someone the size of Richard Hammond to be comfortable riding/driving the damn thing.

Pricing and Options

So, how much did this tC cost when it was new? Well, since I bought it off of the original owner who still had everything for it, even the build sheet, the total price comes to $17,049. What did that get a customer back in 2005? Well, for safety, the tC comes with 4 wheel ABS, dual-stage airbags in the front, driver knee airbag, a first aid kit, side-impact door beams, three across 3-point ALR-ELR rear passenger seat belts and head restraints, and driver and front passenger seat belt pre-tensioners with force limiters. For comfort and convenience, the tC comes with a panorama sunroof with power tilt and slide, sport bucket seats, Pioneer 160 Watt infotainment system with 6 speakers, air-con, power locks and windows, cruise control, outside temp gauge and digital clock, and sport pedal covers. Not much for $17,000 15 years ago. Then again, that is cheap.

A Moment of Your Time

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"...not the smoothest..."

The tC has a 2.4L naturally aspirated 4-clinder powering the front wheels with 160 horsepower and 163 foot pound of torque. I was able to achieve, with my driving habits, 24 miles to the gallon at some points and 20 miles to the gallon for a few combined times. As far as ride comfort goes, the tC is just as great as a modern car for long distances. For the driver who likes to have a bit of fun on mountain roads, the tC feels like a newer Corolla hatchback of today. It glides through corners thanks to its Macpherson struts and sport tuned suspension, sharp steering and impressive braking. As far as gear changes go, it is not the smoothest gearbox to up and downshift but the clutch works quite good. The engine likes to chatter to a high rev count and acceleration seems quick for something this old.


"...feel like a..."

So, is the tC as good as a modern hatch? From my experience, the tC is just as good as a new hatchback today with the likes of the Corolla hatchback and its competition. It might not be as fast as some, but it sure rides and performs nearly as good for something 15 years old. It also looks very good as well. I am glad I bought this tC for the cheap price of $1,800. It is a fun car to drive that I know will last me a while since any Scion is made up of mostly Toyota parts. If anyone can find a low-mileage tC for a great price, I would say get one. Unless you don't want to feel like a sardine.

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Comments (11)

  • Congrats on the purchase. $1800 is a great deal...

    I sold my ‘05 tC for $3500 at the end of last year, but I really enjoyed the vehicle while I had it.

      7 months ago
    • Thanks! How long and how many miles did you put on it?

        7 months ago
    • I put 150k miles on it, and it probably would have kept going for many more miles. It’s the only vehicle I’ve owned that never needed more than routine maintenance. The only suggestion I have is to check your oil regularly, as it may likely need...

      Read more
        7 months ago
  • How the hell did you get one for that cheap with that little milage??

      7 months ago
    • My wife's coworker. His dad, who's the original owner, died and he wanted gone asap. I asked how much he wanted, he said $1,800 and my dumb self went lower and he was firm on it so I said alrighty then. And now I have a 05 scion tc that has 41,000 on it...

      Read more
        7 months ago
  • A review of a 15 year old car with pictures taken in the dark? Slow day around Drivetribe?

      7 months ago
    • Really? That's what you get from this? I compared it to a modern car.

        7 months ago
    • Lol and you have nothing better to do than comment

        7 months ago
  • @tribe New article is up! What do you think?

      7 months ago