Scion TC Years To Avoid and Reason Why?: Trusted Guide

The Scion TC, a popular compact car manufactured by Toyota, is known for its reliability and style. However, certain years may not be ideal for potential buyers due to various issues. This guide will help provide an overview of which model years of the Scion TC might be best avoided and why.

Overview Of Scion TC

The Scion tC is a sporty compact car known for its sleek design and performance capabilities. Key features include a panoramic sunroof, sport-tuned suspension, and a 7-inch infotainment system. The vehicle is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 179 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. It is available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Generational updates have included interior quality improvements, technology features, and exterior design tweaks. The target demographic for the Scion tC is young drivers looking for stylish and affordable compact cars focusing on performance and customization. With its sporty design and versatile features, the Scion tC appeals to those seeking a compact vehicle with a bit of edge.

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Are Scion TC Reliable?

Evaluating the reliability of Scion TC vehicles.
Evaluating the reliability of Scion TC vehicles.

Yes, both generations of the tC are reliable.

We should consider the car's reliability and frequency of issues.

Look for rare recalls, cheap repairs, and good warranties - signs of a reliable brand.

tC cars are becoming scarce in showrooms.

Used cars of this brand are considered excellent purchases due to their overall value, including safety, affordability, and reliability.

They should have similar reliability if they used the same transmissions and engines as Toyota.

It's reliable.

Which Scion TC Years To Avoid

Scion tC is a popular compact 2-door sports car that was first launched in 2004 with a powerful 2.4-liter engine that produces 161 hp. Over the years, it has experienced many changes and is known for its reliability and performance. Yet, some years have been particularly prone to mechanical defects, and it's important to consider which year model of Scion tC to avoid when shopping around for one.

The 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 models are probably the ones to avoid due to their various technical defects. The 2008 model is particularly bad as it's plagued with head gasket problems and clutch-related issues. Owners ' high oil and fuel consumption are also common complaints during these years. The trunk design has also been sub-par in some of these years due to faulty latch failure and cabin noise while cranking up the engine. On the other hand, the 2009 and 2012 models are considered the best so far because they experience fewer mechanical failings compared to the others mentioned before. Those looking for reliable 2005 model cars may also find the Scion tC a good option as it rarely experiences clutch failures or any trunk latch malfunctioning issues.

Scion TC (1st Gen) 2005-2010

The 2005-2010 Scion tC was the first generation of this sporty coupe, and it quickly became an iconic car for drivers seeking a fun driving experience. This model was equipped with a 2.4-liter inline-four engine, promising enthusiasts bold power and responsive handling on the road. With a wide range of trim levels available, the Scion tC offered various levels of luxury, convenience features, and performance upgrades, allowing its young audience to tailor their ride to their personality.

Buy: 2005 Scion TC

Highlighting the recommended 2005 model of the Scion TC.
Highlighting the recommended 2005 model of the Scion TC.

The 2005 Scion tC is an attractive option for those looking for a reliable sports coupe. Despite being the first year of production, it has bucked the trend and proved its quality. Compared to other vehicles in its class, it boasts impressive reliability ratings, according to Car Complaints – with just 206 reported complaints and only four recalls. However, there have been some isolated reports of engine failure, which could concern many potential buyers. Additionally, sunroof wind deflector breakage is another minor issue witnessed by owners of the 2005 Scion tC.

Despite these minor issues, the overall reviews and performance ratings suggest this vehicle will offer years of reliable service. Before buying this car, however, it is recommended that buyers do plenty of research on its history and inspect all systems thoroughly to avoid any potential problems down the road.

Avoid: 2006 Scion TC

Suggesting to steer clear of the 2006 Scion TC model.
Suggesting to steer clear of the 2006 Scion TC model.

The 2016 Scion tC is a reliable, reasonably priced car perfect for first-time car owners. It has many features, including a touch-screen infotainment system and dual-pane sunroof. The overall score of 7.9 out of 10, given by U.S. News, demonstrates its great rear seating and intuitive controls. It also has good performance and offers an affordable price tag for what it provides in terms of features and reliability.

Avoid: 2007 Scion TC

Advising against the 2007 model of the Scion TC.
Advising against the 2007 model of the Scion TC.

The 2007 Scion tC has been inconvenient for many owners, with the highest number of complaints reported out of any other year. According to CarComplaints, this model year has seen 194 complaints and two recalls due to excessive oil consumption, power window failure, and rough shifting. Excessive oil consumption is particularly concerning as over 40 consumers have been forced to continually add a quart of oil every 1,000-1,500 miles.

This increases the expense of upkeep and puts drivers at risk should they run low on oil while driving or away from home. Power windows are also frequently reported to fail when rolling down or up. This contributes to an uncomfortable driving experience and may present further safety risks if the windows cannot be operated when needed. Aspiring buyers should heed that the 2007 Scion tC is considered the worst model year by industry reviewers.

Avoid: 2008 Scion TC

Recommending to avoid the 2008 Scion TC variant.
Recommending to avoid the 2008 Scion TC variant.

The 2008 Scion TC model has been known to consume excessive oil, which no car owner ever wants to hear, compounded by heating issues. Unfortunately, drivers have even experienced the dreaded head gasket blowing out, resulting in a huge expense for replacement or repairs needed to get their vehicle back up and running. Furthermore, reports about water pump failures have also been added to the list of complaints about this model. This problem has been present in multiple vehicles of this type over the years, earning it some less-than-favorable reviews from many drivers.

These potential issues should be addressed before future implications arise so drivers can feel safe and comfortable on the road. Regular maintenance is key to spotting any small problems early enough and having them repaired by professionals to prevent further costs. Drivers of 2008 Scion TCs should not ignore warning signs when it comes time for repair; paying more upfront could mean saving yourself expensive bills later.

Avoid: 2010 Scion TC

Cautioning about the 2010 version of the Scion TC.
Cautioning about the 2010 version of the Scion TC.

Driving the 2010 Scion tC can be a pleasant and reliable experience if you stay off rough roads. People who own this car often report creaks and rattles from the cabin when traveling over bumpy or uneven surfaces. Not only that - even if users are going down relatively smooth roadways, they may notice the occasional shaking of the car's roof, which often indicates structural weakness in the vehicle's frame.

On top of these common issues, some consumers have had noticeable problems with their tC's air conditioning system. The climate control may not always function properly, leading to it blowing out too hot or too cold. To ensure the optimal functioning of these features on the 2010 Scion tC, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and checkups at a qualified auto repair shop.

Scion TC 1st Gen: 2011-2016

The second-generation Scion TC was a big step forward for the brand. The new sports coupe is better and more affordable.

Get a 2011-2012 Scion TC

Endorsing the 2011-2012 models of the Scion TC.
Endorsing the 2011-2012 models of the Scion TC.

The 2011 and 2012 Scion tC models are reliable and well-regarded. The 2012 Scion tCs are packed with features, according to Consumer Reports. The car has a powerful engine provides good acceleration and excellent fuel economy when paired with the manual transmission. The NHTSA received eight complaints and issued two recalls for this model. Some owners reported issues with the sunroof shattering.

The 2011 Scion tC is the most reliable and valuable model. According to Car Complaints, the 2011 tC has 46 complaints and one recall, earning the website's "Awesome" seal of approval. According to the NHTSA, the 2011 tC has 28 complaints, with exterior lighting being the most common issue. The vehicle's reverse lamps can fail and cause nighttime accidents.

The 2011 and 2012 tCs are great used car options despite their issues.

Get a 2016 Scion TC

Advocating for the selection of the 2016 Scion TC.
Advocating for the selection of the 2016 Scion TC.

The 2016 Scion tC is reliable and perfect for young, first-time car owners. The car looks great and has many cool features, like a touchscreen and a sunroof.

The 2016 tC received a rating of 7.9 out of 10 from U.S. News, with praise for its spacious rear seats, intuitive touchscreen controls, and excellent reliability ratings. The vehicle's interior is lacking, with cheap surfaces compared to other options. Road and wind noise are loud on the highway.

Most Common Issues

Some Scion tC models had a problem with high oil consumption, which could damage the engine if not fixed. It mostly affected earlier models but could also happen in later ones.

Some Scion tC owners had a rattly interior, which loose or poorly fitting components could cause. It could be unpleasant for some drivers, but it didn't affect the car's performance.

Some tC owners expressed concerns about potential head gasket and water pump seal issues that could harm the engine and lead to overheating.

Furthermore, there are concerns regarding the trunk, paint adhesion failure, and paint peeling from the side mirrors of the interior accessories.


When looking for a used Scion tC, avoid the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 models due to various engine and other problems. Instead, consider the dependable and popular 2014, 2015, and 2016 models, which received positive ratings for their performance, handling, fuel efficiency, and design.

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