New face and tail for 2014 Scion tC, debut at New York auto show

2014 Scion tC at NYIAS

Photographers jostle for a shot of the 2014 Scion tC at the New York International Auto Show.

The 2014 Scion tC is what’s known as a mid-cycle refresh, which means from the side there’s not much evidence there’s anything new while the front and rear get changes that will make the new model stand out from its semi-predecessor.

In the case of the 2014 Scion tC, it means a bigger, trapezoidal grille, a lower hood, and reshaped headlights with LED accent lights. Out back a new black-out valance has an FR-S style, lower-center trim piece and new LED tail lamps. And there are new wheels, of course.

The bigger update is inside. Scion Standard Display Audio is all new, featuring a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen, which will also be standard on all 2014 Scion models. Scion says that makes Scion “the industry’s first non-luxury brand to feature a touchscreen audio system as standard equipment across its entire lineup.” That’s a bit of a narrow “all” but where it’s important is against Scion’s direct competitors. Scion shoppers won’t be choosing between a Scion model and anything in a luxury line.

Bluetooth compatibility, HD Radio Technology and steering wheel-mounted controls will all be standard. Those wishing to upgrade audio can specify the all-new Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio system featuring Aha. It also includes navigation, plus the ability to “connect compatible smart phones through Aha to access 30,000 free audio stations, including Scion’s own signature station featuring a lineup of its 17 music channels.  In addition to audiobook stations, sports, news and entertainment, the Aha service utilizes location–based services like Yelp and TripAdvisor, and integrates most of the popular social media applications.”

There’s no change under the hood and the six-speed manual transmission is the same. However, the automatic has new internals that allows shifts twice as fast for both upshifts and downshifts. The automatic six-speed automatic also gains “Dynamic Rev Management,” which blips the throttle to match revs on downshifts like a master heel-and-toe specialist with a manual transmission.

The 2014 Scion tC’s body now has twice as many spot welds for additional stiffness, a rigid chassis better for handling, keeping the pickup locations where they ought to be located. Chassis engineers also tweaked the anti-roll bars and recalibrated the shock absorbers to improve the tC’s handling.

As a plus, for 2014 series of 10,000 Scion 10 Series models celebrating Scion’s tenth anniversary will arrive at dealerships in June. All will be painted Silver Ignition, a premium color. The Series 10 cars will also have a trick dash that has “Scion” illuminated on the dash before fading to reveal the number 10. Other tricks include a solar-powered illuminated shift knob and an LED Scion locator badge that lights up when the car is unlocked. The cars will be sequentially numbered with an interior badge, and the xB, iQ, and xD will have special alloy wheels in a graphite finish.

Special and refreshed: Scion for 2014.