I purchased a 2005 Scion tC automatic in March 2005. I have been very happy with my car, and would highly recommend it.
I love the styling of the car, inside and out. The ‘panoramic’ sunroof looks great, can be enjoyed from both the front and rear seats, and brightens up the interior.
The seats are very comfortable and supportive. I like the seat cushion adjustment (tilt), but would also like to have a lumbar adjustment. The seats are comfortable front and rear.
I don’t really care for the silver-faced gauges that light up orange at night - I think Toyota had it down when they used white-on-black instruments that lit up a light green at night (like the mid-90’s Corollas and Camrys). I would prefer two large, centered, equally-sized gauges for the speedometer and tachometer, with the temperature and fuel gauges on either side. Oil pressure and voltage gauges would be nice too.
I don’t care for the up/down buttons for the volume on the radio - and it appears that others feel this way, as they have redesigned the radio with a volume knob for 2006. I think the stereo sounds pretty good, and I enjoy the MP3 feature.
The HVAC controls look great and work very well. I’d like to see separate clock and outside temperature displays. The glove compartment is very roomy.
As for utility, the hatchback design is excellent. Although the ‘trunk’ is shallow, it’s big enough (there are useful compartments under the trunk floor), and the amount of space available with the rear seats folded is huge. I can easily fit my bicycle inside, and still have lots of room left over.
I enjoy the tC more each time I drive it. I tried the 5-speed and enjoyed it very much, but I drive in a lot of traffic, so I went with the 4-speed automatic. I would have liked the 5-speed automatic used in the Camry, but I understand Scion wanted to keep costs down. It shifts very smoothly and responds well to the accelerator.
The handling is great, I’ve driven the car on twisty mountain roads, and was very satisfied. The brakes work very well, I’ve triggered the ABS a few times on slippery surfaces; it’s amazing how it keeps the car under control in these situations.
Likes - Styling, Performance, Reliability, Comfort, Features,
Dislikes - Hatch area rattle (identified with the help of information found on scionlife.com, have yet to implement the fix, however). A wiper for the hatch window would be nice.
Overall, I really like this car and would highly recommend it.