I was excited about getting a new car. This car seemed like excellent value and since it was a "sport coupe" should have been fun to drive.
After a month or so in it, I realized I bought a pretty standard, boring economy 2 door car.
The main problems: The suspension is way too soft, and I feel isolated from the road - I might as well be driving a camry.
Parts of this car DO come from the camry and other sedans (the chassis is from a european toyota avensis sedan, engine from camry) so I should have known - somehow the excitement of buying a new car blinded me to this...
This all results in a car that has too much body roll in corners. I never feel confident cornering in this car.
The engine doesn't rev high enough to have any fun with it - again, it's from a camry - I should have known.
One of the biggest problems however, is that the clutch is possibly the worst I've ever used. It feels horrible, it feels spongy - there's no defined point of contact, I have to hold the clutch in position for ages before the engine really "catches" and I'm save to continue without the car jumping around and making me look like a learner driver.
Add to that, that the accelerator pedal has a dead spot at the top (due to the stupid drive-by-wire electronic throttle control). This means you have to push the accel. pedal down twice as much as in other cars, just to pull away - but really you're not giving the engine that much gas. Makes pulling away a chore instead of fun. Never a problem with any other car I've driven (all manual).
So...overall the car isn't fun, it feels too heavy in corners, too soft, isolated, and I have no confidence in it's handling. The clutch is really bad, and the gas pedal doesn't help.
The good things however, include really nice 17" wheels standard, a pretty nice interior (for the price), nice seats (for the price), good enough torque (for the price), a nice shine on the paint (although it seems to mark easily) and a nice enough CD player.
This car is fine for someone who doesn't care about a fun drive - and basically just wants a cheap 2 door camry, so they don't look like they're driving an old-man car, but still get the "drive" of an old-man car...
If you're enthusiastic about your cars though, and expect to feel some "sport" from a sport coupe... you won't like what you get.
If the mazda3 suspension was on this car, and a proper clutch, it'd solve most of the problems, and (for the price) it WOULD be a really good car.
Since scions target buyer is teens and young people's first car, just finishing college, I feel they thought that they could get away with the bad clutch and handling, because most of them won't know any different.