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Honda Civic Coupe vs. Scion tC

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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Glad you found the dedicated Scion tC discussion - that's the best place to have this conversation. Here's a link for anyone who can help: nifab, "Scion tC" #1786, 6 Jan 2007 7:27 pm
  • nifabnifab Posts: 7
    I do apply the brakes, then downshift, but it's the downshifting that pulls me back. I am in a 1991 Integra, no ABS, vtec engine, airbags..and ofcourse coffee holder (what I want most):-). I am petite so I have to move the seat all the way up so I can reach the clutch, which chg the window perspective. I use my rear window for parrallel parking (full view in an Integra). I use my left window (ie. look back myself to see road as taught in driver's ed.) to confirm I can pass or merge into traffic. The entire left view is obstructed in a TC, as reported by Edmunds. 2 POINTS: I was informed in other forums that: 1) Many owners have been experiencing this and actually there is a mj. pblm w/ the synchronizers, leading to gear grinding etc.; apparently Scion knows this as they had to replace a lot of these transmissions, but problems continue. 2) Owners also told me that Toyotas are known for blind spots (in comparison to Acura/Honda). I am glad to hear that your manual was untouched by transmission problems. I was sad that I have to give up on the Scion, but I am new to NJ, and reliant on a car, which is why I decided to buy a new car (ie. the "worry-free" upside). Thanks so much for your reply.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Since this is also a Civic forum, I'll ask...

    Have you test-driven a Civic coupe?
  • nifabnifab Posts: 7
    This thread is actually posted in the ScionTC forum; so I did not realize it originated w/ the Civic group. I am going to try the LX (surprized the sunroof isn't std on the EX) & the Honda FitSport, but pretty difficult coming from an Integra. The Fit is cute & the space is great (more than the Civic in fact), but I don't know if she is really meant for highway or long distance driving; my impression was that the Fit was meant for city driving. I would have to try the LX; I don't know how she handles, nor she will respond to all those Toyotas out there running me off the road bc I'm in there blindspot...:-)
  • Regarding the blind spots -- now I think I realize what some tC reviewers are talking about. It's true, I've also noticed the "blind spots", come to think of it, but they're the blind spots created by the pillars on the sides of the windshield (forgot what they're called), not so much the blind spots one watches out for when changing lanes (i.e., the blind spots in the rear/sides of the car). I've gotten used to it.

    I thought that the tC has quite good reviews on the shifting/transmission. Hadn't heard anything about grinding gears or manufacturer recalls...

    I didn't quite understand you when you said "...it's the downshifting that pulls me back" in reference to braking/downshifting. When I downshift, I always rev match so that there's no jerk of the car, and the car slows down quicker of course because of the increased resistance that comes with being in a lower gear (or else I might downshift to speed up, in which case I get better acceleration from being at a more favorable point along the torque curve, peak torque is at 4000 rpm). I might very well also apply the brakes at the same time (in the lower gear) to slow down, and may downshift again. It's fun. Sometimes I approach a light and downshift through the gears with rev-matching and no jerk of the car (and no sudden deceleration, the whole process is very very smooth) and apply the brakes for the first time when I'm at like 3 mph (at which point I would depress the clutch and shift from second or first, as the case may be, into neutral. It's supposed to be better to stay in neutral at stoplights and off the clutch than to have first gear selected and the clutch pressed in, slightly better for the car).
  • Hitting the brakes for the first time at 3 mph (when coming to a stop) is probably in first gear, and it was an estimate (I wait until the revs get down to 1000 before applying the clutch when coming to a stop, no matter what gear I'm in). The higher the gear you're in, the faster you'll be going when you get down to 1000 rpm. In second gear it might be more like 5 or 6 mph at 1000 rpms. In fifth gear I think it's like 15 or 20. I'm only mentioning these things for people who might be reading this and just learning how to drive a stick... (I've only been driving a manual for three months now so it's all still new and somewhat exciting to me so I like to share).
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Actually, this discussion appears in both the Civic and the tC groups. You'll find that to be the case with all comparison discussions. BTW, welcome! :)
  • I actually did two back-to-back testdrives of the tC and Civic. The first time was with friend that tried automatic versions of the tC and Civic EX coupe. He ended up buying the tC because it was cheaper and offered more features (EX coupes were going for MSRP at the time). I agreed with his decision because it's nice to have the tC's torque when you're driving an automatic. I was also pretty impressed with the tC's build quality and standard features.

    Recently, I've started car shopping for myself and I went to testdrive manual versions of the tC and Civic LX. I care more about handling than features so I approached the testdrive differently than the previous one. I tried the tC first and was very disappointed at the transmission. It was rough and hard to shift smoothly. Also, the engine had good grunt at low RPMs but lost steam at higher RPMs. Feeling a bit let down, I headed over to the Honda dealership and tried a manual Civic LX. I immediately fell in love with the Civic package. Steering was sharp and the steering wheel had a nice weighted feeling to it. The shifter was just awesome. I could immediately make buttery-smooth shifts.

    So my conclusion is:
    Automatic Transmission -> Scion tC
    Manual Transmission -> Any Civic
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I am going to try the LX (surprized the sunroof isn't std on the EX) & the Honda FitSport, but pretty difficult coming from an Integra.

    Actually, the sunroof IS standard on the EX (which is the top-model), but not available on the LX, and not offered on the Fit. You are right when you say the Fit was meant as a city car, but there is nothing that would hamper it taking 1,000 miles at a time. The only thing is that it has shorter gearing, which means it will rev higher at speed than a Civic will, which may get annoying to you. Best of luck, and keep us updated on your search for your next vehicle!
  • tomsr1tomsr1 Posts: 130
    I drove the automatic Tc looking for a coupe for good MPG and fun.I did not like the way the throttle responded after
    exiting a turn and the sales guy said because of emission
    controls you have to drive it gently.Wrong answer!Across the street was the Honda dealer so I dropped into to see
    if they had any Civics and they did.I drove it and was blown away with the package.Sure it needs more torque but
    you have a choice of leaving it in D and get 30 mpg or drop down to D3 and operate where the torque is.The only problem is I expected my wife to drive it but she does not like
    it because of her long legs and when parking in the parking structure at work she can not open the door wide enough.
  • lkc_tclkc_tc Posts: 1
    I am also a female, who purchased a Scion tC manual in May of last year. In just over 6 months I have put about 12K miles on it - although I don't have a long commute. Before that I owned a '97 Grand Cherokee. Big Change!!
    I have to say, I love my tC. For the price I paid (right under $19K) - I got a brand new car with all the options I wanted.
    This is my first manual, so while I can't compare to other manuals, I can offer my insight from someone who basically learned on that car. I can't say I've had a problem with the manual - besides I've been killing it a lot more since the colder weather. . . But I was told that the clutch point changes, and I'm probably not used to it.
    Overall: tC is a lot of fun to drive. I'm guessing once you get used to the clutch it'll be fine. It isn't extremely smooth, but I guess I never realized that until you mentioned it. Maybe if it was too smooth, it wouldn't be fun to drive. . .? (Its not rough, though!)
    Here is what I like: Roomy back seat. For a 2-door, I've had guys who are 6' tall sit in my back seat with plenty of leg room. Its got pretty good acceleration and torque, I love peeling out when I have friends in the car! I have fit a 6' step ladder in the car w/o any problems with the seats folded back and down.
    Here are my complaints: This is my first 2 door car and I don't like how big the doors are when I'm parked next to another car. Although there is plenty leg room, the head room in the back is limited. (Although the back seats recline, which help this). My friend who is about 6'4" has to sit in the front seat, and its somewhat tight for him. (But he has never complained)
    I guess I can't compare this manual to others, but I can compare it to itself and I have been very satisfied overall with the car and the transmission.
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    Clutch points do not change when cold or hot, I'm sorry that someone actually told you that and believed it. Because it's not true at all. Any car that changes its friction point within the clutch has an issue. Stiffness when cold is one thing, but a friction point that changes shows me that the pressure plate isn't doing its job when cold.

    Plus nifab wasn't complaining about the clutch, she was complaining that the shift points were not engaging correctly. And that "notchiness" is because the synchronizers are not engaging.

    You are correct in that you have nothing to compare it to. You should drive another manual transmission car, and you'll see the difference. nifab was able to compare it to a transmission that was working properly (her own integra). So you also might have gotten lucky and got a rare "good" one, like the one out of 4 or 5 I test drove. But with that kind of success rate, nifab is correct in looking elsewhere. Im glad you're lucky and not having the issues others are having. Consider yourself blessed!
  • There is no comparison of the two cars. my civic i owned could not get out of it's own way, had horrible handling... to put it lightly the only thing it had going for it was the gas mileage. The tc has a more comfortable seating arrangement, better pick up, handling, breaking( when i slammed on the breaks in my civic it tended to have a light tale and would drift out a lot easier)and most of all a better appearance cosmetic wise. The one and only problem i have had with my tc is my radio would change stations on it's own out of no where, which was a malfunctioning radio they had in the 05 i must have gotten stuck with a left over....
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    There is a technical service bulletin on the radio changing stations on its own. Toyota knows about it and Pioneer has corrected the problem now.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    What year was your Civic?
  • My civic was a 2000
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    So, you're comparing a model that debuted in late 1995 (the Civic you had) with a 2004-current Scion tC?

    Don't you think the Civic may have changed a LOT (it has, trust me) since that 1.6L model?

    I would certainly hope Toyota could match and defeat an 11 year-old design with something that is currently on the market. Sounds like they obviously have.
  • Yes i am because they never change my girl has a 06 and it drives worse than my 2000 did.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yes i am because they never change my girl has a 06 and it drives worse than my 2000 did.

    Ah, you never mentioned that. I disagree that they never change. I drove my grandparents in their 1997 Civic on Christmas Day, and can tell you it is MUCH different from my dad's 2007 Civic. Both are sedans, with Automatics.

    Care to elaborate about your evaluation a little? "Drives worse" is pretty useless to me in figuring out what you don't like about the car. Handling? Ride? Steering? Acceleration? Just curious here, not trying to poke and prod... It might help other shoppers interested in these two.

    The Civic with a manual runs 0-60 in the mid-high 7s I believe. The last Scion tC manual I saw was similar, so acceleration has DEFINITELY improved from the 106 hp Civics like your old one.
  • everyone is entitled to their own opinion of the civic yes it is great for commuting, be sure to bring your butt pillow though for the hard seats(How about those nice warm leather heated seats in the tc.The tc seats in rear tilt back for a more comfortable ride-civic does not). The stearing radius on the car is very limited. It also has many blind spots, the worst being the spoiler in the rear window. As for acceleration, the civic is a good choice if your not trying to pass someone when needed, expecially trying to drive the car filled with passengers. when breaking in the tc the center of gravity seems more centered than in the civic where the tail tends to drift out from behind you(mind you i am not talking from ten miles a hour, i mean emergency braking 30- 40 mph). The headlights give very poor light in the civic allowing very poor visability. The overall cosmetic look of the two cars is not close ,civic looks like my gramas grocery getter and the scion at least has some sort of sporty appeal. I think i read somewhere on here that the civic had one touch windows? Was that a special or something cause my girlfiends car only has it on the driver side. I could go on all day but i do have to work a little today.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sounds like you made the right decision for you. We're obviously getting nowhere with each other (and I mean that respectfully). :)

    Although i must comment on the seats, and on the visibility. You state that visibility is bad with the spoiler - since it isn't standard equipment, I don't hold that point to be true.

    As for the seats, firm seats (sculpted correctly, and the Civic's are for my large frame, surprisingly) will support you much better than soft ones on long trips. They may seem too hard to some ( I can understand that ), but will definitely be better over the long haul.
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    what level of trim was your 2000? 2 door? 4 door? Si, LX, DX, HX, CX??

    also the old civic 96-2000 wasn't that great for headlights. The tC is MUCH better! I do agree the Civic was bad for lighting. :mad:

    the seats in the 96-2000 civic weren't that great, they didn't have a spring suspension to the cushions. Just foam and then the seat frame, that's it! So yes they didn't have much "give" making them feel hard. Seats in the tC have that spring suspension and feel much better!
  • In my opinion the tc has the civic beat by a long shot for looks. I own a 07 TC and my friend recently bought a 07 civic si and installed a turbo. We both agree that he would have been better off with the tc. the civic had no room under the hood for mods. He had to remove the frond bumper support to fit the intercooler. And it costs a lot less to get more horsepower for the tc
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    In my opinion the tc has the civic beat by a long shot for looks.

    I guess that's why we all get one (an opinion that is). To me, the Civic Coupe looks a lot sleeker and sportier than the Scion's more bulbous and blunt shape. It's all subjective though...The Scion isn't bad looking at all, and I was close to getting one, but the interior left me unimpressed (the flimsy sunroof cover for one thing was particularly pathetic).

    And it costs a lot less to get more horsepower for the tc

    Well, that's going to happen when you start with an engine that is 33% larger than the standard Civic coupe's. The downside is fuel economy. The Scion's 2.4L gets about 8-10 MPG less than the Civic doesn't it?

    It's just a matter of the two cars having slightly different priorities, I think. Both are in fact very excellent cars.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    well pal thats pretty much the case for any aftermarket turbo! My buddy had to get a custom bumper for his 97 civic because he put a nice big turbo on it. Its common sense you are MODIFIYING the car. You can't expect everything to fit miraculously. The only reason it costs less as far as horsepower goes it only costs less becuase the si is fairly new. A camry engine, even modded, has nothing on a k series.

    OH and looks are highly subjective. BUt the tc does look way more mainstream.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    OH and looks are highly subjective. BUt the tc does look way more mainstream.

    I don't mod cars, but it seems to me the point of it is to NOT have a mainstream looking car.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    sometimes. but not always. Some of the most revered tuners are the ones whose cars look completley stock, with very small visual enhancements like a little bit of chassis lowering and not to flashy but good looking rims. All the work goes into the engine and drivetrain. Hence the 'tuning' aspect of it. Anyone can paint a car a silly color or put a awful muffler on it. (don't get me started on neon lights.)
  • slerpslerp Posts: 2
    I am looking into purchasing one of these. I love both of them but I am constricted by a $15,000 max budget. Would I be able to get either a civic LX coupe or scion tc (looking for auto) for that price? If not which one would I be able to get for less? Thanks
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Scion dealers do not negotiate. Their prices are firm, something that more than one Toyota/Scion dealer told me. I don't think you'll be getting either car for under $15,000 brand new. You may find a one-year old used one for that, although I wouldn't get your hopes too high. Both of these are closer to $17k-$18k. A Civic DX is under $15,000, but is not very well equipped.

    Are these the only two cars you are considering? For under $15k, you are more in line with subcompacts such as the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, and Nissan Versa if you are after a Japanese car. If you can stand a 4-door, the Hyundai Elantra offers a LOT of bang for the buck, with a midsize interior and a price around $15,000 nicely (if not ornately) equipped.
  • kenlwkenlw Posts: 190
    We looked and drove both (07) Tc and Civic EX. The Tc is more torquey, has more power, and it is very noticeable (both auto).

    Mileage isn't even close tho, and that was big on our list. To be fair, so far the Civic isn't getting anywhere near rating, but I would expect the Tc to be off proportionally as well. But at only 30 highway, heck, my 200k mile v6 Camry did almost that good!

    The Tc felt front heavy and not very nimble. The styling is a bit lackluster (all IMHO) and the waisteline (the lower edge of the side windows) is much too high visually. Looks are very important to me.

    The driver's foot areas seemed cramped on the Tc, and I'm only 5-7. The driver's area just felt a bit crowded and it seemed like i was sitting in a bathtub. A very deep bathtub, and the bottom edge of the window seemed very high when hanging the arm out, uncomfortable even. Of course, I could have moved the seat up (assuming it does as on the CIvic), but then the headroom whould have been even worse. Visibility was a lot worse in the rear quarters, tho part of that could be just me and my preference for sitting on the ground.....

    The Tc is definitely a good value, and can be had for almost 5k less. And the power differences are significant, and coming from that v6 Camry that was appealing. I've had 3 Camrys and a Highlander. I've never owned a Honda until now. I don't regret it one bit, altho it cost consideably more than a Tc. I just feel the Civic is a lot more car.
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