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Honda Civic Coupe vs. Scion tC

JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
edited March 2014 in Honda
What do people think about these two cars which will be going head-to-head, targeting the same demographics? I am not including in this discussion the new Si, which is more performance oriented, or the Civic sedan or hybrid, which are geared towards more "practical" and/or "green" buyers. Both the Coupe and tC will appeal to younger buyers (and their parents) looking for small, sporty, good-handling, and safe vehicles - with airbags galore - that look cool and are fun-to-drive and fun-to-be-seen-in. Yet not have too much horsepower to cause safety concerns with teenagers and sky-high insurance rates.

What are the pros and cons of each, and which one will sell better in the next year?


  • Anyone who is over 5' 10" tall will have a difficult time fitting into the Scion TC. I'm 5' 11", and I could not even sit in the car without my head hitting the roof. I ended up buying a 2005 Civic EX which has plenty of headroom even with the sunroof. My gut feeling is that the new Civic Coupe will far outsell the Scion TC mostly due to the Honda name.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    What are the pros and cons of each, and which one will sell better in the next year?
    The Civic will most likely (almost certain) will sell better. Before I say anything about the Civic, I would like to drive it first.
  • I checked the measured headroom of the 2005 Civic Coupe (Edmunds does not have 2006 specs up yet) and at 36.9 is is actually slightly less than the tC's 37.6. So assuming they measured them the same way your head would have hit the roof on last year's Civic Coupe too. And I think I've read where the interior room on 2006 Civic line is slightly less spacious than last year's, mainly due to the sleek new windshield (even more so on the Coupe). Something to check on, for sure.
  • So assuming they measured them the same way your head would have hit the roof on last year's Civic Coupe too.

    A big factor affecting head room is placement of the steering wheel. In both the Scion TC and the Toyota Corolla, I found the steering wheel was placed too far forward. This forced me to adjust the seat back more upright in order to reach the steering wheel, and consequently hitting my head on the roof. My other option was to recline the seat slightly in order to get adequate headroom, but when I adjusted the seat forward enough to reach the steering wheel, I didn't have enough foot room. I'm sure this will be a factor for buyers comparing the Scion TC to the Civic Coupe.
  • I think that Toyota would have fixed this issue. This is because they are very good with consumer feedback. Does anybody know?
  • The civic will outsell the tC by far. Civic is an established name that parents trust for their kids. The better styling on the civics will also attract a lot of attention.
  • Styling of course is very subjective. I'm not necessarily saying the tC is more attractive than the Civic Coupe, as I've yet to see one in person, but many probably will find it better looking overall. I think the number I heard for tC sales is around 80,000 (?), so it certainly has been a big success for Toyota. Certainly Civic sales overall will be much higher, but how about just for the Coupe?

    As for safety, both cars have all the necessary airbags that parents are looking for, but we've yet to see any crash ratings for the new Civic. The tC is heavier, though, and all other things being equal, it MAY be the safer of the two vehicles when colliding with a still heavier, other vehicle. On the other hand, those looking for maximum fuel economy will tend to favor the Civic, which is rated to do better than the tC, mostly because it does weigh less and has smaller displacement engine.

    I would love to hear comments from anyone who has driven both cars, ideally back-to-back and see which one they prefer, and why.
  • Personally, I would prefer the tC mainly because my friends who often need a ride :mad: :cry: can fit in the backseat and have something to do hince the dual moonroofs and reclining rear seats. It also offers more versitillity because of the hatch and more standard features :P . These all come in handy when being a student. Who doesn't want a little extra horse power? The tC is almost luxurious and stylish!
  • I mean and IS stylish :shades: !!!!!!!
  • I feel from driving both cars and owning a civic for some number of years that the tC has a lot more to offer. I'm 6.4 and i thought the tC very Spacious on the inside and very comfortable. Also the engine is so much more peppy than the civic. these factors really played a big part in my decision to buy a Tc instead of the Civic. plus the Tc comes with so many more standard features not to mention side head and knee airbags. The cargo space is rediculous with the rear seats folding down all the way and the passanger seat folding down all the way to so you get 8and a half feet of storage space witch is really unheard of in a coupe. The hatchback is so much more subwoffer friendly allowing all your bass to be heard not just 50% like the civic. and the rear seats recline too. As well as the steering blowing the civic away the car is just superior in every way. I wish everyone who was going to buy a civic would test drive a tc. You would instantly be able to see that toyota really made a 28,000 dollor car and put an 18,000 dollar price tag on it.

    civic-114 hp
    tC-160 hp (for less price) add a g and you get a dealer installed supercharger bumping your hp up to 210( :shades: ) plus you don't tell your insurance company about it and you still only pay 92 a month with geico for full coverage(and i'm only 21)
  • Is the supercharger now available to be installed by Scion dealers? I had read about how they had planned to develop this, but I didn't see any mention of it on their web page when I last looked. If you happen to know,

    1. How much does it cost (parts and labor)?
    2. Does Scion's drivetrain warranty apply shoud it fail or allegedly cause other damage?
    3. What are you hearing from anyone who's added one - how much faster does it make it and are there any lag issues? What's the penalty in terms of fuel economy?

    Very intriguing if the costs are reasonable and there aren't any significant downsides!
  • Ok, how about comparing it to the 06 civic, instead of the 05.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,367
    Well, I drove both again yesterday (actually, I drive the tC every day!)

    Lets see, some random points (this is a 2006 CIvic 4 door BTW):

    The tC engine is torquier, but the Civic is much smoother and revs better. And, the C/C will be alot more than 1K installed (I bet at least 2). The Civic though gets way better mileage ratings.

    the Civic is roomier up front. Lots more head room, and way better visibility. That is actually my complaint with the tC headroom (not hitting the roof, I just can't see out the side very well). back seat obviously goes to the Civic.

    CIvic trunk is bigger, but tC does have flexibility of being a hatchback, but with the seats up, trunk ain't that big.

    Civic steering is better than the tC. More direct, better feel, less bump steer and torques steer.

    Seats on the tC seem a little firmer, but overall, seem comparable in comfort.

    Clutch and shifter close enough.

    MSRP should favor the tC, but once the CIvic is selling at $200 over invoice, they should be about the same real world transaction price.

    Performace wise, it will be interesting to see real test results. The tC has more HP, but wieghs more, so I bet that practical performance will be comparable.

    In conclusion, both cars have +s and -s, but decide which one you want and don't look back. It will be hard to go wrong either way, so let's say they both win and call the contest a draw.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • Initial figures for the TRD supercharger are 3200 and 3600 with installation. It's still vaporware to me until it comes out, if it ever does!
  • The scion Tc is the coolest car out.And I love that car and am saving up to buy it so far my friend has it and it drives good and is a good size. I love that car and no one can change my mind about that. The civic is a nice car but i would prefer the Scion Tc over that. Its just the matter of what you like and everybodys opinion is good you just have to understand them from there point of view.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Also, the '06 Civic has a 5-speed automatic vs. 4-speed for the TC. I know many, or maybe most, Edmunds coupe & convert site participants prefer manuals, but significantly more Civics and TCs are automatic than manual.

    Regardless of which of these two cars you prefer, the bar is being raised very quickly.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Compare and contrast fun-to-drive and pride-to-be-seen-in factors, and value.
  • A Civic Si 6-speed compared to a Scion Tc 5-speed w /SC Depending on the extra options chosen on the Tc the prcing of each will be around $21K and both should have performance 0-60 in the 6.5-6.7 range. Early quotes about the Civic Si being 7.5 were gladly false.

    Braking, saloom times, handling , features will then come into play.

    It should be a great contest, with no real losers!

    Motor On,

  • ezpilzeezpilze Posts: 29
    I believe the civic will probably sell better mainly because it comes in so many flavors. However, if you're talking about the coupe vs tC, the tC may do better. Because I was looking mainly checking to see if the civic coupe was going to be enough for me or if I did indeed have to go with the si, so I did not pay too much attention to the interior of the civic coupe when I test drove it.

    Pros:excellent gas mileage, pleasant to rev, relatively good handling, comes in si for those who want it
    Cons: Poor rear leg room, high price when trying to get equivalent options to match base tC

    Pros: early RPM acceleration, good gas mileage, steering wheel is numb, many standard features, good rear leg and head room for a coupe, car feels sturdy and thick, quiet engine
    Cons: car struggles to reach next gear when revved, trunk is kinda small, steering wheel is numb, somewhat tacky interior

    I had tested each car evenly when driving them and this is what my opinion on the two are. The civic EX coupe is a more civilized car, but does allow you to push it quite a bit before reaching its limit. The car is fun to rev, handles turns rather well, but reaction of the car is some what slow. My brother practically had to sit sideways in the back of the car when I was trying it out. Interior build quality is still moderate, nothing real tacky, but nothing extravagent, just practical. The tC on the other hand had good torque for all of those who like that goodie goodie feel, but immediately retaliates when I try to really push it. Over 3500 rpm and the car kinda justs struggles to the redline, in hopes of low rpms again in the next gear. The tCs handling feels nice and tight at low speeds, but try to hit a corner at 45 miles, sorry, at 35 miles and you feel just how heavy the tC really is. Inside is VERY silent and rear legroom is VERY spacious for a coupe, however, some of the car like the interior door panels, and the center console, felt cheap rather tacky.

    All in all, I'd say the civic is a pretty good car those of us who just want to get around town, with perhaps a couple of mods, the civic does have potential to be a relatively fun car to drive (hence the si). The tC on the other hand is for people who want a torquey BMW or what not, but have a lower price range in mind. To me, the tC's lack of feedback in the steering wheel definitely would not make this car a good car to race or fling around town.
  • ezpilzeezpilze Posts: 29
    comparing the your older civic with the tC would not be the same as with the 06 civic since it now has 140 hp on the EX coupe. Sure the tC's low end torque is better than the civic coupe's, but things quickly shift the other way when you're hitting anything over 3500 rpm, the tC's acceleration then feels like I'm sitting/driving a bus, while the civic is still going head strong. The steering on the tC I do not see as being superior since its feather weight and lack of feedback would actually make the tC a DANGEROUS car to fling around curves. In addition, the tC's supercharger still won't help it in the handling department nor will it only cost a grand if you include installation fee, which is a must for dealer warranties, while keeping the supercharger a secret from your insurance company will prove to be very costly in the case of an accident. The si on the other hand, will not need a whiney supercharger or a 2.4 litre engine to give it 197 hp. The si from the way I see it is like the older rsx type-s, and when I test drove the 05 type-S, I found it to be much more of a funner car than the tC.
  • i USED TO own a scion tc until i got into a wreck and totalled the car i always thought it was the best car ever until i got into a wreck and lost everything. One question i do have about the scion tc is that why didnt the air bags pop out if the car flipped half way to its side and two of the sensors were hit? i have no idea but im in the proccess of finding out about all that. So for my new car im lookin into the new civic coupe 06 and so far everything seems hella better than the scion tc including airbags(side curtain airbags) which come standard on the civic...I am lookin for safety more than power and the civic seems to offer all that n more...including high mileage, all them airbags, and HP which is close to the 160 that the TC comes w/...anywyas reply back anyone who can help me out with the airbags not coming out question...thanks
  • As to why your airbags didn't deploy it's difficult to say without knowing all the facts, but at least for the front bags you need to have a fairly significant frontal impact that affects the structural integrity of the car starting with the front bumper. In my only at fault accident in nearly 40 years of driving, my front airbags did not deploy after I rear-ended a van (long story) even though my car was totalled out several weeks later. The reason: when I hit the brakes the car nose-dived enough so that my front bumper went underneath the higher rear bumper of the full sized van in front of me, so that my engine compartment took the brunt of the impact. As I said none of the airbags went off, and no one had the slightest bit of injury, but the insurance company ulimately decided to total my car. I received $37,000 for it which I used to buy another vehicle.

    So I wouldn't be too quick to blame the tC as each case is different, but if it wasn't a pretty direct frontal impact that affected the area where the front airbags sensors are I can see why they didn't deploy. You would think however that if the car nearly rolled over that the side airbags would have deployed, if your car had been so equipped. To me it would be a worthwhile option to buy on the tC and I would guess Scion would (or should) make it standard equipment on future models, like it is on this year's Civic.
  • Honestly I thought the Tc is a Camry hacked. It sure feels like someone set out to take an existing platform and adapt it to a new design and then stopped after working the exterior. From the outside the care looks hot. But climb in and you notice the doors are too long, the dash too long and shiny, and back seat headroom too low. Even the cheesy hatch cover seems half-assed. A piece of junk you have to snap in place to hide the contents of your trunk. Surely to be lost or destroyed in little time.

    The Civic, on the other hand, is one of the best thought-out cars I've ever had the pleasure to test (and likely buy). The trunk seems a little primitive and it doesn't have as many nooks as I like but overall everything just feels "right". Acceleration is anemic unless you get the RPMs up but considering you will get 38MPG this is tolerable. And Honda is clueful enough to realize that every new car stereo should play MP3s from the factory. Even more enlightened, they include a socket to plug your standalone MP3 player into the stereo.

    The Mazda3 and Mini are the only competitors worth comparing to the Civic.
  • I said the dash was too wide, not too long.

    Sorry to touch a nerve but when a 5'10" male sits in the back seat with his head touching the roof the entire time - the roof is too low.

    And since I forgot to mention it, the front pillars are too bog. Maybe it is the airbargs, but I found the pillars crowding my normal field of vision to the point that between the long dash and the pillars I felt like I was staring down a tunnel the entire time I was driving. Honda also has a sloped windsheild but they foun a way to make the space more useful and less distracting.

    But I do give the Tc props for looks. The interior just plain sucks though.
  • and when I test drove the 05 type-S, I found it to be much more of a funner car than the tC.

    I would hope so. Your comparing a car with @ 25% more HP & cost @ 25% more with added "S" features. I suppose it would then be fair to compare your RSX-S to cars that have 25% more power and cost 25% more. The results of course would begin to make the RSX-S look pale.

    My point? - compare apples to apples! The base RSX (and Mini, Civic, Mazda5 for that matter)do not compare to the tC where total value is concerned (price, Std. features, quality, reliability, etc.)
    We all have our preference as to what we want out of a car and what price we are willing to pay for those priorities. At $17k, you'd have to find a used RSX to compete with a new tC. $ isn't everything, but for the subtle differences between the base RSX and base tC, I'll take the tC.
  • Before you post check the specs. I dont mind if youre Honda fan or a Scion fan, but dont twist the fact.
    A lot about liking a car is subjective so dont compare two cars and tell us here that this dash is shinny , the door is too long like its a negative thing. It is for you but not for us. Maybe the door is long so that you can go in/out of the backseat easily. Dont get me started on the Civic by the way, you wanna know what I think about the Civic? Be prepared to defend it if you dare.
  • Apparently the specs are misleading. I'm telling you, I'm 5'10" and sitting in the back seat of the Tc my hair was touching the spot where the roof meets the rear window/hatch. If I leaned my head back slightly I could get a little extra headroom under the window glass but not exactly a natural posture. From a driver's perspective I give mad props to the Mazda3, hands down the best bang for the buck, but the Tc needs a complete interior redesign. The Civic has a sweet exterior and a love-it-or-hate-it interior. Especially the instrument panel/LCD HUD. I happen to love it.
  • Apperently the specs are misleading? You wanna measure the thing first before you tell me that? I mean measure it dont eyeball it. Are you telling me your body is the standard for measuring things now? Is the CD MP3 and iPOD/auxiliary port misleading too? Icant believe &(*&*(&*)(!
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    Apparently the specs are misleading. I'm telling you, I'm 5'10" and sitting in the back seat of the Tc my hair was touching the spot where the roof meets the rear window/hatch.

    I doubt they are misleading. If the specs are inaccurate I think someone would have complained by now, and I doubt Toyota would lie.

    I just checked Edmunds Road test on the TC
    One of the Cons was
    Downs: Questionable styling, interior feels cramped for taller drivers, options can get pricey.

    Giantkiller: The fact that you love the Civic's ugly exterior tells a lot about you
    You may think the Civic is ugly, but you have to remember that its your own opinion. Styling is subjective.
  • "interior feels cramped for taller drivers, "
    Like road test is the the bible of all road test.
    What about the "feel" isnt that subjective to you?
    Were talking about 2nd row seat here and here's the "official" figures and no such things as 'it feels like its 36.5in headroom" here.

    Scion tC
    Headroom (Front)37.6
    Headroom (Row 2)36.6
    Hiproom (Front)53.2
    Hiproom (Row 2)47.3
    Legroom (Front)41.6
    Legroom (Row 2)33.6
    Shoulder Room (Front)54.3
    Shoulder Room (Row 2)50.0
    Seating (Maximum)5

    Headroom (Front)37.8
    Headroom (Row 2)34.7
    Hiproom (Front)53.0
    Hiproom (Row 2)49.2
    Legroom (Front)42.6
    Legroom (Row 2)30.3
    Shoulder Room (Front)53.9
    Shoulder Room (Row 2)52.1
    Seating (Maximum)5

    By the way the Civic is fugly. You can say that its subjective all you want.
This discussion has been closed.