West Hollywood ho: Gaywheels’ newest writer tunes in with Scion’s sexy coupe.
by Michele Fleury
“Are you sure you’re okay back there?”
I asked Tasha for a few good reasons, not the least of which was her tiny knees. Tasha lost a vital game of rock, scissors, paper before we drove to West Hollywood for a Curl Girls event at Club Eleven, and I was afraid she already regretted it.
No worries. Even tucked in the back seat of the 2008 Scion tC, my first test car for Gaywheels.com, she fared just fine. Even though she’s five feet, seven inches, the Scion’s plenty big enough in back, with a long 106.3-inch wheelbase and 69.1 inches of width.
That nearly-WNBA-ready rear legroom was the first of many surprises this small but intelligently designed car had in store for me. Navigating the 101 and Santa Monica Boulevard was easy, thanks to the tC’s 161-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and a sport-tuned suspension capped by grippy tires.
But the space – and the sexy style of this otherwise frugal car – impressed all the riders I could squeeze in. Space is generous and clever in the tC. Both back seats fold down flat for 8.5 feet of length for cargo, or have the 60/40 split option–which turned out to be perfect for transporting my surfboards and my 70-pound dog to the beach the next morning. Inside, the Scion wears its map pockets, cup holders, cell phone holders, a dual compartment center console and even more storage under the rear cargo area like a more practical sedan would.
Elsewhere in the well-styled cabin, the tC avoids the glamourless approach that kills the fun in most economy cars. There are metallic details, an interesting textured fabric on the door panels, and not too much cheap plastic. And outside, a recent face lift gives style gurus a reason to stay interested. The front grille, taillights and headlights have been redesigned, giving the exterior a more modern feel.
For only $17,800 MSRP, the Scion tC makes for a great bargain in the coupe segment, where $25,000 Mitsu Eclipses are more common. The Scion’s packed with standard features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, A/C, cruise control, power windows, an iPod-ready Pioneer sound system, keyless entry, power locks, six airbags, and my absolute favorite feature, a panoramic glass moonroof.
If these options aren’t enough, Scion allows you to customize it further with options like downloadable skins, pictures or movies to play on the sound system’s LCD faceplate; leather-wrapped shift knobs; 18-inch alloy wheels and rear spoiler to name a few. You can also work with Scion dealers’ Optomize Accessory Program for more top of the line, name-brand items.
With a line full of cute girls next to the club entrance, I was horrified at the thought of my friend struggling out of the car with an audience. Luckily for Tasha, getting out of the backseat was simple thanks to the folding front seat that easily moves down and forward, leaving a wide space for entry and exit. No fuss, no foul — and lots of attention from the ladies in waiting.
You’ll feel sharp and look sharper driving up in the tC–and you’ll probably have enough left over for more club dates after the payment’s made.
Scion is a gay-friendly company.