I test drove it this afternoon. The salesmen asked, "so who you buying this for, Son?, Daughter?" His eyebrows went up when I said, "me".
My general reaction is that is a really nice little car. Two door hatchback.
I'm beyond the car seat, booster seat, running the kids to soccer practice stage of life. But, I'm also not at the stage of life where I can run out and drop 45k on a new Audi either.
The specs on it note the horsepower at 180 and the torque at 178 ft/lbs, both around 4000 rpm. I don't think I've ever run an engine up to 4000 rpm in my life, but there you have it. So my performance review resides in the 0 to 2200 rpm range via the kx59 derriere dynomometer.
The bucket seats adjust for height and length, and fit my bulky 6'-2" frame just fine. The steering wheel both tilts and telescopes. Not much is needed in the way of options. The base car model is surprisingly well outfitted. The base sound system pumps out 300 watts, which is not a necessity for AM talk radio, so I left that off during the test drive.
The auto transmission is a 6 speed that can be run in full auto or semi-manual shift.
The tC looks a lot faster than it is. I thought it was a bit sluggish off the line, but it upshifts and downshifts through the gears pretty well. More on the resolution of that later.
One of the key things I was looking for in this test drive was how well it handled on the highway at kx59 speed. If memory serves from my research, this car has a curb weight of 2900 lbs, which usually translates to rather flighty handling on the interstate. Cruising at 75 or 80, the tC feels like a much longer and heavier coupe. It tracked well and felt rock solid. kx59 was highly pleased. The ride is firm, but not teeth rattling.
In the pro vs. con comparison, the only two cons I have are the sluggish throttle response and the brake pedal being so close to the gas pedal. I have the same problem with the Astro van with respect to the pedals (just call me paddle foot), but I adapted quickly.
Four wheel disk brakes, dual moon roof , 18" alloy wheels. Back seat lays down flat for more lengthy cargo room (ammunition, Belle's Tokorev, etc, etc, etc)
The sluggish throttle response is easy to resolve however. To boost gas mileage, auto manufacturers de-tune the engine via the engine control module (the 'puter that controls everything and costs a butt load when it craps out). Being the Great Entrepreneurial Nation that we are, serious gearhead aftermarket auto parts manufacturers have a solution. Its called a performance chip, which replaces the OEM chip in the ECM (l m n o peeeee). I just love acronyms. Makes me want to sing the alphabet song.
So the sluggish throttle response, I can solve for very little money, or time for that matter.
I'll miss being able to see over most of the other vehicles on the road, the ground clearance, and the lack of AC..and Heat....