Monthly Archives: January 2015

2006 Scion TC Review

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In the mid-2000s, Toyota created Scion, a division catering to a youthful audience. Scion’s first three models were the xA and xB compact hatchbacks as well as the TC coupe. Based off the European Toyota Avensis (Think European Toyota Camry), the 2005 TC sought to combine affordability and reliability in a fun package. The first generation was a success, selling over 70k units in its first model year. Another reason it sold well when it launched was because of its low price and its long list of standard equipment. For 16 grand, you got dual sunroofs, keyless ignition, cruise control, Pioneer sound system, and alloy wheels. I remembered wanting one of these when it came out. I liked the styling, and that you could get one for so cheap, and I liked that it could be customized in many ways. One of the reasons Scion appealed to young people was because of the huge tuning support and the customization options that came with the cars.  I first became a fan of this car through the Midnight Club 3 video game. You started out with a couple of entry level cars such as the Dodge Neon SRT4, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Golf, Mitsubishi Eclipse, or the Scion TC. I chose the Scion TC every time I started the game. I am not a fan of the second generation TC, but I have always favored this first generation which is why I was excited when I got the opportunity to review this TC.  Continue reading

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Liam’s 1994 Nissan 300SX

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This story is written by my friend Liam. Like me, Liam is an aspiring car designer, and a talented one at that. I met him through car design camp in Michigan two summers ago, and Liam has graciously volunteered to write about his Nissan. I hope you guys enjoy it!  Continue reading

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2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder Review

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Despite all the attention on Toyota’s plain Jane but reliable Corolla and Camry sedans, Toyota did actually have a reputation for making affordable sports cars. Reputable examples of this are the Supra, Celica, and the MR2. In 1976, Toyota came up with a proposal for a vehicle that placed an emphasis on driving dynamics while providing typical Toyota virtues such as reliability, affordability, and fuel efficiency. Akio Yashida, the man behind the original MR2 decided on a mid-engine configuration for optimal handling balance. A company known for its practical and ordinary cars, the  1984 MR2 proved that Toyota could make fun and affordable sports cars. Even though it was powered by small engines, the MR2’s sub 2,500 pounds curb weight gave it unbeatable balance and go kart reflexes. Combine the legendary handling with typically Toyota quality and reliability as well as affordability, and the first generation MR2 would become one of Toyota’s greatest cars ever made. My friend’s mom who currently drives a Mercedes C250 Coupe told me her first car was a supercharged 1988 MR2 five speed. Even though she has had some sweet cars over the years as well as four Mercedes-Benzes, she still claims the MR2 was the best car she ever had, and would buy another one if Toyota still produced them. The MR2 was redesigned in 1989 (North America got the second MR2 in late 1990 as a 1991 model year car). In contrast to the first generation’s angular styling, the second featured curvier and shapely styling. The second MR2 also gained weight significantly and horsepower was increased. While it was commercially successful, MR2 purists did not like it as much as the first due to the loss of delicate handling as an effect of the increased curb weight. In 1999, Toyota redesigned the MR2, bringing it closer to the weight of the first generation, and coined its moniker, MR2 Spyder. Sadly, Toyota discontinued the MR2 Spyder in 2007 (2005 in North America).  Continue reading

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