The Scion tC might not be a great platform for acceleration or straight-line speed. However, it weighs in around 2,900 to 3,100 pounds which helps deliver good handling. Add all of this together and one of the best upgrades is a set of Scion tC coilovers. Whether you want better handling, stance, lowering, or some combination of these coilovers are a great mod. In this guide, we discuss some of the best Scion tC coilovers kits along with price, spring rates, lowering, and more.
About Scion tC Coilovers
Coilovers isn’t a quick topic if you’re looking to learn everything. There are a lot of differences in design, spring rates, damping adjustments, and much more. We’ll cover most of the basics in this article. However, if you’re looking for more in-depth information then check out our general coilovers guide here.
Anyways, coilovers are basically the same thing as standard shocks or struts and coil springs. The major difference is the ride height adjustability that coilovers allow. Many Scion tC coilovers also offer damping adjustability to change the stiffness of the shocks. We’ll circle back to this info in a couple section. For now, let’s examine some of the benefits of upgrading to a tC coilover kit.
Benefits of tC Coilover Upgrades
Many associate coilovers with handling improvements, which can often be the case. However, that’s not the only benefit of coilovers. They’re a very versatile upgrade that can accomplish many things. A few benefits of Scion tC coilover kits include:
- Adjustable ride height (lowering or stance)
- Adjustable damping
- Better handling
- Improved comfort & ride quality
- Replace old suspension
Of course, it’s unlikely you’ll get all of these benefits from one set of tC coilovers. If your end goal is the ultimate handling and performance setup you’ll likely sacrifice some comfort. The same can be send if you intend to slam or stance your Scion. However, there are modest street coilover kits that can offer many of these benefits. If you just want a modest street upgrade and you’re replacing older suspension you’ll likely notice better handling and comfort.
Ultimately, coilovers present a lot of different possibilities. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for in Scion tC coilovers. Do you want the ultimate handling? Simply replacing old, worn suspension? Maybe you’re looking for a good street driving balance of handling, comfort, and a little bit of lowering.
Different coilovers may be better for different people depending on the end goal. There are a few key things to look for in a set of coilovers, though. In the next section, we run through the basics of what to look for depending on your goals. Again, reference the previously linked article if you’re looking for in-depth details.
What To Look For In Coilovers
There are a few key details that play a large role in handling, comfort, and more. The main coilover topics include:
- Shock design (twin-tube vs monotube)
- Damping (compression & rebound)
- Spring rates
- Ride height
We’re skipping the technical details in this article, so let’s just jump right into the end information. Monotube shocks offer the best response, damping, and handling. They’re the best option for handling, but generally cost more. Twin-tube designs are more popular since they’re a simple, cheaper shock that delivers good ride quality.
Certain coilover kits offer different degrees of damping adjustments. Some are simply preset from the factory and you can not adjust them afterwards. Anyways, damping adjustable Scion tC coilovers are ideal for track and street driven cars. If you plan to set it and forget it then there isn’t much need for adjustable kits.
Ride height is straight-forward, but check that the coilovers meet your goals for lowering or stance. Often, more aggressive street or track coilovers don’t allow for as much lowering. Slamming a car is not ideal for handling. Next up is spring rates, and this topic has its own section below.
Scion tC Coilover Spring Rates
It’s the springs that actually hold the entire weight of the car. They’re debatably the single most important part of any suspension system. It’s no surprise then that coil spring rates are one of the biggest topics.
Spring rates are usually quoted as 500 lbs/in, for example. In this case, it takes 500 pounds of force to compress the spring 1″. 1,000 pounds of force will compress the spring 2 inches. Kg/mm is standard for the metric system, and you may see simply ‘K’ for short.
The important thing here is that higher spring rates mean a stiffer spring. Stiffer springs help reduce weight transfer and body roll leading to better handling in some cases. However, stiffer does NOT always mean better. Too stiff a spring is not good on less smooth surfaces like public streets. Stiffer also means sacrificing ride quality.
That said, if handling or tracking is the end goal then going stiffer is usually a good bet. The same can be said for stancing since a stiff spring is needed to prevent the shocks from bottoming out. On the other hand, moderate spring rates can offer a good blend of comfort and handling while the softest springs deliver the best comfort.
Best Scion tC Coilovers
With the basics out of the way it’s time to move onto the more exciting part. What are the best Scion tC coilovers? In this section, we’ll address a few of our favorite coilover kits for the tC. Please note – this is far from an exhaustive list, and plenty of great options exist.
We’re simply focusing on some of our favorite Scion tC coilovers that deliver a good balance of price, quality, and performance. Again, remember your wants and goals before buying. The best coilovers for all-out handling aren’t the best coilovers for everyday street driving and vice-versa.
1) tC Raceland Coilover Kits
Tier: Entry-level street & stance
Lowering: 1-4″ (1-3″ for 2011-2016 Scion tC)
Buy Here: Raceland Scion tC Coilovers Upgrades
We find ourselves writing about Raceland coilovers in just about every coilover guide we write. Some may instantly be scared away by the low price, and assume they’re not a quality upgrade. However, that is not the case. To be very upfront – no, the Raceland coilovers aren’t a great option for all-out handling and performance. They’re entry-level street and stance coilovers for the Scion tC.
Raceland coilovers do exactly what they’re intended to do. They build quality kits at affordable prices with great customer service and very low return rates. What more can you ask for at the sub $450 price point for a full tC coilover kit? We can’t think of anything.
The 2005-2010 tC receives two different options. The Classic or Ultimo coilovers which offer 1-3″ and 2-4″ lowering, respectively. 2011-2016 Scion tC’s only receive the Classic coilovers. They’re all twin-tube shock designs with no damping adjustability. Again, not the ideal option if handling is the end goal.
Ultimately, Raceland delivers a great product if you just want a modest upgrade, stance, or are simply replacing old suspension. They’re really hard to beat at this price point, and they get tons of awesome feedback.
2) Tein Coilover Upgrades
Tier: Entry-mid level street
Tein Flex Z coilovers for the Scion tC are a pretty popular choice. They’re a bit more expensive than the Raceland options, and we’re less confident in their overall build quality. However, Scion tC Tein coilovers do add in damping adjustability. The Flex Z kit is 16-way adjustable. It’s about as cheap as adjustable coilover kits get.
Anyways, the Tein coilovers aren’t as good an option for stancing or lowering. Depending on the model year and specific kit you’ll get about 2 to 2.4″ of lowering at the most. Not quite enough for those looking to stance their Scion tC. However, it’s likely plenty of lowering range for those who just want something modest.
We’re not too sure how we feel about Tein overall. They made the list for good reason thanks to the adjustable features at this price. However, if handling is the end goal we would probably move onto something a bit more capable like the BC Racing coilovers up next.
3) Scion tC BC Racing Coilovers
Tier: Mid-high level street & track
Price: $1,030 – 1,800+
Buy Here: tC BC Racing Coilover Kits
BC Racing offers some of the most customizable coilover kits on the market. Their Scion tC BR-Series coilovers are the most popular option, and start around $1,030. It’s a monotube shock design with 30-clicks of compression and rebound adjustment. Already off to a great start for those looking for the ultimate handling setup.
The BC Racing Scion tC coilovers also allow you to choose your own spring rates. Throw in an extra $320 and you can land yourself a Swift Spring upgrade. They’re often known as some of the best coil springs around. Once again, you can choose your own spring rate that best meets your goals and needs.
Those looking for even more can opt to upgrade to the DS or RM series coilovers, but they’ll push you beyond the $1,500 mark. Nonetheless, BC Racing builds some awesome Scion tC coilovers that are highly customizable. Look no further if you want to build the ultimate street or track handling package.
Scion tC Coilovers Summary
It’s unlikely the tC’s straight-line performance is going to wow anyone. However, it’s a very light and nimble car that delivers good handling from the factory. A set of Scion tC coilovers can take the car to the next level. They also present lots of opportunities including lowering, stance, and more.
Spring rates, damping, ride height, and shock design are some important topics to consider. Know your goals and choose a coilover kit that best fits those goals. For aggressive handling you’ll likely want a stiffer setup at the cost of ride quality. Otherwise, look for some modest kits that deliver a good blend of street comfort and handling.
Raceland is by far our favorite budget coilovers kit for the tC. At less than $450 they deliver great quality and good customer support. It’s hard to ask for much more at this price. Tein is a good budget option that allows for damping adjustments. Otherwise, BC Racing builds some amazing customizable kits.
What’s your experience with Scion tC coilovers? Are you considering any?
Drop a comment and let us know!