Is Scion as Reliable as Toyota? (Detailed Comparison and Reliability Explained)

Last Updated on December 25, 2022 by Leepu Da Maxim

The scion is a former automotive brand of Toyota that was discontinued in 2016. The brand was intended to appeal to young customers by emphasizing stylish, inexpensive, and distinctive compact sports vehicles. The cars were just as good as Toyota, and when the brand was discontinued, most of them were rebadged as Toyota while others were discontinued.

Key Takeaways

  • The brand Sonic was first launched in 2003 with a simplified sales concept named “pure price” with a non-bargainable base price
  • According to reliability index ratings, scion has a reliability rating of 3.8 out of 5, while Toyota has a rating of 4.0 out of 5
  • The average annual repair cost of a Toyota is $441 and $311 is for a Scion
  • Scion models had better fuel efficiency compared to the main Toyota vehicles

Overview of Scion

Scion used a simplified sales concept named “pure price” that avoided the current trim levels and dealer haggling. They offered every vehicle in a single trim with a non-bargainable base price. They also offered dealer-installed options to enable buyers to personalize their vehicles.

The brand was soft-launched in 2003 at selected dealers in California state then expanded nationwide in February 2004. In 2006, sales peaked, and 173034 units were sold. The brand later expanded to Canada in 2010. Sales fell after the financial crisis of 2007-2008, and Toyota’s proposition of aggressive pricing and short product cycles became unsustainable. Toyota decided to abolish the brand in August 2016, and the vehicles were either discontinued or rebranded as Toyotas.

Scion vs. Toyota Reliability

Scion vs. Toyota reliability

Reliability can be defined as the ability of a vehicle to be depended on to get you to your destination without stalling. Both scion and Toyota are rated as reliable and durable. There are various methods used to determine a car’s reliability. We’ll look at the various methods to determine which brand is more reliable by either measure.

Reliability index

The reliability index is a universal measure that considers a brand’s reputation for possible failures, how long it is likely to stay off the road due to repairs, and the cost of repair. This measure is comprehensive as it considers factors such as age and mileage. According to reliability index ratings, scion has a reliability rating of 3.8 out of 5, while Toyota has a rating of 4.0 out of 5. Going by this rating, it is safe to say that scion cars are almost as reliable as their Toyota brethren.

Cost of repair and maintenance

Vehicles with average repair costs are more reliable than those whose repair and maintenance costs are higher. This is because expensive cars to maintain might keep you off the road longer if they break down. The average annual repair cost of a Toyota is $441, while that of a scion is $311. Going by this measure, the scion is considered more reliable because you will spend considerably less to maintain it

Consumer surveys

Another common way to determine a vehicle brand’s reliability is to look at reviews from the owners. Reviews will give you a clear reflection of the situation on the ground. Toyotas have excellent customer reviews, and owners rate them highly for being dependable, fuel-efficient, and durable. Scion owners have also shown appreciation and satisfaction for the brand, with only the scion being termed as a disappointment.

Fuel economy

Toyota motor corporation is known for making fuel-efficient vehicles, whether the Toyota, Lexus, or Scion brands. Scion models had better fuel efficiency, mainly because they were designed to appeal to the younger generation as very affordable. Their fuel economy made the models very popular and was probably the reason why the 2006 sales were relatively high.

Are used Scion models worth it? ( five scion models to buy used)

Are used Scion models worth it

Scion models were designed to be as reliable as Toyotas but targeted a younger audience. Since they are reliable and durable, you can find a good used car that will serve you well. Let’s look at some of the best scion models you can buy used and their specifications.

1. 2016 scion FRS

The Scion FRS is a great sports coupe that is affordable, durable, and reliable. The model is a product of a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru. Whether you are looking for a platform to build on or just a powerful car that delivers excellent performance, you can’t go wrong with this one. The model has a well-balanced chassis, excellent steering, good fuel economy, fun to drive, and a comfortable driving experience. Buying a used one will cost between $22,499 to $26,990. Here’s a summary of the features and specifications of the 2016 Scion FRS.

Engine 2.0L direct-injection flat 4cylinder engine
Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
Drive trainRear-wheel drive
Fuel economy City: 25mpgHighway:34 mpg combined: 28 mpg  
Fuel typeGas 
Comfort featuresTwo headrests, child seat anchors, daytime running lights, cruise control, electronic power steering, and interior air filtration, among others
Entertainment featuresThere are eight speakers, USB,300 Watts stereo output, pioneer premium brand stereo, and auxiliary audio input.

2. 2015 Scion xB

With a budget of about $5,000, the scion xB is a perfect choice for anyone looking for reliability and fuel efficiency. It has a distinct design that resembles a mini-truck making it unique even today. The model has plenty of interior space and is fun to drive. It might be hard to find one with low mileage, but a test drive will help you get a good offer. Here are the specifications and features of the Scion xB

Engine type2.4L inline-four gas engine
Transmission 4-speed shiftable automatic
DrivetrainFront-wheel drive
Fuel efficiencyCityHighwayCombined: 24 mpg
Horsepower 158 hp@6000 rpm
Torque 162 lb.-ft @4,000 rpm
Safety featuresTwo front and three rear headrests, child seat anchors, dual front side and head airbags, 4-wheel ABS, tire pressure monitoring, emergency braking assist, ventilated front disc, and solid rear disc brakes
Entertainment features160-watt audio output, 6 speakers, premium brand speakers and stereo system, USB connection, auxiliary audio input, and USB and AM/FM stereo
Comfort features Cruise control, front and rear cupholders, electric power steering, rearview cameras, interior air filtration, single-zone front air conditioning

3. Scion TC

Scion TC is a hatch-style coupe with lots of features and equipment to make the car durable and comfortable. The model has proven to last for thousands of miles without breaking down or needing major repairs. Here’s a list of its features and specifications.

Engine 2.5L inline-four gas engine
Transmission 6- speed shiftable automatic 
Drive Type Front-wheel drive
Fuel economy Combined: 26 mpg City: 23 mpg highway: 3 mpg 
Fuel type Regular unleaded

Is Scion FR-S better than tC?

If you want a sports car, the Scion FR-S is a better option since it has a more powerful engine that offers better handling. It also has more features that make it practical and sportier. If you want a chilled-out car for daily driving, the Scion Tc is the better option for you.

When was the scion brand discontinued?

The scion was discontinued in 2016 because the sales kept dipping year by year. Toyota also said they realized they didn’t need a different nametag for vehicles to appeal to the younger generation. Most scion models were rebadged as Toyotas, while others were discontinued.

Does Toyota still make scion parts?

 Yes, even though the brand was discontinued, Toyota still produces parts used to repair and service used scion models. Most scion vehicles share platforms with Toyota making their parts interchangeable. If you need any part for your scion, you can visit a Toyota dealer for assistance.

Final word

Toyota’s scion cars were a great idea that didn’t bear fruit as expected. The brand didn’t appeal to the younger audience as much, and the sales were not so good to do Toyota stopped production. Scion models are as reliable as Toyota, only that they don’t come with premium features as a measure to reduce their price. A scion car can last over 200,000 miles with proper care and maintenance and can be modified to include the desired features.