I have never driven the TC, but from looking at it they seem to be good cars. The exterior is a little plain in my opinion, and I am not sure what to make of the nose of the car. It looks like a cross between a Volvo and a BMW 5 series. The interior looks nice for a car in that price range. Overall it doesn't look bad, but I think it is somewhat forgetable styling too. Certainly nothing that will stand out like the last Celicas do.
Options seem good on it for the price too. 160 HP motor, 17" wheels, decent stereo, the panoramic moonroof all for under $17K.
From reviews I have seen, the car is not as sporty feeling behind the wheels of some other competitors, but most sources feel it is a good drive.
The platform is the same as another Toyota in Japan, and shares it's parts and another Toyota's. Since it's Toyota made, there are TRD (www.trdusa.com) official parts for this car. 'Supposedly' they're going to develope a Supercharger for this engine.
Which the tC uses a Toyota engine new to the USA. It's a 2.4L VVT-i at 9.6:1 compression with 160 HP/163 ft-lbs. I'm betting this is part of the reason the Celica is getting canned too. This new engine produces more power then the older 1.8L VVT-i engine at lower RPMs with a much safer compression ratio. It's power is actually fairly close to the 1.8L VVTL-i engine without having to be so high strung. It'll probably produce a good bit more power if they make a VVTL-i version of this 2.4L, or if they Supercharge it too.