The Scion IA was essentially a rebadged version of the Mazda2 and was even built alongside it at Mazda’s plant in Mexico. It was new for the 2016 model year and made its debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show. Compared to the Mazda 2, the front end had a different design and the front grille was different, but that was about the extent of it. Inside, the IA is pretty much a direct carryover from the Mazda2. It did feature some premium features like a center display screen and a fairly upscale look for a compact vehicle. The Scion IA may look like a compact sports sedan, but under the hood, there’s nothing to write home about. The car was offered with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers just 106 horsepower and a combined fuel economy of 37 mpg. With a six-speed manual transmission, the IA was priced at $15,700 while those equipped with an automatic transmission were priced at $16,800.

The IA, along with the Scion IM was originally intended to breathe some new life into the struggling Scion brand. Unfortunately, it was too little too late, and the Scion brand has since been discontinued. The IA will carry on, however, as the Toyota Yaris IA starting in August of 2016 for 2017. Despite switching over to the Toyota branding, the IA will carry on as a competitor for the Kia Rio and the Nissan Versa, among others, but whether or not the IA will indeed be the hit Scion expected it to be has yet to be seen. With that said, take a look at our full review below to see the car that could have potentially saved the Scion brand had it come to the market sooner than it did.

Updated 06/29/2015: Scion announced that the all-new 2016 iA will arrive at dealerships on September 1st. The model will be priced from $15,700 for the six-speed manual transmission version and $16,800 for the six-speed automatic. Prices do not include $795 delivery, processing and handling fee. Also, check our first drive review here.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Scion iA sedan.

  • 2016 Scion iA
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    Six-Speed Manual (Est.)
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    106 (Est.)
  • MPG(Cty):
    33 (Est.)
  • MPG(Hwy):
    42 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    15700
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Rendering

2016 Scion iA Exclusive Renderings
- image 623564

Exterior

2016 Scion iA High Resolution Exterior
- image 621803

Our rendering of the 2016 Scion iA proved to be a dead ringer for the final version of the car. That means that with the exception of the front fascia and headlights, the Scion is identical to the Mazda2 sedan – even the wheels are carried over from Mazda. The good news here, of course, is that it looks like Mazda’s smallest sedan won’t be sold in North America, which means that if you want a four-door version of the next-gen Mazda2, you’re going to have to visit your local Toyota/Scion dealership. You can definitely see the influence of Mazda’s design language with the swoopy wheel arches, but that aggressive front fascia sure does add a different look to the familiar Mazda lines.

Interior

Like the exterior, the inside of the 2016 Scion iA is a direct carryover from the 2016 Mazda2 hatchback. Again, though, this isn’t a bad thing. The three-pod gauge cluster and three-spoke steering wheel add a sporty feel, while the premium features like the center display screen give the cabin a more upscale look. The key difference between the U.S.-spec Mazda2 and the iA is the rear seating and cargo area. The iA offers split folding rear seats, and while Scion has yet to divulge what volume the iA’s cabin or trunk will have, judging by recent Mazda products, the next-gen Mazda2 and this Scion sedan will both be extremely roomy.

Drivetrain

Scion calls the 2016 Scion iA a sports sedan, and while it might look the part, it definitely doesn’t back up that claim under the hood. In what should be a familiar theme by now, the Scion iA matches the powertrain of the 2016 Mazda2, which comes exclusively with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 106 horsepower. Scion will offer the car with either a six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual, and it expects fuel economy rating to be 33 mpg city and 42 mpg highway. That should be good enough for a best-in-class claim.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 1.5-Liter 4-Cyl
Output (HP @ RPM) 106 @ TBA
Torque (LB-FT @ RPM) TBA
Transmission 6-Speed Manual (6-Speed Auto Opt.)
Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) 33/42/37 EST.

Prices

The 2016 iA is priced from $15,700 for the 6-speed manual transmission version and $16,800 for the 6-speed automatic one. Prices do not include $795 delivery, processing and handling fee.

This price will position the Scion slightly higher than many of its subcompact sedan rivals, but it will also offer a good amount of standard equipment to warrant the price. The new sedan will continue the brand’s mono-spec model offering, and it will be “well equipped” with standard features that include push-button start, multi-media with a 7-inch display screen, a Low-Speed Pre-Collision safety system and more.

Competition

Nissan Versa

2015 - 2016 Nissan Versa Sedan High Resolution Exterior
- image 548600

The key advantage that the 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan holds over the competition is its starting price. At just $11,990, the Versa continues to be one of the lowest-priced new cars on the market, but you’re definitely going to see where that savings comes from. Air conditioning and Bluetooth hands-free are standard, but you’re going to have to pay extra if you want power windows, power door locks or cruise control. In fact, these features aren’t even offered on the base Versa S trim level; you’re going to have to step up the $15,530 Versa SV if you want all of these convenience items.

Read our full review of the 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan here.

2016 Kia Rio Sedan

2016 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
- image 616708

If you’re in the market for a sporty subcompact, the 2015 Kia Rio is the way to go. For starters, the Rio has the highest output in the segment with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that puts out 138 horsepower, and this engine is standard on the Rio Sedan and Rio5 hatchback, which are both priced starting at $13,990. Despite the higher output, the Rio’s fuel economy is still on par with its competition.

The styling has been updated for the 2016 model year, but Kia has yet to officially announce pricing. It should still be close to the 2015 Rio’s pricing, but it still does not include power windows, door locks or cruise control. Unlike the Versa, though, Kia does offer the $1,200 Power Package on the base Rio LX to add on such equipment, but it is only available with the automatic transmission, meaning the starting price with these features would increase to $16,390.

Read our full review of the 2016 Kia Rio Sedan here.

Conclusion

Although the 2016 Scion iA only gets a handful of distinctions from the Mazda2, it is still a very stylish subcompact sedan with excellent fuel economy. Where it does stand out from the Mazda is when it comes to actually purchasing the car with Scion’s “no-hassle” pricing, and Toyota’s broader dealer network will surely be an attractive reason to choose this four-door Scion over the hatchback Mazda.

  • Leave it
    • One of the highest base MSRPs in the segment
    • Not much originality to separate it from the Mazda2

Press Release

Scion is expanding its line-up in more ways than one. In addition to adding a new vehicle to its stable, it’s also adding its first-ever sedan, the remarkably sporty, yet very affordable, 2016 Scion iA.

The Scion iA sedan joins the all-new 2016 Scion iM hatchback for a one-two punch in the subcompact and compact segments.

The new sans-hatch Scion will arrive in dealerships this fall for an estimated MSRP in the $16,000-range. That’s for a mono-spec model equipped with standard Low-speed Pre-collision safety system and 7-inch multi-media system with voice activation. Because Scion has a no hassle, no haggle Pure Price, customers walk out the door with the same price they saw posted in the dealership.

“Dramatic” could be an understatement when describing the visual impact of the 2016 Scion iA. Beneath the daringly curved sheetmetal lies a tight, agile machine that re-defines “entry level.” Call the design “class above,” a term that applies throughout the car.

If the Scion iA happens to be a customer’s first new car, then it’s going to be fondly remembered no matter how many others come later. If it’s a second car for the household, it may start arguments over who gets to drive it.

The basic ingredients: a high-strength body structure, quick-revving, high-compression 1.5-liter engine with 106 hp; choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions; standard 16-inch alloy wheels, and manufacturer-estimated fuel economy ratings of 33 city / 42 highway / 37 combined MPG.

What Do Those Letters Mean?
There’s no mystery to the Scion iA badge. The “i” in the all-new 2016 Scion iA and iM models suggests Individual. Intriguing. Easy on the customer’s income. The “A” in iA could mean aggressive styling, accommodating cabin and trunk, and affordable.

Curves Ahead, Trunk Behind
The 2016 Scion shows a familiar brand face with a hexagon lower grille and sharp-eyed headlights. In the rear, the spacious trunk gives it a distinctive look in the segment.

The Scion iA cuts a striking profile that certainly stands out in a crowd. To make the most of its sophisticated sedan breeding, the iA also sports an upscale looking piano black bumper treatment, chrome grille surround and chrome tailpipe.

The Scion iA does inherit a critical item from its hatchback siblings, a standard 60/40 split rear seat back to extend carrying capacity and versatility.

As Fun As It Looks
Push the “Start” button (because Keyless Entry with Push-Button Start is standard), and the Scion iA springs to life with a sporty yet muted rasp from its chrome tailpipe. It’s the sound of a very high-tech 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that’s big in both spirit and technology.

In other words, the Scion iA zips as it sips. Much credit also goes to the choice of transmissions. The standard 6-speed manual is compact and lightweight, and is super low on friction with a short stroke, making it one of the sweetest-shifting manuals around.

For those who prefer an automatic transmission, the available 6-speed automatic will be intriguing. Engineered for light weight, low friction and a direct-shift feel, the automatic has a bit of a dual personality. It moves the Scion iA off from a standing start with the smoothness only a torque converter automatic can deliver, yet very quickly afterward locks the converter for quicker, more direct shifts and higher fuel economy. For drivers seeking greater torque feel, a Sport Mode feature is available with the flip of a switch.

Agility is engineered into the Scion iA, not just added on with stiffer springs and shocks. The body structure uses straight beams wherever possible, continuous framework that makes the individual sections function in harmony, and effective positioning of high-tensile steel. Bottom line, it’s strong.

The MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension are tuned for a just-right balance of sporty handling and comfortable ride not normally associated with this segment. Steering and brake system tuning, in particular, received attention more befitting of a sport sedan than an “economy car.” The Scion iA uses a rigid steering mount, which provides a direct yet light feel also unexpected in low-priced, high-MPG models. Progressive braking feel comes to the fore when cornering. Entering the curve, the pedal provides smooth operation, then progresses to a more rigid feel as G-force rises.

Big on Safety
That high-strength structure also forms the foundation for safety in the Scion iA. A solid H-shaped ring structure joins the roof and B-pillars to underbody and combines with high-tensile steel on key frame members and a part of the floor to form a robust structure.

Front side airbags and curtain airbags help protect front and rear seat occupants. But the biggest safety news in this $16,000-ish Scion iA is a standard Low-speed Pre-collision system that uses a laser sensor to help the driver avoid collisions and to help minimize damage in the event of an accident. A rear view back-up camera is also standard.

Scion = Amazing Value
Looks do not deceive in the Scion iA cabin. Premium chrome accents and soft-touch trim and surfaces belie the car’s price point, a value equation that runs in the Scion family. For starters, consider how the iA accommodates a wide range of drivers’ physiques, including its 10-inch fore-aft slide adjustment and the standard seat height adjuster, too. There’s no skimping with the steering wheel, which offers tilt and telescoping adjustments.

It’s easy to take for granted features like cruise control and power windows, locks and exterior mirrors, because they’re standard in most cars over a certain price. On some cars in the Scion iA’s neighborhood, those could be extra-cost options, but they’re all included on the 2016 iA’s lengthy standard equipment roster.

The sporty steering wheel has control switches for the audio and standard Bluetooth. Hardly “entry level,” the standard 7-in. Display Audio system has a touch screen, 6 speakers, remote interface and rear-view camera. Pandora®, Aha™ and Stitcher™ come standard, too, providing a huge music, talk and podcast universe when paired with a compatible phone. For those who want to bring their own music into the iA, two USB ports and an Auxiliary input are standard. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel by using Voice Recognition to control many of the multi-media system features. An available navigation system is also offered through Scion dealers.

Make It Your Own
One could buy the Scion iA, choose the color and be perfectly happy with the result. For those who see the car as a blank canvas, Scion offers a full range of dealer-installed accessories, as it does for all its models.

A number of Scion dealers have inaugurated Pure Process Plus, which allows customers to research a car through Scion.com, find it at a dealership, apply for credit and secure a price, all without leaving the couch. Scion will continue working with dealers and Toyota Financial Services to fine-tune the process and plans to significantly expand its reach in 2015.

Limited Warranty
Like all Scion models, the 2016 iM is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. It also comes with Scion Service Boost, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and two years of 24-hour roadside assistance.

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