The Scion brand was created to appeal to the younger population. Instead of spending money on R&D, however, Scion had a bad habit of bringing about badge-engineered to Scion dealerships. For 2016, the brand was hoping to create more interest in the brand by debuting two new models – the Scion iA and the Scion iM. The Scion iM was a compact hatchback that was derived from the Toyota Corolla Wagon, or Auris, as the rest of the world knows it. Targeted at youth throughout North America, the iM was available with the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder from the Toyota Corolla Eco. It put out 137 horsepower and was able to attain 37 mpg on the highway. Outside it had fairly stylish looks and a pretty sporty front fascia. Mild body lines gave the car a sleek appearance. Inside the car had a pretty upscale cabin for a car that commanded less than $20,000, featuring dual zone climate control, a seven-inch infotainment system and other little technological and safety goodies.

Just like the iA, Scion was hoping the iM would generate some more cash flow and breathe new life into a company that was quite literally on its last leg. As you probably already know at this point, however, these new models didn’t come soon enough to save the company and the Scion brand has now been discontinued. So, for the 2017 model year, you’ll find the iM marketed under the Toyota brand as the Corolla iM. With that said, it’s time to take a look at our full review of the iM before we start seeing it with a Toyota badge plastered to the back of it. The iM is currently going for just more than $18,000 but expect that pricing to increase a little bit under the Toyota name.

Updated 06/29/2015: The new Scion iM will arrive at U.S. dealers on September 1st, 2015. Prices will start from $18,460 for the manual transmission and $19,200 for the CVTi-S model. Prices do not include $795 delivery, processing and handling fee. Also, check our first drive review here.

Continue reading to learn more about the iM.

  • 2016 Scion iM
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    137
  • MPG(Hwy):
    37 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    1.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    115 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    front engine, FWD
  • Price:
    18460 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Scion iM
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2016 Scion iM
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2016 Scion iM
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The iM’s roots are clearly visible in its bodywork. Up front, the grille, lower fascia, and hood slope are all familiar. The large, raked windshield curves back into the hatch, just like the Auris. The D-pillars have a similar look to the CT 200h, though placed side by side, are very different. Around back is a large rear bumper with a faux-diffuser and ground effects. Alien-like taillights are mounted high on the rear, keeping them away from danger during newbie parking accidents.

Swanky 17-inch alloy wheels add some up-level touches to the outside, as do the body-colored door handles, shark-fin antenna, and mirror caps. Speaking of those side mirrors, the iM comes standard with power-folding, power-glass mirrors that are heated. Very nice.

The iM comes in six colors: Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Barcelona Red Metallic, Spring Green Metallic, and Electric Storm Blue.

Interior

2016 Scion iM
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2016 Scion iM
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2016 Scion iM
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Those familiar with the Corolla interior will immediately recognize this. Though there are several changes, the dashboard has the same look and feel. Front and center is that 7-inch infotainment screen with Toyota’s Entune system. It offers Bluetooth connectivity, aux inputs, and USB charging. Down below, the HVAC system is upgraded with dual zone climate controls. A digital readout adds a more techie feel. That techie theme continues onto the driver’s gauge cluster where a 4.2-inch TFT display shows vehicle stats and radio information in a multi-page layout.

Rear-seat room is adequate for two adults or three smaller passengers. Better yet, the seats fold flat 60/40 style for hauling all that dorm furniture to college.

The iM also comes standard with a list of safety items. The front seats have an integrated Whiplash Injury Lessen feature, and eight airbags protect occupants from injury. The airbags include a driver’s knee airbag and a front-passenger seat-cushion airbag, along with the two main dashboard airbags and side curtain airbags.

For those with pets, Scion is touting its pet-friendly accessories that fit the iM. The offerings include door panel guards, dog harnesses, seat covers, and a “grass pad” that is supposed to keep dogs from standing on the center console.

Drivetrain

2016 Scion iM
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Powering the iM is Toyota’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder. Like the Corolla Eco, this mill uses Toyota’s new Valvematic continuously variable valve timing that adjusts both lift and phasing to offer a board torque curve and reduce fuel consumption. The engine produces 137 horsepower and is estimated to achieve 37 mpg on the highway. That’s pretty impressive for this size car without hybrid guts.

Mated to the engine is your choice of the standard, six-speed manual transmission or the newish CVTi-S. Toyota says the manual offers short throws for “a more active driving experience.” It also comes standard with Hill Start Assist, making hilly terrain less daunting for folks with only two legs. The iM also has a well-placed hand brake for those who prefer the manual version of hill start assist.

Folks who choose the CVT should enjoy the improvements Toyota says it’s made with the automatic transmission. The CVTi-S is said to be sportier and more rewarding to drive than other CVTs. A manual mode gives drivers seven “gears” to sequentially shift through. There’s a sport mode as well.

Thankfully that “sport” has some well-match hardware in the suspension that should keep up with fun-loving drivers. An independent rear suspension offers better handling characteristics than the old-school solid beam type, and skinny tires give way to more substantial 225-series rubber.

Prices

2016 Scion iM
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The 2016 Scion iM is priced from $18,460 for the manual transmission and $19,200 for the CVTi-S model. Prices do not include $795 delivery, processing and handling fee.

Competition

2015 Ford Focus

2015 Ford Focus High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The 2015 Ford Focus will be one vehicle that the iM will need to fend off in the U.S. The Focus starts out at $17,170, which is slightly less than the iM’s starting price, despite its larger size.

The Focus comes standard with 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower. Optionally, buyers can go for a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 123 horsepower, or they can go all-out and get the ST model with a 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.

2015 Kia Forte5

2014 Kia Forte5 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 510162

The Forte5 starts off at the higher EX trim level, so it is slightly expensive at $19,690, but it comes standard with a ton of features. The list of features includes keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED positioning lights, and more.

Under its hood, the Forte5 is one of the more powerful vehicles in the class below hot-hatches, thanks to its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower. Moving into the SX trim level adds a more potent 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder that produces 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Conclusion

2016 Scion iM High Resolution
- image 624633

Wagons typically don’t sell well in the U.S. – that much is a given. But slap some interesting styling on a hip brand, and this just might work. What’s more, this is a win-win for Toyota and Scion. Toyota sells more units of its Auris/CT 200h platform, helping to offset development costs, while Scion gets a much-needed new model that will appeal to younger audiences. Boom.

All that aside, the iM looks like a winner. It’s far less quirky than Scions of old and will hopefully appeal to more buyers. Scion still has some growing to do as a brand, but things are turning in its favor.

The iM and the iA sedan will reach dealerships just in time for the back-to-school rush, both arriving in the fall of 2015.

Updated History

Updated 04/01/2015: The new Scion iM made its world debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show and will be put on sale this fall with a price starting under $20,000.

Updated 03/26/2015: Based on the recent rumors and with inspiration from the concept version we’ve created a rendering for the upcoming iM hatchback. We hope you like it!

Rendering

2016 Scion iM Exclusive Renderings
- image 623937
  • Leave it
    • Lost some of its coolest design features from concept to production
    • Could probably use some more power
    • Will this wagon sell in the U.S.?

Press Release

If the badge on the all-new 2016 Scion iM stood for “instant message,” the message to young buyers would be that they can now get a fun-to-drive, high-style, high-content, high-MPG rated hatchback for a whole lot less than they’d expect. The all-new Scion iM arrives in dealerships this fall, starting under $20,000. In true Scion practice, that’s for a mono-spec model equipped like an upgrade model from competitors.

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

The all-new 2016 Scion iM is the answer for young buyers looking for a sporty hatchback, but who still need to pay for things like rent, food, school loans and weekend fun with friends. Its bodylines are ripped. The cabin is roomy, refined, versatile and high-tech-equipped. The 1.8-liter DOHC Valvematic engine is eager to rev and very easy on gas. The chassis, with sophisticated double-wishbone rear suspension and standard 17-inch alloy wheels, is ready to smooth out urban bumps and tame adventurous curves. For more hands-on driving fun, a six-speed stick shift is also available.

For safety, the 2016 Scion iM comes with eight standard airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.

Design: The Meaning of iM
In the name, the “i” stands for individual. Intriguing. Easy on the customer’s income. For the M, think modern, multi-faceted and magnetic. The iM could be a first new car, but don’t call it “entry level.” It will easily compare to hatches that start in the same price neighborhood but then demand a higher tax bracket when you add in needed upgrade options.

The Scion iM shows a familiar face, with a hexagon lower grille, sharp-eyed headlights and side bezels with honeycomb mesh pattern seen also on the brand’s FR-S sports car. That aerodynamic expression carries into the profile, which conveys dynamic movement from the lower front to the rear. It’s like a “swoosh line” rendered in steel.

2016 Scion iM
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Detailing on the Scion iM belies the affordable pricing. The piano black grille treatment, standard sporty body aero kit, LED daytime running lights and taillights leave an unmistakable signature. Also true to the Scion way, the color selection gives the design tremendous visual pop: Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Barcelona Red Metallic, Spring Green Metallic and Electric Storm Blue.

One Spec: Fun
Gas prices come down. Gas prices go back up. Young buyers like to avoid pain at the pump no matter what. The 2016 Scion iM offers a sweet spot of performance and efficiency, with Scion estimating a 37-MPG highway fuel economy rating. Then comes the fun side. The 137 hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine uses Valvematic continuously variable valve timing (lift and phasing) technology to offer a broad torque curve, so the iM feels responsive in all situations.

For driving purists, the Scion iM has a standard 6-speed stick shift that’s a slick shift, making for an engaging and active driving experience. Got hills? The Scion iM comes standard with Hill Start Assist, which helps prevent roll-back when you’re pulling away from a stop sign or traffic light on an incline.

The optional automatic is also perfectly suited to the 1.8-liter engine. It’s an intelligent Continuously Variable Transmission that’s been sport-tuned for driving pleasure. That’s why it’s called the CVTi-S. Not all CVTs operate as responsively as the CVTi-S in the Scion iM. This one’s got both a Sport mode as well as manual shifting capability with seven stepped shift points.

In Sport mode, the CVTi-S alters shift points and also provides a livelier feel through the electric power steering programming and accelerator responsiveness. G AI-SHIFT logic detects lateral G force during cornering and maintains engine speed by restricting unnecessary shift changes.

Using the console shifter, the driver can make fast, sequential shifts through the transmission’s seven predefined steps, accompanied by the familiar sense of positive shift engagement. The 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display within the instrument cluster displays M mode activity, including the “gear” position, and other vehicle information.

2016 Scion iM
- image 624625

It’s Got the Moves
In the Scion iM, instant gratification behind the wheel will turn to long-term love down the road. Driving enthusiasts know well the value of a high-strength body structure and a sophisticated four-wheel independent suspension. Based on the tC sports coupe platform, the 2016 Scion iM checks those boxes by using ample high-strength steel and special reinforcements in the structure. And it goes further, making the rear suspension the double-wishbone type, a design offering the added benefit of not impinging on cargo room.

Add in standard 17-inch alloy wheels with fat 225/45R17 tires, and the Scion iM delivers a tight, taut road feel and a compliant ride quality. The Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system makes low-speed maneuvering a breeze and provides good feel and less assistance at highway speeds. It also helps boost fuel efficiency, because the system consumes power only when assist is needed.

Premium Interior without the Premium Price
Inside, it will be love at first seating in the standard bolstered front sport seats. They fit the body like a glove and also integrate a Whiplash Injury Lessen (WIL) structure for occupant protection.

High quality materials abound throughout the Scion iM cabin, where the layered dashboard design combines sports car-inspired instrument panel styling with easy to reach, easy to use controls. With ideas borrowed from the luxury car realm, the Scion iM keeps noise outside with an acoustic layer windshield, foam-type insulation and floor silencer sheets.

The Scion iM’s premium feel on the road is matched by a lengthy roster of premium amenities – all included as standard with the brand’s famous mono-spec strategy. Start with versatility, which comes from the 60/40 fold-down rear seats and standard cargo cover. A roomy glove box and console box are augmented by numerous front door pockets and storage bins throughout.

2016 Scion iM
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As a Scion, the iM naturally comes with high-grade standard multi-media system. The 6-speaker Pioneer sound system will play from a variety of sources, including iPods, of course, and other devices. You control it all through an easy to use 7-inch Pioneer Display Audio unit that also includes standard HD Radio and Aha. It’s through that screen that you view the standard rear view backup camera.

Real leather wraps the steering wheel, an unexpected detail in this price class. The sporty wheel puts fingertip switches for audio, multi-info display and hands-free phone calls via Bluetooth at your fingertips. The 4.2-inch color TFT multi-information display (Scion’s first) between the main instrument gauges provides displays for the car’s audio system and other functions.

The Scion iM keeps the value surprises coming. All cars in this segment come with air conditioning; the Scion iM steps up a class with dual-zone automatic A/C control. And on cold mornings, the color-keyed heated power-folding exterior mirrors (yes, standard power-folding mirrors) get fog or frost cleared up in a hurry. Auto on/off headlamps are another convenience inherited from a higher segment.

Build It Your Way
One could buy the Scion iM, 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. A sampling includes:

Navigation upgrade kit, body graphics, cargo area enhancements, interior light kit, all-weather floor mats and more. A roof rack system expands versatility. The Scion iM will also offer a line of TRD (Toyota Racing Development) performance accessories, including an air intake system, anti-roll bar, lowering springs and more.

Scion drivers love their pets, and so does Scion. The iM will offer a range of cabin enhancements to take the stress out of carrying furry friends. Available through dealers, pet-friendly accessories include a dog harness with tether, door guards, seat pet barrier and even a grass pad, which discourages your doggie from standing on center console.

2016 Scion iM
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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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