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.
Scion has made a name for itself by making funky, youth-oriented cars and hatchbacks sold at reasonable prices. That recipe hasn’t changed with the new 2016 Scion iM, but the ingredients have most definitely gone premium. I recently found myself at the national press launch of both the iM and its brother, the iA sedan, where I got to spend plenty of time tossing each car through the Malibu canyons along the California coast. One thing became glaringly apparent: it’s all about the content.
Sure, Scion has always sold its vehicles in “mono-spec” trims, with each model offering the same content besides color and transmission choices, but the new iM ups the ante with features and equipment coming standard that are normally optional extras – even on some entry-level luxury nameplates.
The iM boasts an impressive number of airbags and other safety features, Bluetooth within is standard 7-inch infotainment display, an engine that gets 37 mpg on the highway, and 17-inch wheels that look like they belong on a Lexus. And that’s just the surface.
Beyond content, the iM rides on some impressive underpinnings that make it as fun to drive as it is practical. Independent suspension at all four corners with stiff sway bars keeps things level and tight without killing the ride, and relatively wide 225-series tires hold the road with surprising tenacity. And don’t forget, the iM comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission.
Of course price is a huge factor for Scion and its customer base. Well for $18,460, the iM’s base price backs up the inexpensive Scion promise. For those who don’t want to row their own, a CVT is optional, with its base price starting at $19,200. Not bad for a hatchback than can haul five people or the entire contents of a college dorm room while not getting less than 30 mpg.
Continue reading for the full driven review