The new 2016 iM is already elsewhere on the globe. its sibling is called Auris in Europe and Japan, and in some other markets, it’s the Corolla hatchback. However, in U.S.A it shares the same platform and engine with the Corolla. The noticeable different is that the iM uses a control-arm rear suspension rather than the less sophisticated Corolla’s torsion beam.
After years of attempting to get into the hearts of people with subcompact cars of different shapes and sizes, Scion finally has entered in a segment of compact cars. Something confusing as well, because Scion has called the iM as a sub-compact but is definitely a compact car having as competitors the Ford Focus. This five-door hatchback is attractive, value-priced with utility-rich hatchback shape and a well-crafted equipment-rich interior.
The overall design of the 2016 iM is aggressive and pretty sharp seen from far and near. The intended niche-market is for youths for being a sporty hatchback and apparently fun to drive. Superficially, the iM is a car with a fair value-price and a little above than average fuel economy.
Let’s review this Japanese car.
Powertrain and Performance
The 2016 iM is powered by a modest 1.8 L 4-cylinder, delivering up to 137 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. It’s the same engine found in the sales hit Toyota Corolla, so fidelity and durability are a fact. Is paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission. The automatic option is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with seven pre-programmed steps to simulate conventional gears.
The shift lever is fast and smooth, and putting it into manual mode allows the driver to change up or down at driver’s discretion. The fuel economy is good but not the better of its class with 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg in the highway with automatic transmission, and 27 mpg in city and 36 mpg in the highway with manual. The acceleration is floppy but not the worst of his class, from standstill to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds (Golf GTi feature 6.8 seconds), and an electronically limited top speed at 112 mph.
Design Line and Interior
The car has a good looking front fascia, pretty similar to many modern cars. Angry, audacious and aggressive solid aesthetic, with pleasant shapes and with a kind of sporty-looking feeling, way more than other hatchbacks on the market. The rear looks just beautiful with large and well-designed stoplights, and overall aesthetic on it is more than acceptable. The 17-inch alloy wheels are also great, giving a sporty and wild sensation.
By the other hand, the interior is filled up with plenty of features. The quality is surprisingly good but a little bit small. However, in terms of a leg, head and shoulder room is decent enough for an adult or average size. With the rear seats up, there is 20.8 cu-ft of cargo room, and the rear seats do the usual 60/40 split folding down to create more cargo. The interior has decent materials such as piano black and satin chrome trim accents, and also has a Toyota’s style that looks great as expected.
Features as folding mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic A/C, Pioneer audio system with 7-inch touch screen, back-up camera, padded lower dash panels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and power windows and locks, are onboard and are decent for its price, similar to the competitors. Options include a navigation system, interior ambient lighting and various sport body enhancements. The TRD (Toyota Racing Development) is available for the 2016 iM, including and air filter, stiffer sway bars, and lowering springs.
The Bottom Line
The 2016 iM is a perfect option for those with preferences more into, comfort, plenty of features, a cool overall design and a competitive fuel economy as compensation on performance. In addition, the incredible high-quality material and famous durability of Toyota make the iM a real good deal.
Starting price at US$19.995.