While many miss the funky fresh Scion vehicles of the past like the first generation xB, Toyota’s youth brand is pushing ahead with their first new sedan, the 2016 Scion iA.
One of two new vehicles introduced at the New York Auto Show, the 2016 Scion iA will be the new entry level model for the brand, offering distinct style and up to 42 mpg highway.
Ultimately replacing the Scion xD hatch, the new iA four-door sedan Scion says will be priced in the $16,000 range and offer their trademark mono-spec feature content which is a lot more than base-end.
For the new iA this means above standard standards like a low-speed pre-collision safety system, a full featured 7-inch display audio system, and 16” alloy wheels. Inside there is cruise control, power windows, locks, exterior mirrors and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel.
The look might be a familiar one as outside of the unique front fascia, some light lenses and badging the Scion iA is essentially a Mazda2. That’s right, the two cars are part of a shared partnership between the two companies, a rarity in today’s market.
The similarity can be found in the proportions of the front and rear, the side profiles, and the overall character. This isn’t a bad thing as the Mazda2 is a good place to start in terms of engineering and handling prowess – likely better than a comparable Japan domestic market Toyota sedan.
That said, the chassis is more economy car than sport sedan with MacPherson struts up front and a low-end torsion beam rear suspension. But being tuned by Mazda is likely to bring about the best there is with this hardware.
Under the hood a 106 horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine which can be had with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Scion says this will give the iA sedan fuel economy of 33 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 37 mpg combined.
The automatic transmission Scion says offers a aggressive shifting character with a sport mode that locks the torque converter once in motion for more direct feeling shifts when desired.
As the Scion iA is likely to be a first car for many young drivers, meaning their parents need to be sold on it as well, safety is a large part of Scion’s message in its debut. There’s much talk for instance of its structure which is built of generous helpings of high strength steels.
There are front and side airbags, and side curtain airbags. Then there is the aforementioned standard low-speed pre-collision system which uses a laser sensor to alert the driver of impending collisions. A rear view back-up camera is standard too.
Actual safety ratings from the likes of the government and IIHS will have to wait until we get closer to its arrival later this year, along with official EPA estimates.
Whether you will be able to cross shop the 2016 Scion iA sedan against the 2016 Mazda2 is yet unknown, as currently the Mazda2 is only available in a five-door hatch for the North American market.
We’ll bring you a much more detailed review when we get behind the wheel of the new 2016 Scion iA ourselves very soon.