Scion is working on a comeback to relevance in Toyota showrooms this year with two new models plucked from the Japan home market, one of which is the new 2016 Scion iM five-door hatch.
Shown at the New York Auto Show, the 2016 Scion iM is based on the Japan domestic market Toyota Auris which is very much related to the Toyota Corolla. So if you ever wanted a Toyota Corolla five-door hatch, this is essentially what you get.
Styling is virtually identical to that of the Auris, with lots of Toyota family DNA. This translates to a bold and expressive face with LED signature lights and a kicked up rear flank. Standard is a sporting body-kit with deeper fascias. Otherwise it looks pretty much like an every day Japanese econo-car.
Inside you will find a dash and interior trim almost identical to the Toyota Corolla which isn’t a bad thing. The Scion iM will come to the States under the brand’s mono-spec packaging which means mid-level feature content everywhere all the time.
Infotainment starts with a standard 7-inch Pioneer Display Audio system with 6-speakers and sporting all the expected connectivity options. It has standard HD Radio and Aha and there’s a standard rear view backup camera too.
Your hands will appreciate a standard leather wrapped steering wheel with controls for audio, communications, and the 4.2-inch color TFT information display in the center of the instrument cluster – a first for Scion.
Other notable standards include climate control air conditioning, body color heated power-folding side mirrors, and auto on/off headlamps. For safety, there are eight standard airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.
Under the hood you will find the same 1.8 liter Valvematic engine found in the Toyota Corolla ECO with 137 horsepower, but here you can have it with either a six-speed manual transmission or the constantly variable transmission.
The CVT-iS features a sport mode with seven programmed “shift points” so those who appreciate a traditional feel won’t be left stretching the rubber band. And you can shift through these steps manually too.
In Sport mode, the electric power steering feel and accelerator responsiveness becomes livelier as well. Standard on all models is hill-start assist which holds you from rolling back when at a stop.
Its chassis gets a few tricks the states-side Corolla doesn’t like a more sophisticated double-wishbone rear suspension which the tuner and enthusiast crowd will appreciate along with its standard 17-inch alloy wheels and 225/45R17 tires.
Like all Scion’s the iM while coming from the factory as mono-spec can be infinitely accessorized at the dealer with performance upgrades, audio and navigation systems, and other accessories inside and out.
Scion promises 37 mpg highway with the 2016 iM which arrives in dealerships this fall, starting under $20,000.