With the iM, Scion reaches overseas, to the European-markets Toyota Auris to deliver a sporty compact hatchback (it shares a platform with the tC coupe). The iM’s drivetrain is pretty close to what you’d find in a some variants of the Toyota Corolla. This includes a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 137 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque that hums away with a quiet efficiency. It is paired to a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that features a sport mode and manual control over seven programmed ratios.
The car has a sporty flavor, though, with its bright color the iM looks and feels fresh, with a surprisingly aggressive visage standard 17-inch wheels and relatively wide tires that pair well together. MacPherson struts up front and a double-wishbone layout at the rear work with stabilizer bars in front and in back to deliver better handling than the Corolla, and the four-wheel disc brakes handle themselves well.
The iM has generously bolstered front sport seats that are a step above the small-car norm, and the driver’s seat is height adjustable. The rear seats are split 60/40, and they fold flat for an expanded cargo floor. The iM includes an acoustic windshield and extra floor-silencing measures to cut wind noise and road roar.
Safety-wise, a rearview camera is standard on the iM, as is a driver-seat knee bag, in addition to the roster of airbags, stability control and anti-lock braking systems. A first-aid kit is included, and LATCH connectors for child seats are offered in outboard rear seats, with tether connections for all three seating positions.
There are also upscale design touches like contrast stitching and piano-black trim. Other standard features in the Scion iM’s single well-equipped trim level include power-folding heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, and keyless entry, Bluetooth, and the infotainment system includes a Pioneer audio system with six speakers, a USB port, and an auxiliary input.
Scion buyers can customize their iM with dealer-installed accessories like a roof rack, cargo accessories, and a pet carrier, as well as performance upgrades like anti-roll bars, lowered springs, and an air intake system from TRD (Toyota Racing Development). The 2016 Scion iM starts at $19,255 (including $795 destination),the CVT version starts at $19,995 (including destination). When the Toyota durability and two-year/25,000-mile free maintenance package is included it is a very solid value.