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2016 Scion iM

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/3/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2016

The 2016 Scion iM is a new addition to the Scion range that slots above the iA subcompact sedan.

Vehicle Summary

The 2016 Scion iM is essentially a rebadged Toyota Auris four-door hatchback, a model sold primarily in Europe, Japan, and Australia. In other markets, a hybrid and diesel engine is available in addition to two gas engines along with a wagon body style. For the U.S. market, the only engine available is a 1.8-liter I-4 rated 137 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque that's mated to a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is projected at 27/36 mpg city/highway with the manual and 30/37 mpg with the CVT. The Scion iM will have a starting price of around $20,000.


Even though it uses a similar engine to the Toyota Corolla, Scion promises that the 2016 iM will be more fun to drive thanks to a different suspension setup. Like the Auris found in global markets, the U.S.-spec iM features a high-strength body, four-wheel independent suspension with a double-wishbone layout in the rear similar to one utilized in the Scion tC coupe. 17-inch wheels are standard equipment and come with 225/45R/17 tires. The iM's optional CVT is also shared with the Corolla and has seven pre-programmed steps and can be controlled manually. A Sport mode is also standard and changes the CVT's "shift" points, accelerator responsiveness, and the electric power steering's weighting.

Inside, the 2016 iM comes with a long list of standard features including a six-speaker Pioneer sound system, a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, a 4.2-inch TFT display, rearview camera, and dual-zone climate control. Navigation is available as a dealer-installed accessory. Like all Scion models, the iM will be available a long list of available of personalization options through the dealer. TRD accessories such as anti-roll bars, lower springs, and a performance air intake will also be available.

What We Think

In a First Drive review of a Japanese-spec model, we said that ride and handling are well balanced, mixing good levels of refinement and compliance with a dose of sportiness thanks to the car's independent suspension in all four corners. However, the stability control system, as in most Toyota products, was overly intrusive while steering feel was lacking. With the Scion iM's use of the Corolla's 1.8-liter I-4, the U.S.-spec hatch won't be the quickest car around, but it should prove to be a solid entry in the compact hatch class.

You'll Like

  • Practical hatchback body style
  • Great fuel economy
  • Comes with plenty of standard features

You Won't Like

  • Hybrid not available in the U.S.
  • No engine upgrade available

Key Competitors

  • Mazda3
  • Kia Forte5
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Ford Focus
  • Subaru Impreza


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