Archive for the ‘Scion iM’ Category
This week I’m driving the 2017 Toyota iM, you know, the rebadged Scion iM that survived the death of Toyota’s funky youth brand. The little car is proving to be rather fun to drive, mostly thanks to its six-speed manual transmission, light clutch, and very noticeable light weight. The iM has also proved itself to be incredibly practical, offering tons of cargo room in its hatchback body. But those can’t cover some oddities baked into the iM’s inherent inexpensiveness.
For starters, the infotainment system is the exact same unit shared by the Toyota 86 (yet another Scion survivor), the C-HR, and the iM. Selecting the small gear-like button pulls up a menu screen that should be labeled “Home.” Well, one of the soft-key buttons says “Vehicle.” But rather than being a settings and preference page, it literally gives all the vehicles this infotainment system can be programmed for. The choices include all the vehicles above, along with “Other,” just incase Toyota develops a new vehicle within the next five years that needs a generic infotainment system.
Other indicators of the iM’s $19,615 as-tested price is the digital clock. It looks like the same digital clock found every Toyota product 15 years ago. Granted, Toyota has moved away from this clock in most of its newer stuff, but boy, this clock not only tell the time, but also the decade.
Another telltale sign of having no option packages are the numerous block-out panels on the dashboard. They forever remind the owner of options not chosen or those simply not offered on the iM – at any price. There are two in the cubby hole in below the center stack, and another two just left of the steering wheel.
Last but not least is an interesting observation. Trying to adjust the backlighting brightness of the gauge cluster is, well, a cluster. Believe it or not, you’ve got to press the TRIP button on the steering wheel. Press two times to see the two tripometers. Press it a third time and you’ll see a blue bar indicating the brightness level of the backlighting. Then press and hold the TRIP button in order to cycle through the preset brightness levels. That were you thinking, Toyota?!
Ranting aside, I really do like the Toyota iM. It’s priced well against its competitors, it gets and EPA-estimated 35 mpg on the highway, and it comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. There’s certainly a lot to love. You’ll just have to get past the few “interesting” quirks.
Oh, and I’ve lovingly named my tester, “Snot Rocket.” I feel it’s appropriate given its color.
Scion has invited me to be one of the first journalists to drive its newest models in the sunny state of California. Both the 2016 Scion iA and 2016 Scion iM are new to the brand in the U.S. for 2016, though both the iA sedan and iM hatchback are rebadged versions of other cars sold around the world. Regardless, the two new models add some much-needed life to Toyota’s youth-oriented brand.
So now is your chance to ask questions about both cars in the comment section down below. You ask, I respond: it’s that simple. I’ll have the questions ready to ask Toyota engineers and designers at next week’s launch.
Though some info will be embargoed until Monday, June 29, I can give answers to technical questions before then. Those will largely be answered in the comment section. After the Embargo is lifted, you’ll have the chance to read my full review on both cars with all your questions answered, including driving impressions.
Remember, both the iA and iM are new to Scion, but have been in production as other cars. The iA sedan is a reworked 2015 Mazda2 Sedan – meaning it has some big shoes to fill with regards to driving dynamics. The iM, on the other hand, is known as the 2015 Toyota Auris in many parts of the world, and is basically a hatchback version of the 2014 Toyota Corolla. The iM’s platform also underpins the 2015 Lexus CT200h.
These new vehicles are expected to revitalize the Scion brand, so there’s a lot riding on them. Don’t hesitate to ask hard questions!
Scion is making waves at the 2015 New York Auto Show with its two new products: the iA sedan and this, the iM hatchback. Now before you start scratching your head with curiosity – yes, this car should look familiar. It’s basically a rebadged Toyota Corolla wagon, or as the rest of the world calls it, the Auris. Lexus fans will also recognize the iM’s shape as their fuel-sipping CT 200h. Platform sharing is alive and well at Toyota.
And honestly, that’s not a bad thing. It’s allowing Scion to offer more user content in this youth-targeted hatchback rather than pouring money into R&D. Even the mechanical bits are the same. The engine is lifted from the Corolla Eco, as are both the CVT and six-speed manual. That’s right, Scion is teaching kids how to row their own. (Perhaps that will keep distracted driving to a minimum as well.)
However, the iM isn’t just warmed-up leftovers. It builds off its Toyota foundation to become its own vehicle. Despite having the same powertrain, it offers better mpg than the Corolla Eco. It comes standard with dual zone climate, a 7-inch infotainment system, and other tech and safety equipment important to young buyers these days. Best of all, the price is reasonable.
Updated 04/01/2015: The new Scion iM made its world debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show and will be put on sale this fall with a price starting under $20,000.
Continue reading to learn more about the iM.