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10 Things You Need To Know About The 2016 Scion iM

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
September 2, 2015
4 min. Reading Time

It's been quite a while since Scion has enjoyed a meaningful presence in the hatchback segment, but the brand hopes to change all of that with the 2016 Scion iM. The Scion iM replaces the subcompact xD to provide entry-level shoppers with a compact option that looks sporty, features a long list of standard equipment, and gets reasonable real-world fuel economy. It's a step in a new direction for Scion - one that eschews funky design and unusual product niches in favor of a broader appeal that could help improve the automaker's standing in the increasingly-crowded affordable car niche.

Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2016 Scion iM.

1. The 2016 Scion iM Is All-New, But Still Familiar

The 2016 Scion iM offers a fresh face for Scion fans, one that features sporty looks, a relatively low-slung suspension system, and hatchback practicality that's appreciated by compact car shoppers looking for a useful daily driver. Underneath the skin, however, there's something distinctly familiar about the Scion iM, as it uses the same platform as the popular Toyota Corolla sedan. In fact, the iM has been imported almost lock, stock, and barrel from Europe, where it is sold as the Toyota Auris and is positioned as the hatch-equivalent of the Corolla (the Auris in fact replaced the Corolla hatchback in 2007 across the Atlantic).


2. The 2016 Scion iM Offers A Somewhat Tight Interior

The 2016 Scion iM's modest dimensions ensure that the car will be best appreciated by smaller passengers. The absence of telescopic steering column adjustment makes it more difficult for tall individuals to get comfortable in the driver's seat, but overall headroom is good front and back. The same can't be said for the Scion iM's rear legroom, which is much tighter than one would expect in a compact hatchback. Cargo space checks in at just under 21 cubic feet between the rear seatback and the hatch opening, with the ability to expand that figure by folding down the second row of accommodations.


3. The 2016 Scion iM Features A Single Engine Option

The 2016 Scion iM displays more of its Corolla heritage in the engine bay, where you'll find a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder as the only available motor with the vehicle. The four-cylinder Scion iM can be relied on to produce 137 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque, output that’s slightly below average for the compact segment. Unlike in the Corolla you can't specify the Eco version of this motor, which brings with it a bump in power. Transmission choices for the iM are slightly more diverse: you can stick with the hatchback's six-speed manual gearbox or opt for a continuously-variable automatic transmission.


4. The 2016 Scion iM Delivers Respectable Fuel Economy

When found in base configuration, the 2016 Scion iM turns in fuel efficiency figures of 27-mpg in stop and go driving and 36-mpg on the highway. If you pay a bit more for the continuously-variable automatic transmission, then you'll see that rating jump a single mile per gallon for each respective measure (28-mpg city / 37-mpg highway). These numbers place the Scion iM squarely in the middle of the compact car pack when it comes to fuel consumption, which isn't a bad place to be considering how amazingly efficient new technologies have made entry-level automobiles.


5. The 2016 Scion iM Offers No Factory Options, But Lots Of Standard Features

In keeping with Scion's one-size-fits-all equipment policy, the 2016 Scion iM comes in a single, well-featured trim. Standard gear included with the Scion iM is generous: power windows and door locks, 17-inch wheels, LED running lights, dual automatic climate control, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a touchscreen infotainment system cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, and power folding side mirrors (that are also heated) are some of the highlights. The iM additionally offers a leather-wrapped steering wheel and streaming Internet radio to go with the HD radio and automatic headlights that also come with the car.


6. The 2016 Scion iM Allows For Customization Via Accessories

Although the 2016 Scion iM doesn't feature any options from the factory, it is possible to have a number of accessories installed by the dealer in order to customize the car to your specific tastes. A number of these accessories are aimed at improving the Scion iM's performance, including swaybar upgrades, sport springs, and even an air filter developed by in-house tuner TRD. If you're looking for a higher tech quotient in the car you can opt for a navigation system, while appearance improvements such as a body kit and lighting upgrades are also available from Scion.


7. The 2016 Scion iM Makes A Play For Dog Owners

It's been a few years since Honda offered its Element crossover, a vehicle that provided buyers with a special dog-friendly features package as an option. The 2016 Scion iM makes an effort to scoop up customers who prize the companionship of their canine friends by way of numerous pet-oriented accessories. Specifically, the iM can be ordered with a tether that allows you to keep your dog tied when you need to run errands, door guards that ward off claw scratches, an unusual 'grass pad' that mounts on the center console to keep your pet from standing there while you are driving, and a pet barrier for the Scion's seat.


8. The 2016 Scion iM Is Light On Active Safety

The 2016 Scion iM might be an all-new model for the brand, but it doesn't offer any of the advanced safety equipment that is becoming more and more common amongst entry-level compact cars. The Scion iM does an adequate job of protecting occupants via its dual forward airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags, driver knee airbag, and a unique front passenger seat cushion airbag (along with electronic stability control and traction control) - however, you won't find any active safety gear with the car. This means the iM does not feature blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, or forward collision warning - unlike several of its competitors that do offer at least one of these features.


9. The 2016 Scion iM Amps Up Value With Free Scheduled Maintenance

One area where the 2016 Scion iM does stand apart from the pack is its offer of free scheduled maintenance for a period of two years. This means that for 24 months past the date of purchase (or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first), Scion iM owners won't have to pay for things like oil and oil filter changes, tire rotation, and regular inspections. Called Scion Service Boost, this is an unusual inclusion for such an affordable care, and a rare bonus when shopping in the compact segment outside of the world of luxury vehicles.


10. The 2016 Scion iM's MSRP Is Set In Stone

Another Scion-specific characteristic - haggle-free pricing - also comes with the 2016 Scion iM. The Scion iM's MSRP is locked in at $18,460, plus a $795 destination fee, which puts its total sticker price well under $20,000. Given that no options are available with the car - only individual accessories - you won't have to sift through options packages or pay for equipment that you don't want when ordering your version of this compact hatchback. The iM's price puts it squarely in the middle of the Scion line-up, slotting in just above the upcoming iA sedan and below the tC coupe.



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