The 2016 Scion iM is a totally new compact five-door hatchback, the latest contender in a field that includes the Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf.
Its drivetrain is shared with the Toyota Corolla, a 1.8-liter engine making 137-hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is available, but most models will be equipped with a 7-step continuously variable transmission with manual control and sport mode.
Scion iM comes well equipped and is clearly sporty, with 17-inch wheels and 225-width tires, wide for a subcompact. It handles better than a Corolla, with front MacPherson struts, rear double wishbones, healthy stabilizer bars, and four-wheel disc brakes.
It’s fuel efficient, EPA rated at 30/37 mpg City/Highway with the CVT.
Rearview camera, electronic stability control, hill start assist, and driver knee airbag are standard. Hill Start Assist keeps the car from rolling backward for two seconds. It’s important with a manual transmission, but redundant and not needed with a CVT. The Scion iM market includes young families, so it comes with LATCH connectors for child seats in the rear, and a first aid kit.
Scion dealers offer many stand-alone options, from roof racks and pet carriers to lowered springs and a TRD (Toyota Racing Development) air intake system for more horsepower from better breathing.