2016 Scion iM Hatchback: The Swan Song of a Brand

No sooner does Scion release a couple of all new vehicles than its parent company Toyota Motor Sales announces the division will be mothballed. Fortunately it appears the Scion vehicles will be rolled back into the Toyota production lineup as they are all very worthy including the newest hatchback, the Scion iM.

2016 Scion iM Hatchback/Images courtesy Scion

2016 Scion iM Hatchback/Images courtesy Scion

The 2016 Scion iM has some familiar appeal to it as some around the globe know it as the Corolla Wagon or Toyota Auris and its underpinnings are shared in the Scion tC as well as the Lexus CT200h. Not quite humble beginnings as all these models share a degree of proper stature in their respective showrooms.


There are no plans for a hybrid version of the new iM and things will probably stay that way as the vehicle utilizes a very eco-friendly gas powertrain while keeping pricing very affordable. The iM starts under 19 grand and delivers up to 37 mpg highway. It is powered by a 137hp 1.8-liter I-4 engine with Valvematic continuously variable valve timing (lift and phasing) technology and it can be mated to a sport tuned CVTi-S gearbox or a six-speed manual tranny (our tester featured the latter). The CVT features shift logic for a sporty driving experience but many will enjoy the “row-your-own” experience we enjoyed with the manual transmission.


The new iM hatchback is a fun little car to drive and offers a quiet and comfortable driving experience. It is not designed for rally racing in its current form but does offer a good degree of confidence around town when the straightaways begin to bend left and right thanks to its four-wheel independent suspension. It seats up to five but accommodates four adults rather well with room in the back for your gear. Seating is supportive and comfortable and the vehicle offers good views all around for easy and safe maneuvering.


While there is a host of TRD (Toyota Racing Development) gear available for the new iM, buyers will find the convenience of walking into a showroom and only having to select color and transmission for the model they wish to drive home. Infotainment arrives via standard 7-inch touchscreen display and Pioneer premium audio system. The system includes Bluetooth connectivity and voice recognition as well as standard backup camera view. The iM rides on 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.


Pricing for our 2016 Scion iM five-door hatchback rolled in at $19,609 with fuel economy rated at 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The new iM is a perfect example of the value and quality the Scion division set out to deliver and thankfully they will all be rolled back into the Toyota showrooms this fall. Luckily they will all most likely survive the changeover as the Scion models have offered little competition to the Toyota dealerships and if nothing else will complement each other very nicely when the family reunion commences.


As Scion prepares to ride off into the sunset and join the likes of Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Saturn and others, consumers will still be able to purchase their favorite models but with new Toyota badging. Farewell Scion, folks still struggle to pronounce your name correctly but you will be missed…sort of.

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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.