Scion drivers have a lot going on in their lives, but they always have room for adventure. With its versatile hatchback, the all-new 2016 Scion iM has plenty of room to handle those adventures. Add in the iM’s fun-to-drive, high-style, high-content and high-MPG features, plus an outstanding price, and this new model from Scion offers a recipe for success when it hits showrooms this September.
With an MSRP of $18,460 for the manual transmission and $19,200 for the CVTi-S model, the iM comes in mono-spec form with premium features, a competitive option in the compact segment. A $795 delivery, processing and handling fee is not included in the MSRP.
The all-new 2016 Scion iM’s cabin is roomy, refined, versatile and high-tech equipped. The 1.8-liter DOHC Valvematic engine is eager to rev and very easy on gas. The chassis, with sophisticated double-wishbone rear suspension and standard 17-inch alloy wheels, is ready to smooth out urban bumps and tame adventurous curves. For more hands-on driving fun, a 6-speed stick shift is also available.
For safety, the 2016 Scion iM comes with eight standard airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.
Design: The Look of iM
The Scion iM shows a familiar face, with a hexagon lower grille, sharp-eyed headlights and side bezels with honeycomb mesh pattern seen also on the FR-S sports car. That aerodynamic expression carries into the profile, which conveys dynamic movement from the lower front to the rear. A “swoosh line” rendered in steel.
Detailing on the Scion iM belies the affordable pricing. The piano black grille treatment, standard sporty body aero kit, LED daytime running lights and taillights leave an unmistakable signature. Also true to the Scion way, the color selection gives the design tremendous visual pop: Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Barcelona Red Metallic, Spring Green Metallic and Electric Storm Blue.
One Spec: Fun
Gas prices come down. Gas prices go back up. Young buyers like to avoid pain at the pump no matter what. The 2016 Scion iM offers a sweet spot of performance and efficiency, and is rated by the EPA an estimated 28 city/37 hwy/32 combined for the CVTi-S model and 27 city/36 hwy/31 combined for the six-speed manual.
Then comes the fun side. The 137 horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine uses Valvematic continuously variable valve timing (lift and phasing) technology to offer a broad torque curve, so the iM feels responsive in all situations.
For driving purists, the Scion iM has a standard 6-speed stick shift that’s a slick shift, making for an engaging and active driving experience. Got hills? The Scion iM comes standard with Hill Start Assist, which helps prevent roll-back when pulling away from a stop sign or traffic light on an incline.
The optional automatic is also perfectly suited to the 1.8-liter engine. It’s an intelligent Continuously Variable Transmission that’s been sport-tuned for driving pleasure. That’s why it’s called the CVTi-S. Not all CVTs operate as responsively as the CVTi-S in the Scion iM. This one has both a Sport Mode as well as manual shifting capability with seven stepped shift points.
In Sport mode, the CVTi-S alters shift points and also provides a livelier feel through the electric power steering programming and accelerator responsiveness. G AI-SHIFT logic detects lateral G force during cornering and maintains engine speed by restricting unnecessary shift changes.
Using the console shifter, the driver can make fast, sequential shifts through the transmission’s seven predefined steps, accompanied by the familiar sense of positive shift engagement. The 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display within the instrument cluster displays M mode activity, including the “gear” position, and other vehicle information.
It’s Got the Moves
In the Scion iM, instant gratification behind the wheel will turn to long-term love down the road. Driving enthusiasts know well the value of a high-strength body structure and a sophisticated four-wheel independent suspension. Based on the tC sports coupe platform, the 2016 Scion iM checks those boxes by using ample high-strength steel and special reinforcements in the structure. And it goes further, making the rear suspension the double-wishbone type, a design offering the added benefit of not impinging on cargo room.
Add in standard 17-inch alloy wheels with fat 225/45R17 tires, and the Scion iM delivers a tight, taut road feel and a compliant ride quality. The Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system makes low-speed maneuvering a breeze and provides good feel and less assistance at highway speeds. It also helps boost fuel efficiency because the system consumes power only when assist is needed.
Premium Interior without the Premium Price
Inside, it will be love at first seating in the standard bolstered front sport seats. They fit the body like a glove and also integrate a Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) structure for occupant protection.
High quality materials abound throughout the Scion iM cabin, where the layered dashboard design combines sports car-inspired instrument panel styling with easy to reach, easy-to-use controls. Borrowing ideas from the luxury car realm, the Scion iM keeps noise outside with an acoustic layer windshield, foam-type insulation and floor silencer sheets.
The Scion iM’s premium feel on the road is matched by a lengthy roster of premium amenities – all standard with the brand’s famous mono-spec strategy. Start with versatility, which comes from the 60/40 fold-down rear seats and standard cargo cover. A roomy glove box and console box are augmented by numerous front door pockets and storage bins throughout.
As a Scion, the iM naturally comes with high-grade standard multimedia system. The 6-speaker Pioneer sound system will play from a variety of sources, including iPods, of course, and other devices. It’s controlled through an easy to use 7-inch Pioneer Display Audio unit that also includes standard HD Radio and Aha. That screen also provides the view for the standard rear backup camera.
Real leather wraps the steering wheel, an unexpected detail in this price class. The sporty wheel puts fingertip switches for audio, multi-info display and hands-free phone calls via Bluetooth. The 4.2-inch color TFT multi-information display (Scion’s first) between the main instrument gauges provides displays for the car’s audio system and other functions.
The Scion iM keeps the value surprises coming. All cars in this segment come with air conditioning; the Scion iM steps up a class with dual-zone automatic A/C control. And on cold mornings, the color-keyed heated power-folding exterior mirrors (yes, standard power-folding mirrors) clear up fog or frost in a hurry. Auto on/off headlamps are another convenience inherited from a higher segment.
Build It Your Way
One could buy the Scion iM, choose the color and be perfectly happy with the result. For those who see the car as a blank canvas, Scion offers a full range of dealer-installed accessories. A sampling includes: navigation upgrade kit, body graphics, cargo area enhancements, interior light kit, all-weather floor mats and more.
The Scion iM will also offer a line of TRD (Toyota Racing Development) performance accessories, including an air intake system, sway bar, lowering springs and more.
A number of Scion dealers have inaugurated Pure Process Plus, which allows customers to research a car through Scion.com, find it at a dealership, apply for credit and secure a price, all without leaving the couch. Scion will continue working with dealers and Toyota Financial Services to fine tune the process and plans to significantly expand its reach in 2015.
Like all Scion models, the 2016 iM is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. It also comes with Scion Service Boost, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and two years of 24-hour roadside assistance.