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January 8 , 2016 /

Scion iA

Overall: NEW_for_2016_3Never mind the awkward nose; the iA is a pretty decent sub-compact sedan that shows up fully dressed and ready to play.

Drivetrain: A 1.5-liter four-cylinder delivers 106 horsepower to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic.

You don’t get much car for less than $20,000 these days. That’s generally the rule, but it definitely doesn’t apply to the Mazda-designed, Mexico-built Scion iA. As with other members of Toyota’s Scion family — now down to just four at last count — you get plenty for your personal transportation dollar. Adding the iA to the mix was a relatively painless proposition; Mazda’s new plant in Mexico where it builds the no-longer-sold-here Mazda2 sub-compact had plenty of excess capacity. And with Scion needing a small, youth-focused sedan to bolster its stable, the deal was done. All that was required was a more Scion-definitive front clip and, well, it can truly be said there’s nothing quite like it on the road today. But before rushing to judgment, consider all the iA’s other virtues. For a small car, there’s plenty of room inside for two front-seat passengers and at least adequate space for two more (three in a pinch) in back. The dashboard, control and interior trim are first-rate and substantially better than what you’ll find in other entry-level cars. The iA buyer will find a 106-horsepower Mazda-built 1.5-liter four-cylinder under the hood. It can be matched to a six-speed manual transmission or available six-speed automatic (also both from Mazda). Either combo delivers stellar fuel economy. All iA models come with air conditioning, seven-inch touch-screen display, rear-view backup camera, remote keyless entry with pushbutton start, six-speaker audio system (with Bluetooth connectivity) and 16-inch alloy wheels. Other than perhaps a dealer-installed navigation system, there’s really nothing more to add. All of this content for such an attractive price renders whether you like or dislike the iA’s looks completely irrelevant.

Base price (incl. destination): $17,600
Type: Four-door sedan
Base engine (hp): 1.5-liter DOHC I4 (106)
Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Transmissions: Six-speed manual; six-speed automatic (opt.)
MPG (city/highway): 33/42 (AT)
Weight (lb.): 2,385

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