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January 8 , 2016 /

Scion iM

Overall: NEW_for_2016_3Toyota breathes new life into its Scion brand with the new iM wagon and sub-compact iA sedan.

Drivetrain: A four-cylinder engine generates 137 horsepower; six-speed manual and continuously variable transmissions direct torque to the front wheels.

Based on the current Toyota Corolla platform and sold overseas as the Auris, the Japan-built iM could be just the right kind of vehicle that Scion’s youthful target buyers can get behind. The vehicle’s sportwagon-styling is easy on the eyes and looks considerably smarter than the retired xB and xD boxes and the tiny iQ runabout. It also helps that the wagon/hatchback has been fitted with additional body cladding and a very cool set of 17-inch alloy wheels. The iM’s other claim to fame is its overall spaciousness. With the back seat folded, the load floor is perfectly flat and the large liftgate makes it easy to load/unload bulky gear. Inside, the premium-feel cloth seats are particularly supportive in front and are complemented with generous legroom in back. The dashboard and control panel are clearly laid out and covered with soft-touch materials. Turning the key activates a Toyota-Corolla-based 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 137 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission or optional continuously variable unit (CVT) direct power to the front wheels. Where the iM excels is traversing twisty backcountry roads, where the well-tuned suspension helps keep the car flat and stable in the turns while taking uneven surfaces in stride. The well-bolstered sport-style front seats are a big help, too. Right out of the box, all Scions arrive well trimmed out and the “mono-spec” iM is no exception. Aside from the cool alloy wheels, you get dual-zone air conditioning, backup camera, power folding outside mirrors and a 7.0-inch touch-screen display for the six-speaker Panasonic-brand audio system with iPod connectivity. Among the few dealer-installed options is a navigation system plus a number of additional dress-up items. A sunroof is not available, nor is the latest crash-mitigating safety features that are beginning to migrate onto the options lists of competing vehicles.

Base price (incl. destination): $19,250
Type: Four-door compact wagon
Base engine (hp): 1.8-liter DOHC I4 (137)
Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Transmissions: Six-speed manual; continuously variable (opt.)
MPG (city/highway): 28/37 (CVT)
Weight (lb.): 2,620

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