The Toyota Corolla iM started life off as a Scion, but made the move to Toyota in 2017 when the Scion brand folded. The Corolla name is appropriate for this five-door hatchback, as it shares its platform and most of its running gear with the Corolla sedan you know best.

Best Value

The 2018 Toyota Corolla iM is a five-passenger hatchback available in one well-equipped trim that starts at $19,745 including destination. This means the options are few, although we think most customers will opt for the automatic transmission over the standard manual.

All models come with a body kit, rear spoiler, alloy wheels, full power accessories, dual-zone climate control, a six-speaker audio system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Here's how we'd build ours:

  • Model: 2018 Toyota Corolla iM
  • Engine: 1.8-liter inline-four
  • Output: 137 hp / 126 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Continuously variable automatic transmission
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 28 city / 36 hwy
  • Options: Automatic transmission ($740), display audio with navigation ($900).
  • Base Price:$19,745 (including the $895 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$21,385

Performance

Toyota Corolla iM

The 2018 Toyota Corolla iM comes with a 1.8-liter inline-four engine making 137 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. Toyota pairs this engine with a six-speed manual transmission and also offers a continuously variable automatic transmission.

This is the same engine offered in the Corolla sedan, delivering average performance and little more. The Corolla iM is geared toward efficiency and that’s why it earns an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

Style

Take a Corolla sedan and slap on a hatchback and you have the Corolla iM. There are some differences in trim, though, including a steeper pitched hood and skirting. The dramatically tapered hatchback seems odd at first – we haven’t seen a Corolla hatchback or other body style in years.

The interior is roomy, although it's a stretch to say that it seats five. Soft-touch materials, plastics, and cloth seats dominate. Instrumentation is uncluttered and all driver controls are sensibly placed. The utilitarian look notwithstanding, this model’s fit and finish should put it on most people’s small car shopping list.

The Best and Worst Things

We like that Toyota includes a pre-collision warning system and lane departure warning as standard equipment with the Corolla iM. Such a system on a car retailing for under $20,000 is terrific.

Although we like the idea of a well-equipped one trim level model, that removes the opportunity to upgrade to certain features, such as heated seats, Entune audio, and even the leather imitation seats we like in the Corolla sedan.

Right For? Wrong For?

Toyota Corolla iM

First-time car buyers who want something new, but can’t afford much more than $20,000 should find the Corolla iM pleasing. Its generous 20.8 cubic feet of standard cargo space comes in handy. Fold the rear seat and you can easily bring your bicycle or other sporting gear with you.

Some shoppers simply want to customize their vehicles the way they want, instead of having Toyota do it for them. If this is you, a look at the Corolla sedan is in order.

The Bottom Line

The Toyota Corolla iM, like the Yaris iA, provides customers with an affordable entry point to the brand. The Corolla iM is based on the Corolla platform, delivering a roomy interior, superior utility, and fuel efficiency to this value-driven model. That’s a winning formula for buyers on a limited budget.