As Scion attempts to restart its stalled sales volume, it's borrowing the design for a Mazda Mazda2 that won't be sold in the United States and calling it the iA. The result is a sleek, affordable and sporty sedan for the youth market with lots of amenities and a front end that looks like it's punching through the air with the deftness of a skilled boxer.
USED 2016 Scion iA FOR SALE NEAR ME
2016 Scion iA Overview
What's New for 2016
The Scion iA is an all-new model this year.
Choosing Your Scion iA
Sophisticated, stylish and loaded with premium features, the iA offers a lot for a very affordable price. Compared to other sedans on the market, the Scion's MSRP of $16,495 with a manual transmission or $17,595 with the automatic offers plenty of value.
A small 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine isn't very powerful at 106 horsepower, but it moves the lightweight iA with more verve than you might expect, especially when it's mated to the slick-shifting manual transmission.
What it may lack in outright acceleration it certainly makes up for in economy. The manual transmission boasts 31 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, while the automatic gives an even better 33/42.
The Scion iA is packed with amenities. Sleek 16-inch alloy wheels give the aggressively styled sedan an even edgier look. Inside, the sedan offers intuitive controls along with an audio system driven by a 7-inch full-color touch screen display with audio control. Safety isn’t a concern with the iA either. With back up camera and airbags throughout, the Scion iA is a solid purchase.
The Scion iA comes in a "single spec" form, meaning there aren't many factory options. But there are infinite ways to customize an iA with dealer-installed accessories. It's fine if you want to go a little crazy because the iA's base price is so reasonable and includes so much, including a fun-to-drive nature.
2016 Scion iA Review
Scion’s first-ever four-door sedan shows us that big things can come in small packages.
Pricing and Equipment
The aggressive, eye-catching front grille of Scion’s very-first-ever sedan makes a dramatic visual statement rarely found in a nicely equipped car that starts at $16,495 with the standard six-speed manual transmission, or $17,595 with a six-speed automatic transmission.
From most angles, especially with its standard 16-inch alloy wheels, the swoopy iA looks far more expensive and sophisticated than the economy car’s price tag suggests.
Sure, the iA’s 106-horsepower 1.5-liter engine may seem inconsequential in today's marketplace with budget sport sedans packing 200 horsepower or more. But thanks to the vehicle's low curb weight and inspiring six-speed manual transmission, the iA is a surprisingly good performer.
- Driving the iA is a reminder that good things can come in small packages. Straight-line acceleration is more accurately described as "yes" than by listing the actual numbers, but the iA feels peppy and light on its feet. The iA’s manual gearbox is direct and provides confidence inducing shifts. The 6-speed automatic is smooth and efficient.
- Handling is quite inspiring and -- as I found out in a near-accident situation -- the brakes work extremely well.
- Fuel economy is impressive; the iA’s tiny engine and lightweight chassis lend themselves to excellent EPA ratings. The six-speed manual earns 31 mpg city, 41 mpg highway and 35 mpg combined. Opting for the six-speed automatic brings those numbers up to an incredible 33 mpg city, 42 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined.
The tiny horsepower and torque numbers catch up with the iA when trying to pass on the highway as the car seems eventually to run out of steam.
The iA’s interior is impressive, with standard features normally absent from a car in the subcompact segment including keyless entry, push-button ignition, a backup camera, cruise control, air conditioning, a bunch of USB ports and an easy-to-use 7-inch infotainment system.
- The rear seating is too tight for three adults, but this is very typical for the segment.
- Scion has no available option for a sunroof or leather seats. I know these goodies are high priority for many shoppers and a potential deal breaker for some.
Most Pleasant Surprise
The truth is, I really enjoyed driving the iA -- a lot more than I expected based on the tepid horsepower and torque ratings. The iA is a case of less is more. The sedan’s low curb weight of just about 2,400 pounds allows the little sedan to make the most of its horsepower and torque. Furthermore, the lightweight chassis is a blast to throw around corners and stops on a dime.
Least Pleasant Surprise
Figuring out the navigation system requires the assistance of an owner's manual. I had some difficulty figuring it all out initially, and even after a few hours I still couldn’t figure out how to increase volume for turn-by-turn voice commands.
While I’m not a huge fan of buying a young driver a new car, the safety features, fuel economy and performance of the iA build a compelling case for making an exception -- and I would consider it as a first car for my soon-to-be-driving teenager.