Built for active lifestyles, Scion's new iM hatchback strives to offer the complete package every time.

Pricing and Equipment

Scion has developed a simple consumer-pleasing buying concept; build a well-equipped car and offer it with an affordable no-surprises price tag. In understanding the anxiety that a trip to the dealer can bring, even to a seasoned car guy like me, Scion’s hope is to take the haggling and guess work out of the shopping experience and replace it with stability and confidence.

To this end, the company has long offered a set price on every new showroom vehicle. With the iM, Scion adds another dimension by offering the vehicles with one specific set of convenience and safety features and options that Scion has dubbed the "mono-spec" car.

  • The nicely equipped manual transmission 2016 Scion iM retails for $18,255.
  • Adding the continually variable transmission (CVT) increases the price to $19,995.

Performance Pros

Scion iM Rear Quarter

The iM’s 137-horsepower engine does not provide the five-door hatchback with the muscle that it needs to qualify as a true sports car, but the vehicle's overall appearance and high level of utility lends itself well to young people who enjoy active, sports-centered lifestyles.

  • The engine does a decent job pushing the iM around city streets.
  • The manual transmission shifts smoothly and provides compliant gear changes. The CVT is efficient and offers a sport mode that helps liven up the historically numb nature of the continually variable transmission.
  • Steering is direct and efficient, as are the brakes.
  • A standard hill-stop feature keeps the iM from rolling backwards on inclines.
  • Enthusiasts can opt for various Toyota Racing Division (TRD) upgrades, including lowering springs, a performance intake, a beefier sway bar, and more.

Gas mileage with the CVT is 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined, and 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined for the six-speed manual.

Performance Cons

The limited horsepower provides enough punch for day-to-day commutes and errands, but I think the sporty exterior deserves more power under the hood. Many of the iM’s direct competitors offer significantly more horsepower and torque without sacrificing much in fuel efficiency.

Interior Pros

Scion iM Interior

The iM’s attractive tech-filled interior includes a 4.2-inch information screen in the gauge cluster. A separate 7-inch touchscreen mounted in the center console controls the nice-sounding Pioneer six-speaker infotainment system. I have long been a fan of Scion's Pioneer head unit. While a bit spartan compared to many of the high-end infotainment systems now available, the Pioneer’s painless integration with my iPhone, and the ease of use of Scion’s system, is a good reminder that thoughtful simplicity is often more useful than overwrought complexity.

Seating is comfortable and the high quality of the fabric means that it should wear well. The Scion signature flair makes for a welcoming environment, especially considering the cost. Soft touch surfaces abound, and the fit and finish is excellent.

Interior Cons

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

Scion iM White

Scion’s integrated sport mode on CVT-equipped models uses a sensor that can tell if you are taking a corner and holds the simulated gear for an extended period if you let up on the gas pedal. This feature really helps overall performance in corners and gives the iM a little edge.

Least Pleasant Surprise

Unfortunately, the Scion iM looks like it should be a lot faster than it is.

Bottom Line

The 2016 Scion iM offers a viable alternative in the sporty compact five-door hatchback market. While it may lack the performance of many of its direct competitors, the style and standard options will appeal to those who value Scion’s “mono-spec” approach. The manufacturer makes all the big decisions; you pick the colors and a handful of extras, and the no-haggle pricing means fewer curveballs and less sticker shock.