The Toyota Corolla iM is a leftover from the Scion brand, getting a new name and logo in 2017 to continue as a Toyota offering (ironically, the Corolla iM originated in Europe, as the Toyota-badged Auris). The Corolla iM is a front-wheel-drive five-door hatch that seats five while riding on the same platform as the Corolla sedan.
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2018 Toyota Corolla iM Overview
What's New for 2018
The Toyota Corolla iM carries over into 2018 unchanged, aside from its new name and Toyota badge.
Choosing Your Toyota Corolla iM
There really is no choosing the right Toyota Corolla iM as the five-door hatch is what Toyota calls a monospec vehicle (a leftover from its days as a Scion). This means there’s only one, well-equipped trim available.
The front-wheel-drive hatch comes with a 1.8-liter engine making 137 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. The only available option involves the transmission. A six-speed manual is standard with a starting price of $19,745 (prices include destination and handling), or customers can grab the optional continuously variable transmission, which starts at $20,485. The CVT offers normal and sport driving modes.
The manual returns 27 city and 35 highway for 30 miles per gallon combined, while the CVT returns a slightly better rating of 28 city, 36 highway, and 31 mpg combined.
The interior features comfortably supportive seats, a spacious, well-appointed cabin with impressive material quality for the class, and plenty of rear-seat legroom. The sporty design and styling of Scion carry over inside and out on the Corolla iM.
Push-button start, a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are all standard along with a seven-inch touchscreen, LED running lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Navigation is an available option. Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity are also standard.
All Toyota Corolla iMs also comes with Toyota Safety Sense C suite of technologies. It's best to think of Safety Sense as Toyota's competitor for Honda Sensing and similar all-encompassing active safety suites. While there are more comprehensive systems available, Safety Sense C covers the important bases with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.
Rear cargo space measures 20.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up. The rear seats do fold down to offer more cargo area.
The Toyota Corolla iM may be a Scion under a new badge, but the host of added safety features along with the features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and seven-inch touchscreen make the sub-$20,000 iM an actual value. Option for the manual transmission. It doesn’t suffer from the sluggish performance found in the CVT-equipped Corolla iM and the one mpg difference in fuel economy is negligible.
2018 Toyota Corolla iM Review
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.
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
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.
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?
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.