Looking for a youthful, colourful hatchback that is also practical? Scion believes its brand new iM is the car for you.
“Canadian drivers asked for a hatchback that’s sleek, fun and versatile – and we know they’re going to love the Scion iM,” said Cyril Dimitris, Director of Scion in Canada. “This five-door design has sporty handling, loads of cargo room, and a full compliment of premium features and amenities, all of which come standard – making it the ideal addition to our roster of smaller cars with big personalities.”
Set to arrive in dealerships later this year, the Scion iM is essentially a reskinned version of Toyota’s Auris, which it sells in Europe. Here, it will compete with the likes of the Mazda3, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
To make it uniquely Scion and attract younger buyers, the new iM is only available in one trim level that can be customized to suit each owner’s personal tastes.
Differentiating itself from its more mature parent, the Scion iM has an enhanced profile and contemporary features. The highlights include a sporty body aero kit, hexagon lower grille, sharp-eyed headlights and LED daytime running lights and taillights.
The iM’s strength is its bang for your buck. The iM offers impressive premium features and amenities for less than you pay for competitors. The iM comes standard with dual-zone climate control, a 6-speaker audio system with a 7-inch colour display, Bluetooth, voice recognition, USB connectivity and a backup camera.
It should come as no surprise then that riding in an iM is an enjoyable experience. The bolstered front sport seats hold you tightly, while the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob feel nice in hand. The textured soft materials and rich-looking hard plastics give it a premium feel.
Rear passengers were not forgotten. The iM boasts impressive leg- and head-room for a car in this class. The floor is nearly flat, giving three passengers room for their feet, and the cushioned door uppers are kind to shoulders.
With the 60/40 split rear seat up, the iM’s 21 cubic feet of cargo space is quite good. And, if you need more, they fold flat to accommodate larger items.
At the front, every iM is powered by a 137 hp 1.8-litre four-cylinder. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, but a CVT is also available. The CVT has been tuned with fun in mind and can be used as a manual with seven stepped shift points.
Scion wanted the iM to be fun and engaging to drive. However, this is one area where its rivals have an advantage.
In manual models, the clutch is very light and the shifter has long throws. Combined with its lack of grunt, the iM can be tricky to drive in traffic.
Unfortunately, the iM isn’t fantastic in corners either. While the chassis is solid and the 17-inch tires grip well, steering is too light and lifeless.
Thankfully, the Scion iM should make up for those shortcomings with great fuel economy. Official numbers have not yet been released, but expect the iM to be class-leading.
What do you think about the new Scion iM? Do you think it will suit your lifestyle?