Not all road trips go to the outdoors. Sometimes, those trips can be into the big city, even when that big city is only 15-minutes away. So, in the big-city spirit, we took the 2016 Scion iA for an in-city cruise through Seattle to Seward Park.

2016 Scion iA_32With an entry MSRP of $17,595 for the automatic and $16,470 for the manual variant, this sedan is low-cost and good looking, but let’s not fool ourselves: this scion is a rebadged Mazda2 sedan. And we’re ok with that.

Being a rebadged Mazda2, the 2016 Scion iA will offer you great styling, mechanical dependability, and a comfortable interior with connective technology (not that you wouldn’t get that with a non-rebadged Scion…).

We started our drive near Green Lake, the 2016 Scion iA fitting in with the family friendly sedans and hatches littering the streets. The exterior size of the iA is perfect for Seattle; small enough for any size parking spot, yet roomy enough for you and your dog/kids/friends. Not necessarily in that order.

2016 Scion iA_28While passengers are safely stowed in the backseat, you’ll lounge in comfort in your manually adjusted sport front bucket seats. The steering wheel is tilt and telescopic and offers controls for the audio, Bluetooth, and cruise.

Even though we had a manual, the city hills were no challenge. Cherry Street was easy breezy, what with the 2016 Scion iA’s standard hill assist. A godsend for anyone when you’ve got full Seattle weekend traffic behind you!

Though the cruise control wasn’t used much as we cruised along the waterfront looking for parking under the Viaduct. An impossible feat that we gave up on for some easily accessible lunch at McDonald’s in Georgetown.

After that, I plugged Seward Park into my phone and streamed the navigation via Bluetooth through the 2016 Scion iA’s 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Now, you could get ‘Navigation’ in your Scion (one of the few optional equipment offered), but then you’d be paying more than $400 just for an SD Card. Be smart, save the dough, and use your connected cell phone.

2016 Scion iA_21While my Google Maps gave us directions to Seward Park, we listened to streaming tunes from Pandora Radio through the 6 speakers, though we could have used the AM/FM/XM radio, too. If my phone were dying, I’d have a handy USB port to charge it through.

Putting the manual gearbox back into first gear, we motored our way along residential roads.

The 2016 Scion iA’s 1.5L 4-cylinder engine with a power output of 105 horsepower. While we tooled our way east, we achieved an EPA-estimated 33 mpg (it would have been 42 if we went on the highway)… Ok, my lead foot and enthusiastic green lights dropped that to 31 mpg, but this peppy little sedan really begs it of you. Honestly.

And, if anyone ever did get into an accident, the 2016 Scion iA is the only minicar to achieve the IIHS’s TopPick+ award for safety, though it hasn’t been rated by the NHTSA.

(More below photograph.)2016 Scion iA_42

Overall, the 2016 Scion iA is a stylish, comfortable and, yes, sporty sedan for less than $17k. While it doesn’t come with creature comforts that other vehicles may, it was more than enough to keep me happy and get us safely to Seward Park. We finished our shakes while leaning on the hood and look at Mount Rainier and drove the 2016 Scion iA home happy (but not healthy).

If you’d like to test drive a 2016 Scion iA, then please visit your local Scion dealership today! If you want to go to Seward Park, it’s free, open all year round, and offers great recreation for people of all lifestyles!

(Note: The drive was a ‘date drive’, these photographs were taken at Carkeek Park in N. Seattle.)