Scion is Dead: Long Live the 2016 Scion iM

Last week Toyota announced the death of the Scion brand and its plan to absorb some models back into the Toyota name. This will include the newly introduced Scion iM (Toyota iM?), which I got to test drive just a few short weeks prior to the major announcement.

The 2016 Scion iM is a spunky little hatchback vehicle offering great space and good designs for an MSRP of $19,995, and no real options (we’ll expand on this further down). The only real choices include color and transmission, ensuring your decision-making process is as easy as possible.

2016 Scion iM_09For less than $20k, there’s a ton of standard features that other manufacturers offer as options or as part of packages or trims. Included in the base (and only) Scion iM trim is a 7-inch touchscreen display used to connect to your Bluetooth or ancillary device. For us, connection was simple and easy.

I had many people laughing as I enjoyed my car dance-inducing tunes from the Bluetooth’d Pandora streaming via the standard Pioneer audio system and it’s 6 speakers. Yes. Car Dancing. Moving on.

2016 Scion iM_17Scion’s infotainment system offers apps (of which, Pandora was used prolifically), and offers bluetooth cell operations along with a USB port for charging. There was also HD radio, for those of us attached to local stations.

The cloth-covered Sport Bucket seats could be more comfortable, but they were serviceable. Honestly, I wished they’d tossed the seats from the Scion iA in there; now, those were comfy seats. (I’m sure Scion/Toyota is totally taking note of this humble car column, but hey, one can hope…). If the seats are intolerable for you, then head over to your local Scion (Toyota) dealership and order yourself a couple of seats, it’ll still cost you less than the average competitor and it’s a small-sized hoot to drive.

The rear seats offered seating for three full-size adults with, what I’m sure would be, a bit of a squeeze, but they would fit. Just tell them to stuff-it or walk. The cargo capacity with the rear seats up is 20.8 cubic feet, with

2016 Scion iM_18Powering the 2016 Scion iM is a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine creating 137 horsepower and 126-lb.ft. of torque, connected to one of the few choices you have: a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Sport mode.

We had a model with an automatic transmission. No amount of chrome tipping will make this into a sports car, but Sport mode did bring a smile to my face. It made me wonder how good the manual would be. (Can we say, dog-legging a hot hatch?)

Safety wise, the 2016 Scion iM comes with Toyota’s Star Safety System (traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes and brake distribution, a slew of airbags, and more.

(More below photograph.)

2016 Scion iM_19

Now, some may be concerned about buying a Scion while it’s been announced that the brand will be disappearing. Scion is Toyota and are already serviceable at any Toyota dealership. Toyota already announced many models that will be transferring from the Scion badge to the Toyota badge, including the FR-S, the iA, and the iM, so there will be plenty of parts for future owners.

Honestly, for what you get, it’s a good choice that’s fun to drive and is practical, too! Check one out at your local Scion dealership today!