Quick Summary The all-new 2016 Scion iM is a compact hatchback in a very competitive segment. It's comfortable and delivers plenty of features for the price, but its performance and interior space fall below the segment best.
What Is It? The 2016 Scion iM is a compact, four-door hatchback that competes with the Ford Focus, Kia Forte 5, Mazda 3 and VW Golf. The iM is based on the Toyota Corolla and comes with a similar 137-horsepower, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine. This is good when it comes to likely reliability, but it doesn't produce enough power to be competitive.
The iM is about 2 inches shorter in height than these rivals, narrower in width by an inch or two and splits the difference in overall length between the Focus and Elantra GT. The Mazda 3 is the biggest in this class, measuring 5 inches longer than the iM with about a 4-inch-longer wheelbase. The Scion has a sportier appearance than most other hatchbacks, with sharp body creases, a raked-back windshield and side skirts that give it an aggressive stance.
Haggle-free pricing starts at $19,995 for the iM with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), or $19,255 if you choose the six-speed manual. These price points represent a sort of sweet spot for the segment, while the features list is actually more generous than usual among similarly priced competitors. Standard features like 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera and iPod/USB auxiliary audio are increasingly the norm, but the iM distinguishes itself from the rest by also adding two years of free scheduled maintenance, keyless ignition and entry, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 7-inch touchscreen audio system with Internet streaming radio and apps. Navigation is available as an option, as are various sporty exterior enhancements and suspension alterations.
How Does It Drive? There's a standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood that delivers 137 hp and 126 pound-feet of torque. That's not a lot, even for the compact-car segment, and the iM constantly reminds you of it. Acceleration is near the bottom of the class, needing 10 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph. Most competitors are at least 1 or 2 seconds quicker, and it's a difference you can feel in the real world. Whether merging onto a highway or pulling away from a traffic light, the engine feels weak and overmatched while emitting thrashy, uncouth noises that make accelerating slowly a more palatable driving choice.
Should you do that, the CVT will provide impeccably smooth "acceleration." Should you opt to drive with a little more gusto, the CVT actually does a pretty good job (many do not) getting what it can from the little engine. An even heavier foot will cause the CVT to simulate gearchanges, making it feel more like a conventional automatic and mitigating the usual droning noises indicative of this alternative transmission type. There's even a Sport mode that did an impressive job of holding revs high on both the uphill and downhill stretches of our standard evaluation route.
Unlike the engine, the iM's handling is a clear improvement upon the Corolla. There's more driver engagement to be found, with a reasonably playful and agile attitude detected both at our test track and in the real world. Yet, while it doesn't dissuade one to drive with some enthusiasm, it doesn't encourage it like some competitors do — especially the Mazda 3.
Is It Comfortable? The iM's ride quality drew praise. Our editors almost universally returned from driving this latest Scion impressed by the comfort and composure exhibited by its suspension. It generally feels more grown-up and sophisticated than past, unsubstantial-feeling Scions as well as being an improvement upon the Corolla. It really is one of the iM's stand-out attributes.
Front-seat space is also quite good, with just enough driver-seat adjustment for tall drivers. The seats themselves also drew universal praise, with more lateral support than normal for the segment and firm cushions that prevented fatigue after many hours behind the wheel. This is yet another area where the iM outpaces the Corolla.
The same cannot be said of the backseat, which is one of the smallest in the segment along with the Ford Focus. Headroom is acceptable, but legroom is comparatively restrictive. We're not sure we'd call it cramped — it actually would've been quite good not so long ago, but today's rivals are more spacious, with the Mazda 3 providing an additional 3 inches of legroom.
How Nice Is the Interior? To date, Scions have been known for cabins constructed of hard, black plastic and not an ounce of anything one could deem "premium." That changes with the new iM, which has materials that give up little (if anything) to its competitors. Most of the surfaces you see or frequently touch are soft, while everything else is at least of a quality appearance and texture. We especially appreciated the padded area on the center console where the driver can rest their leg. The standard dual-zone automatic climate controls look as if they were removed from a far more expensive car, boasting a nice glossy feel, solid movement and easy-to-use operation.
The standard 7-inch touchscreen is a tad aftermarket in its appearance (that's because it's made by Pioneer), but like those in other Toyota-group cars, it is refreshingly easy to use and very quick to react to inputs. We also thought the sound system was above average for a $20,000 car.
Forward visibility is excellent, thanks to the narrow roof pillars and a steeply slanted hood that provide an expansive view of the road. On the other hand, rear visibility is reduced by a short hatch window and large rear roof pillars, forcing heavy reliance on the standard rearview camera.
Cargo space is also far from ideal. The trunk is usefully wide, but it's not that deep and there's very little space above the rigid cargo cover, so its usefulness as a hatchback with the seats raised is negligible. Lowering the backseats does make it more versatile than sedan rivals — including the Corolla — but it's not quite as spacious as the Mazda 3 or Volkswagen Golf.
Small-item storage is much better, with eight (!) cupholders spread equally front and rear. The enormous bottle holders in the rear doors are of particular note. The front armrest bin is also quite large, while the existence of a small smartphone bin forward of the shifter is appreciated even if there's not quite enough room to stuff both your phone and its wire.
What About Safety? In addition to the typical or mandated safety features, the Scion iM comes with side airbags up front, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and a passenger seat cushion airbag that helps keeps the occupant in an ideal position during a frontal collision. A rearview camera is standard, as is a hill-hold function for vehicles with the manual transmission.
In Edmunds brake testing, the iM came to an emergency stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is average for the segment. It also performed several stops of a similar distance, demonstrating a resistance to brake fade.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Does It Get? The EPA estimates fuel economy at 32 mpg in combined driving (28 city/37 highway) with the CVT. With a manual, the iM gets 1 less mpg across the board. Meanwhile, we averaged 33.2 mpg with the CVT on our standardized evaluation route. Either way, these figures are certainly thrifty, but others in the class are even more efficient and more powerful to boot. In other words, don't expect a fuel economy tradeoff for that laggardly acceleration.
What Does the Scion iM Compete Against? The Edmunds "A"-rated Mazda 3 is a standout in the hatchback class, as is the Volkswagen Golf. Both of these cars are better overall than the Scion iM, offering more refinement, stronger performance and larger cabins. We strongly suggest testing them out before committing to the dotted line. To a lesser degree but still stronger than the Scion are the Ford Focus and Kia Forte 5 hatchbacks.
Why Should You Consider This Car? The Scion iM offers lots of value to singles or young couples in search of a daily commuter car that can handle the odd weekend road trip. It's comfortable, safe and packed with features for a reasonable price, while boasting added value by way of two years of free scheduled maintenance, a no-haggle buying experience and Toyota's sterling reputation for reliability.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car? The main rivals listed above are quite simply more well-rounded and appealing, especially in terms of performance, fuel economy and interior space. The Scion iM is an OK choice, but others are stronger overall.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2016 Scion iM Overview
The 2016 Scion iM is offered in the following submodels: Hatchback. Available styles include 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M), and 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl CVT). iM models are available with a 1.8 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 137 hp, depending on engine type. The 2016 iM comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual, continuously variable-speed automatic. The 2016 iM comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2016 Scion iM?
Save up to $300 on one of 22 used 2016 Scion iMs for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $12199 as of Dec 12, 2017, based on data from 18 dealers and 5 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 1 to 3.7 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2016 Scion iM trim styles:
The 2016 Scion iM Base is priced around $14537 with average odometer reading of 19808 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Is the 2016 Scion iM a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2016 Scion iM and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2016 iM featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2016 Scion iM? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2016 Scion iM and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2016 iM 4.6 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2016 iM.
Vehicle 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
Review Most of the pro reviews dis the iM for various reasons but I've found it to be a great little car. Chances are you're not going to drive your car at the track or through a slalom so why be so concerned with the acceleration and cornering? Acceleration is good from the 1.8L - if you want a car that jerks your head back off the line this isn't it (go buy a mustang or camaro). Handling and cornering are good and road feel is great. The car feels solid and responds accordingly. The interior looks pretty good considering it's cloth and soft-touch plastic. All controls are reasonably located and easy to use. A tall person (over 6 foot) will not like the rear seat as the aerodynamics of the roof takes its toll on rear seat headroom. A drop-down console in the middle of the rear seat is great for passengers. Bluetooth connection to my phone is flawless. I'm seeing 41 mpg on flat highway and averaging 35 mpg around town (mix of city and hilly suburban driving).
2016 Scion iM inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Scion iM for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 6 new and 22 used and CPO 2016 iMs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 12199 and mileage as low as 2. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2016 Scion iM. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 300 on a new, used, or CPO 2016 iM available from one of 2804 dealerships in your area.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
2016 scion im 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M), 6-speed manual, regular unleaded 31 combined MPG 27 city MPG/36 highway MPG