2017 Toyota Corolla iM

2017 Toyota Corolla iM Review

The Toyota Corolla iM is a decent small hatch at a modest price, but rivals are more impressive.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

The 2016 closure of the Scion brand was disappointing for many, but wholly predictable given its recent lack of new vehicles. But two were launched just last year, so it made sense for Toyota to bring them under its umbrella and sell them as Toyotas for 2017. (The sporty FR-S was also carried over.) The Mazda-based iA sedan was renamed the Yaris iA, and the Corolla-derived iM was appropriately rebadged as the Corolla iM. We liked the Scion version enough when it launched last year, and this year's Toyota is no different save for a few new advanced safety features (and a very small price bump).

One of the Corolla iM's strengths is its ample list of standard features, which is good news because there really aren't any additional options or packages on the order list. And although the Corolla iM is a perfectly acceptable hatchback, it pales in comparison to many of its similarly priced rivals. The Mazda 3 is a perennial favorite thanks to its thrilling driving dynamics, while the all-new Civic hatchback offers a robust and fuel-efficient engine and transmission combination. The Corolla iM isn't a bad choice per se, but it doesn't really bring anything exciting to the table.



what's new

The 2017 Toyota iM is new to Toyota this year but is basically the same car as last year's Scion iM. Standard automatic high-beam control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning and mitigation are new for 2017.

we recommend

The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM comes in a single well-equipped model. On top of a lengthy standard features list that includes alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a rearview camera and a central touchscreen, there are several accessories and dealer-installed options worth considering. These include a larger rear spoiler, Toyota Racing Development upgrades and a fob that can help you find misplaced keys. Really, though, our opinion is to just get a base iM and leave it at that.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM is a compact hatchback that is new to Toyota this year. Fans of Toyota's Scion brand will remember that this car debuted last year as the Scion iM. But Toyota shuttered the Scion brand and cherry-picked the iM (along with the iA and FR-S) to move over to the core brand. The iM is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (137 horsepower, 126 pound-feet) that drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It's available in a single trim level, so your only choice will be the transmission type and what color you want.

Standard feature highlights of the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with auto high-beam control, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a driver information display, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker sound system. New standard safety systems for 2017 include lane departure warning and forward collision warning with automatic braking.

The are no factory options available, but notable dealer accessories include interior ambient lighting, various sport body enhancements and performance upgrades from TRD (Toyota Racing Development).

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the identical (except for the name) 2016 Scion iM (1.8L inline-4 | CVT automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Toyota Corolla iM has received some revisions, including standard automatic high-beam control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Corolla iM.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

2.5 / 5.0

Acceleration2.0 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering2.5 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0
Drivability4.5 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.5 / 5.0

Ease of use5.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.0 / 5.0
Roominess3.0 / 5.0
Visibility3.0 / 5.0
Quality4.5 / 5.0

Utility

3.5 / 5.0

Small-item storage4.0 / 5.0
Cargo space3.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The Toyota Corolla iM is noticeably sharper to drive than the Corolla sedan, and although pleasant to drive, it's not as engaging as top competitors. The 137-horsepower iM is underpowered, and it perpetually shows, letting down the entire car. The CVT automatic behaves nicely, however.

acceleration

edmunds rating
Acceleration is ultra-smooth and quiet with the gas pedal partially pressed down, but at full throttle the 1.8-liter four-cylinder is noisy and totally gutless. A 0-60 mph time of 10 seconds is 1.5 seconds slower than class average and basically tied for class-worst.

braking

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The iM's brake pedal feels firm and consistent during normal driving. In our simulated panic stop, the iM came to a halt from 60 mph in a class-average 122 feet.

steering

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Some road feel is transmitted when pushing the Corolla iM hard around a corner, but otherwise the steering is pretty numb and lifeless compared to the segment best. It does not provide you with any extra feel for the road or encourage you to drive with enthusiasm.

handling

edmunds rating
This lightweight car with small dimensions is reasonably responsive and nimble. It changes directions well, but noticeable amounts of body roll reduce confidence. Though it doesn't encourage one to drive enthusiastically, it doesn't dissuade like the Corolla sedan does.

drivability

edmunds rating
The CVT is better than most, providing smooth acceleration and simulating shifts under hard acceleration. Engaging Sport mode will cause the engine to hold revs, especially when going up- or downhill. Cruise control does a fine job holding a set speed downhill. This is a very easy car to drive.

comfort

edmunds rating
For a car that started out as a Scion (not necessarily known for comfort, tranquility and/or general refinement), the iM offers a genuinely comfortable and controlled ride and seats that are impressively supportive and comfortable. A noisy engine is one of the only faults.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The Corolla iM features some of the most comfortable and supportive front seats in the segment, with ample adjustment even for tall drivers. They remain a nice place to sit even on long drives. The backseat is flat, but a long cushion and suitable height make it comfy enough for adults.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Big road undulations give the 2017 iM some trouble, but otherwise the car's impressively controlled suspension soaks up bumps very well. The sophisticated ride is a standout attribute.

noise & vibration

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There is some noticeable wind noise on each side of the car aft of the rear doors. Beyond that, both wind noise and road noise are kept very nicely quelled. The underpowered engine is noisy and not a pleasure to hear — and you do hear it a lot.

interior

edmunds rating
For many, the Corolla iM will be a very agreeable daily driver. Its user-friendly controls, abundant features and high-quality cabin materials will certainly be appreciated, while its so-so backward visibility and a lack of backseat room could be cause for concern.

ease of use

edmunds rating
Controls are well-placed and simple, including those for the standard touchscreen interface. Its menus make sense, its buttons are of a reasonable size, and reactions are very quick. Auto climate controls are a nice touch in this segment.

getting in/getting out

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The Corolla iM's doors are large and light, making them easy to open. Even with a smallish backseat, getting into the back isn't difficult. The rear roofline isn't aggressively raked, reducing the chances of conking your head.

roominess

edmunds rating
There is less backseat legroom than in a Kia Forte 5, Mazda 3 or Volkswagen Golf, but it's not cramped. There's a suitable amount of rear legroom and headroom. Even tall folks will find ample space all around in front.

visibility

edmunds rating
A small rear window and big rear roof pillars diminish the driver's rear visibility. A sharply angled windshield and a high dash don't help, either, but at least the front pillars are thin. A rearview camera is standard, but no other driver aids are even optional.

quality

edmunds rating
The iM's cabin is mostly monochrome, with ample amounts of black plastic all around, but at least the surfaces you see and touch most often are soft. There's even a padded driver leg rest. The switchgear throughout the cabin, especially climate controls, looks and feels very nice.

utility

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The Toyota Corolla iM has many small item bins and storage areas throughout its cabin. The cargo area is smaller than those of some competing hatchbacks, but not by a significant amount.

small-item storage

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There are two cupholders in the front near the shifter, two in the back under the armrest and one in each door. The under-armrest bin is fairly deep, but the cellphone bin under the center stack doesn't allow much room for USB wires.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Cargo capacity is a bit smaller than other hatchbacks in this class, with only 20.8 cubic feet available behind the rear seats. (For comparison, a Golf measures 22.8 cubes and the Civic hatchback boasts 25.7 cubic feet.) In short, it's more versatile than a sedan but less so than other hatchbacks.

edmunds expert review process

This review was 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.