2018 Toyota Corolla iM

2018 Toyota Corolla iM Review

The Corolla iM provides a ton of value, but other hatchbacks are more practical and fun to drive.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

A compact sedan is an excellent choice if good fuel economy, a low price and everyday ease of use top your list of vehicular requirements. But the small dimensions naturally necessitate a similarly compact cargo area, which is not great if you want to take a spur-of-the-moment road trip with your friends. Luckily, most are available in a more practical hatchback body style. The 2018 Toyota Corolla iM is essentially a hatchback variant of the ubiquitous Corolla, and its single available trim takes a lot of guesswork out of the shopping experience.

The Corolla iM carries many of the sedan's benefits and pitfalls. On one hand, the ride and seats are comfortable, materials quality is good, and the user interface is intuitive. Plus, you get a ton of standard features for the money. Unfortunately, the cargo area is smaller than competitors' and the back seat is pretty cramped. It's also not much fun to drive, with painfully slow acceleration from its underpowered four-cylinder. Overall, the Corolla iM is a decent choice that looks good on paper thanks to its robust features list. But we think shoppers would be happier paying a little extra for a more well-rounded small hatchback.



what's new

The Toyota Corolla iM is unchanged for 2018.

we recommend

The 2018 Toyota Corolla iM hatchback comes in a single, well-equipped trim level, with a wealth of standard options. These include automatic headlights, heated mirrors, dual-zone climate control, a touchscreen infotainment display and advanced driver aids. However, there are several dealer-installed options and accessories worth considering, such as a rear spoiler, interior ambient lighting and navigation. Unless you absolutely need these odds and ends, we recommend sticking with the standard Corolla iM and enjoying its comparatively low price.

trim levels & features

Introduced to the Scion brand in 2016 and brought under the Toyota umbrella last year, the Corolla iM is essentially a hatchback version of the Corolla sedan. Unlike the Corolla, the 2018 iM is sold in a single trim level, but it's actually a little less expensive than a comparably equipped Corolla. It's not quite as customizable, though, since your only real choices are color, transmission and selection of dealer-installed accessories.

Under the hood of the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM is 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). Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with auto high-beam control, LED daytime running lights and taillights, a rear spoiler, heated and power-folding mirrors, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a driver information display, a height-adjustable driver seat and 60/40-split folding rear seats.

With the iM, you also get a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port and HD radio. Standard advanced safety systems 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, a navigation system and various sport body enhancements.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. 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 currentToyota Corolla iM has received some revisions, including standard automatic high-beam control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking in 2017. 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, however, behaves nicely.

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

edmunds rating
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

edmunds rating
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 you 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 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 back seat is flat, but a long cushion and suitable height make it comfy enough for adults.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Big road undulations give the 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, though 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

edmunds rating
The Corolla iM's doors are large and light, making them easy to open. Even with a smallish back seat, 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

edmunds rating
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

edmunds rating
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 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.