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A blog about the cars I drive

Scion iA trounces sibling in San Francisco!

Scion flew a gaggle of writers to San Francisco last week to show us two new cars, both due in September.

The iM ($19,255, including freight) is a subcompact hatchback based on a car Toyota sells elsewhere as the Auris. The iA sedan ($16,495) came about when Mazda chose to not bring the Mazda2 to the States; it is essentially a rebadged Mazda2.

Both cars are sold “mono spec,” i.e., in a single, well-equipped trim, with available options installed at either the port or at the dealership.

2016 scion iA

2016 Scion iA

Standard iA features include:

  • Cruise control
  • A/C
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • Low-speed pre-collision system
  • Rear-view backup camera
  • 7-inch touch screen multimedia system with voice recognition
  • Tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
  • Two years of free maintenance

Though it’s not exactly a standard feature, the iA also boasts a massive-for-the-segment trunk (though at least a few inches are trimmed from the rear seats to accommodate).

2016 Scion iM

2016 Scion iM

The iM features list is even more impressive:

  • 7-inch Pioneer Display Audio unit with standard HD Radio and Aha™
  • Rear-view backup camera
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Scion’s first 4.2-inch color TFT multi-information display
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Color-keyed heated power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Hill Start Assist

Both cabins are impressively finished, with contrast stitching, abundant soft-touch surfaces and pleasing ergonomics.

Because I’m such a hatchback fanboi, I expected to come away favoring the iM. But it was the iA that took first-place honors on the winding backroads south of the City. Its lowly twist-beam rear suspension (the iM is all-independent) notwithstanding, it retained its cool no matter how hard we pushed it along the tight and twisty redwood-lined drive route. Its 105-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine performed stoutly, whether mated with the standard six-speed automatic or optional six-speed automatic.

I’ll have more to say about both cars in a upcoming Spokesman-Review piece. Watch this space.

One Comment

  1. aaronbbrown yeah, he should’ve just kept htnitig the gas but then again the FT-86 shouldn’t be drifted anyway unmodified, it doesn’t have the power to do it properly in my opinion (maybe that’s why they are in the rain).This looks like it is just sliding along the water more than anything. I’d like to see Toyota come out with a performance package with a turbo to get some mad toque in the low end.Hugh Jorgen: Come out an plaaaaayyy. But seriously, I think I’m done with you. After reading your comment on the Cadillac Back to Front, basically attacking someone with nonsense and stupidity, I’m realizing this is not a fair fight. I work in the biz and have the ability to google basic information. You no doubt wear a helmet and get distracted by shiny objects. Maybe you’re a 12 year old kid. If so, is your mom a hotty? Pics please. Skin only. Anything with a pouty face and over the shoulder. Yum.

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