Scion had been unusually quiet the last year or two. Now I know why. The manufacturer was busy gearing up for the upcoming double launch of their new models – the iM and the iA. These are a couple sweet numbers and they are perfect for millennials looking to purchase their first new car!
I was invited to attend a special press event in connection with this vehicle launch. All opinions are my own.
The Scion brand caters to those in the 18-34 years crowd. Unlike those of us of the previous generation who learned to be frugal thanks to a national recession, the millennial young adults have learned to be self-reliant, practical, and very positive about their financial future. These trends have greatly influenced the design of these two new vehicles.
2016 Scion iM Hatchback Review
The iM was described as the Swiss Army Knife of cars due to its versatility. There are plenty of standard features and, while it can handle weekends full of fun, safety is still a top priority. This hatch blends “flexibility, ability, and agility,” according to our product briefing. At a price tag of 18,460 for manual and $19,200 for the CT transmission, this car will be ideal for many new buyers.
The manual iM had a very early friction point which made it a challenge to get used to driving it. However, the handling was fantastic and hugged the curves nicely. That extra sway bar gives some nice stability. The front seats were comfortable and there’s a nice bit of space in the cargo area.
I peeked at the back row and, though tight, I’m sure 2-3 fit fine there. The power is sufficient but be prepared for some major downshifting if you need any boost for passing or whatnot. As for looks, I think the hatchback design is clean and fun. Hey, I want one of these…even if I’m almost three years out of the target audience 😉
2016 Scion iA Sedan Review
The iA has a bit more of a grown-up feel with the sedan design. Yet, makers hope to break the mold of the segment its in. This is more of an aspirational purchase for those that are starting their careers and are working their way up the ladder of life. Plus, it was created with a Human-First design, starting with the driver and building the car around them, not the other way around. The iA was made to fit people of all different shapes and sizes but with the reliability of a Mazda2 core.
I was not as wowed by the iA. I did like the amount of space but it just did not have a polished feel like the iM did. The controls in this are completely different and felt a bit dated. However, I loved the feature which disabled the touchscreen at a certain speed and kicked control over to the directional knob on the middle area. Drivers will have less distraction messing with the touchscreen while driving but have more ease inputting information while still. Nice!
2016 Scion iM and Scion iA with PURE Process Plus+
Both the iM and the iA will be available in September. Hopefully both will be available through the PURE Process Plus+ program at your local dealer. This program is in its pilot stages but should allow users to go through the whole buying process online, including signing, in under 1-2 hours. How easy would that be?
Do you know of a college student, recent grad, or new entrant in the workforce who is in the market for a new car?