2016 Scion iA Review – A Quick Detour Before “Zooming” to Toyota

Scion, a marquee of Toyota catered to appeal towards a younger crowd just released their first 4-door, the 2016 Scion iA. A subcompact 4 door sedan seems like a change of pace for Scion, but there’s a catch; two words: zoom zoom.

2016 Scion iA Review - A Quick Detour Before “Zooming” to Toyota

Will the Mazda-engineered 2016 Scion iA Sedan Make Scion End Things With a Bang as it Transitions to Toyota by the End of 2016?

Mazda, known for its “zoom zoom” tag line and driver-oriented consumer cars lent their latest generation Mazda Demio (or Mazda 2) to Toyota/Scion for the 2016 Scion iA. Different badges aside both vehicles are virtually identical and it’s a good thing.

On the outside, the side silhouette is that of the Mazda sitting in 16 inchers. The front and the back fascia of the vehicle is swapped with that of Scion’s. Popping the hood gives you a 1.5 liter 4-cylinder at 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque; don’t let the numbers fool you though – more on that later. The direct-injection engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual or auto transmission to power the front wheels.

The interior is the same as the Mazda, with the exception of the badging and fabric on the seats. Scion offers the iAin one trim package which includes a push to start, a backup camera, cruise control, USB and Aux ports, Bluetooth and a seven-inch touchscreen which is the same one on the Mazda’s. As for legroom, the front is generous while the back is average.

The 1.5 liter engine is actually Mazda’s Skyactiv engine and on paper; it doesn’t have that much power for it to be a fast car because economy comes first on this engine. It is in no way a bad engine in fact it’s actually quite lively and rev happy.

The drive is what makes the Scion iA shine. Fun – that’s the only word to describe the driving experience. The suspension is responsive and the steering is direct. Throwing the gears on the manual variant is satisfyingly feels good. The Skyactiv engine while not fast, puts the power down quite well while maintaining a combined 35mpg.All that driving enjoyment also comes with an impressive set of safety features for even more driving confidence all for around a reasonable price; things are starting to not sound so boring now, eh?

Cargo space and legroom limitations; aside from those, most of the problems are just nit-picks. The seven-inch screen does not have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. It also ditches the 2-DIN slot which might disappoint enthusiasts looking for upgrades.

The positives clearly far outweigh the negatives, the 2016 Scion iA certainly is a Mazda in disguise, all negatives are left in the dust with its driving performance. Add in the standard equipment you get for a decent price tag and it’s certainly one of the best in class currently on the market.


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