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2016 Scion iA Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Scion, Test Drives


Scion continues its attractiveness as a youth brand and now has had a recent expansion introducing the subcompact iA alongside the sporty-looking iM 4-door hatchback. Having spent a week with the new Scion iA, I find that the brand has found a new gear to garner a new entry point for consumers who wish to obtain a unique character in their inexpensive transportation without sacrificing fundamental needs and very few wants.

>> Get the best price on the Scion iA (Toyota iA) from a network of local dealers now. <<


The 2016 Scion iA undeniably gets most of its design and engineering from the Mazda2. In that, the sporty attributes shine outwardly in the spectrum of a well-to-do subcompact that appeases the need for basic transportation. The new Scion iA is powered by a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder with 106 horsepower and 103 ft-lbs. of torque. While the power numbers from the iA’s smallish engine seem somewhat inadequate on paper considering today’s high-horsepower-thirsty world, it has just enough oomph to keep things peppy and zip along without being dangerous. Thanks to the low curb weight and feel from my test vehicle’s 6-speed automatic transmission, equipped in place of the standard 6-speed manual, the iA is able to muster along to provide a slight feel of confidence for the driver.


Overall handling is inspiring and hardly ever puts you in an uncomfortable position when abiding by the rules of local roads and highways. I will say, having driven the iA with the manual transmission gave me an extra dose of assurance while my current test vehicle’s 6-speed automatic seemed to be somewhat unpredictable unless I switched to manual shift mode to select gears myself.

The Scion iA’s styling only takes a slight depart from its Mazda2 roots with a unique front fascia, Scion badges, and rear tailight inner trim. Otherwise, the Scion iA retains its lively Mazda2 design and underpinnings. The somewhat cheeky looks of the iA attribute to its targeted consumer base, which starts with pimple-faced teens.


The Scion iA offers an upscale cabin that you would otherwise not expect from its set pricing structure. The interior, mostly mimicked from the Mazda2, takes on an approach to keep things just as lively as its exterior looks and zippy handling. There are a few soft-touch surfaces on the dashboard, and much of the fit and finish is pleasing with nicely contrasted colors – even if they are all mostly plastics. Keyless entry through use of the key fob, push button start, cruise control, a couple USB ports, and a backup camera fed through the infotainment system’s high-mounted 7-inch touch screen, all add value to the subcompact iA as standard equipment.


Fuel economy is as equally inspiring as the rest of the 2016 Scion iA getting an EPA estimated 33 mpg city, 42 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined on my 6-speed automatic-equipped test vehicle.


The new 2016 Scion iA is undeniably a subcompact that could be an acquired taste for many but thrives on its collective parts and economic mindedness of potential buyers. With the new iA being the only subcompact to get an automatic low-speed pre-collision safety system that will apply the brakes in the event of an imminent low-speed frontal collision, it gets the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) Top Safety Pick Plus Award.

The inspiring hopes of the Scion brand to become more significant for its niche consumer base will inevitably grow with the introduction of the new subcompact iA. The set-in-stone as-tested price at just $17,565 for my automatic transmission Scion iA is definitely ‘smart and stylish’ on part of Toyota’s youth brand, as the website will tell you. I totally get it.

>> Get the best price on the Scion iA (Toyota iA) from a network of local dealers now. <<

Copyright: 2015


  • Price: As-Tested $17,565 including a $795.00 delivery, processing and handling fee.
  • Vehicle layout: Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door subcompact
  • Engine: 1.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4-cylinder 106 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm / 103 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Curb weight: 2,473 lbs.
  • Wheelbase: 101.2 in.
  • Length x width x height: 171.7 x 66.7 x 58.5 in.
  • Headroom (f/r): 38.2 in. / 36.8 in.
  • Legroom (f/r): 41.9 in. / 34.4 in.
  • 0-60 mph: 9.0 sec
  • EPA city/hwy fuel econ: 33 mpg / 42 mpg
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 11.6 gallons

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