2016 Scion iA and iM Get Overwhelmingly Positive Consumer Reports Reviews

2016 Scion iA 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
When Mazda and Toyota signed their partnership, it seemed like the Miata people were getting a much better deal, offering almost nothing in return for the best hybrid tech in the world. But the Mazda's expertise in making fun vehicles proved invaluable when the Mazda2 sedan was converted into the Scion iA.
The Scion brand was left limping badly by the economic crisis. There was talk of killing it off a few years ago, as most Toyota dealerships in the US wanted nothing to do with the budget mindset. With the FR-S buying time, they signed a deal with Mazda and got the Mazda2 sedan, which they re-badged as the iA.

It's a strange name and a somewhat awkward front fascia, but the Mazda2 has not lost any of its character.

Consumer Reports tested the baby Scion recently and had nothing but words of praise. The steering is direct, and while the 1.5-liter 106 horsepower engine is not that impressive, the manual gearbox makes it fun.

The same cannot be said about the other Toyota model that occupies the subcompact segment, namely the Toyota Yaris. We're not just talking about the lack of cargo space, but also about the engine. It seems the Skyactiv technology really is good at saving fuel. Consumer reports had the unusual experience of exceeding the manufacturer numbers. Their tester exceeded 40 mpg on the highway.

So if you had $16,500 to spend on a new car, the Scion iA might actually be a better choice than the Fiesta or the Kia Rio at the moment.

It's a case of "same story, different chapter" with the iM. Though this car is not based on a Mazda, it too does a much better job than the car it replaces, which is the boxy Scion xD.

Consumer Reports says this European hatchback feels nimble to drive, even though it lacks the steering feel of the Mazda3 and Ford Focus. We've talked about it before and concluded that it's better value than the VW Golf while only lacking in the powertrain department.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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