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Scion's iA and iM models debut Sept. 1.

First drive

2016 Scion iA and iM


What Are They?

There are two vehicles being presented here, both being debuted, marketed and advertised together by Scion, not to mention parked next to each other on Scion showroom floors starting Sept. 1 ... so we might as well introduce them together.

The compact hatchback Scion iM is a Scion version of the Japan-market Toyota Auris. It shares the same platform as the Toyota Corolla and Scion tC and kind of fills the same utilitarian wagon/hatchback role for Scion that the old Matrix wagon/hatchback did for Toyota, only on a smaller scale. The iM comes in just one trim level –- Mono Spec -- so your only choices are transmission and color.  With a 137-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual or CVT, it’s pretty straightforward.

The Scion FR-S is one of the purist driver's cars on the road right now.

2014 Scion FR-S review notes


EXECUTIVE EDITOR RORY CARROLL: Every time it snows, I wish we had our old long-term Subaru BRZ back. Once we’d mounted snow tires, there wasn’t a better car in our fleet for blasting through the snow sideways. When I was assigned this Scion FR-S, I was looking forward to more of the same, until I realized that it was sitting on its stock tires. In the snow, the Scion struggled to accelerate and stop. The chassis was still great, it was still fun to slide, but if you’re going to buy one of these and drive it all year, I’d recommend -- as I always do -- ponying up for snows.

One other note, I took a trip to Home Depot for lumber and was again surprised by the usefulness of the FR-S trunk. With the seats folded, there’s a ton of room back there. 

ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I don’t care that its 10 degrees out and that there’s 4 inches of snow on the ground. This car is a blast

Scion's original coupe is now forgettable.

2014 Scion tC review notes

03/28/2014 SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: About 1,000 or so people are buying the Scion tC each month, and I imagine the majority of them are pleased with their purchase. For not a lot of coin, Scion provides a reasonably fun-to-drive car -- it's no FR-S, as you would expect -- with some racer-ish features that should appeal to youthful buyers while not going so far as to turn off potential older customers.I was there for the launch of the entire Scion brand 10 years ago, and it's amazing to think so much time has passed. Certainly many in the automotive press snickered initially at the concept, as it seemed perhaps a bit too contrived, but the past decade has proven us wrong. No, it doesn't move hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year, or even 100,000, but it has brought a different kind of attention and, in some cases, buyer into Toyota's corporate fold. And other than the FR-S, the tC would be my choice.
The 2013 Scion FR-S is good with an automatic, too.

2013 Scion FR-S review notes

We like it with the automatic, too

05/04/2013 EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: If I had to choose between this and the Subaru BRZ, I would take the Subie. They're both a blast to drive, and offer serious competition to everything from the Hyundai Genesis Coupe to the Nissan 370Z -- and it's great to have all of these options on the market these days. But I'd go with the BRZ for the interior interface. The whole audio system setup is a series of complex maneuvers to get simple things done, which is enough for me to be turned off.Otherwise, there's a ton -- actually a little over a ton -- to love here, from the styling to the zippy powertrain to the absolutely perfect driving position. I'm liking these twins more every time I drive one.ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I had a weekend to get acquainted with this Scion FR-S
The Scion FR-S, along with the Subaru BRZ, is the result of a partnership between Subaru and Toyota.

2013 Scion FR-S review notes

Your $25,000 sports car has arrived

01/04/2013 SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: “Winner.”I said this out loud as I climbed from the 2013 Scion FR-S after my first proper drive in this Subaru/Toyota collaboration. You need only 20 minutes of even moderately enthusiastic driving to discover the fun this car delivers, and then you find yourself going back for more. Drive. Drift. Park. Admire. Repeat.We've waited an agonizingly long time for an affordable, good-looking, well-setup, rear-drive sports car, and Subaru/Toyota have gotten it oh-so-right. The steering reacts instantly to inputs; it caught me by surprise at first. No dead zones here. The suspension setup out of the box allows for big slides just for the hooning hell of it, while at the same time, the chassis is predictable. Throw it into a corner and a bit of understeer is swallowe
The Scion iQ returned good fuel mileage, but tough reviews.

2012 Scion iQ review notes

Micro machine gets mixed response

07/16/2012 EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Well, I guess I couldn't avoid it forever, much as I tried. In the back of my mind I knew that someday I was going to get stuck driving a 2012 Scion iQ. I was looking forward to it about as much as a root canal, and after driving it my instincts were right. There's not much fun to be had here.OK, it's not that bad. At three-quarters throttle off the line it's almost zippy and sort of enjoyable (full throttle just causes the engine/CVT combination to make horrible noises with no real speed increase). And on the wet pavement it was almost fun to slide the thing around. Then again, over Detroit potholes the ride is choppy and rough. The combination of tall(ish) height and short wheelbase means the car tends to bounce around quite a bit. The steering is good for buzzing around town. The interior is cleverly packaged but could use a material upgrade. But I guess this is what you get for $17,000.It's just beyond me why anyone would buy an iQ over a Honda Fit or a Mazda 2
The FR-S is exhibiting a tendency toward controllable oversteer.

2013 Scion FR-S

Drive Review

04/25/2012 What is it? This is the car that will revitalize club racing, inspire everyone to enter Formula D and redirect fame and fortune to Toyota's flagging Scion division, all for about $25,000 a pop. If that sounds like too much for one model to bear, you haven't driven it yet. The Scion FR-S and its twin, the Subaru BRZ, are what we have been waiting for for years--an affordable, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive compact car that is nicely balanced, responsive and fun. Not since the debut of the Mazda Miata more than 20 years ago has there been so much buzz about a new entry in the segment. People are staking out ports to watch them roll off ships. It's true, you have always been able to buy great sports cars; those never went away. Problem was, they were either front-wheel drive or they cost half as much as your house. The FR-S/BRZ represents the return of the affordable, even practical, sports car.The FR-S is engineered by Subaru and designed by Toyota. Toyota added the highly efficient D4S direct- and port-fuel injection system t
The four-cylinder engine in the Scion iQ is rated at 94 hp.

2012 Scion iQ

Review notes

11/03/2011 WEST COAST EDITOR MARK VAUGHN: I am somewhat predisposed to like dinky cars. OK, not even somewhat. I like the things. The B-class takeover of the lower end of the market was something I looked forward to and continue to look forward to with every new model that comes out. I appreciate efficiency, especially if it can come attached to fun. A go-kart is the best example of that. So when I first saw a multicolored fleet of Scion iQs hanging on the wall above the Toyota stand at the Tokyo motor show two years ago--or was it Frankfurt 2007? Geneva 2008? Is it Tuesday? Is this Belgium?-- I thought, hey, those things look cool. I still think they look cool, and though the 2012 Scion iQ has many good things going for it, unfortunately being fun to drive is not one of them. Sure, you could easily blame the CVT, which could suck the life out of a Ferrari. When it's bolted into the drivetrain of a 1.3-liter I4 driving
The 2012 Scion iQ will make its way into U.S. dealerships starting in October.

2012 Scion iQ, an AutoWeek Flash Drive Car Review

07/19/2011 What is it?Toyota is tossing its hat into the minicar ring in the form of the 2012 Scion iQ.At 4.9 feet tall and with an overall length of about 10 feet--just shy of a foot longer than a Smart car--Scion says the iQ is the world's smallest four-seater. It went on sale in Japan as the Toyota iQ in 2008 and has since made its way to the European market. Two years and an awkward Aston Martin restyle after its U.S. concept debut in New York in 2009, the iQ is slated to hit West Coast dealerships in October and then filter into other U.S. regions early next year.By introducing the iQ under the Scion brand in the States, Toyota hopes to appeal to younger urbanites. The car's unconventional styling and minimalist yet well-appointed interior also should be appealing to the younger crowd, as should a base price of $15,995 (including destination). The 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine gets 37 mpg on the hig
2011 Scion xD review.

2011 Scion xD, an AW Drivers Log Car Review

05/25/2011 ART DIRECTOR TARA KLEIN: Well, you definitely get what you pay for with the 2011 Scion xD--maybe even a little less. Even though quality wasn't quite in the forefront of this vehicle's benefits, there were some characteristics that were well carried out.The exterior of the xD is boxy yet stylized, appealing mostly to a younger crowd. There's a lot someone could do with this car by customizing, but as it sits now, it's a sad halfway (or not even halfway) point between cool and drab, being closer to drab. The bare bones are at least there, however.I did find the interior to be nice, considering its economical approach. The metallic upholstery on the door panels gives a throwback look, and the stamped plastic breathes new life into what could be a monotonous hard surface. The center-stack design could use some refinement, even though I do like the shape of its profile, jutting the temperature controls out toward the front seats. An armrest would have been useful, since I constantly found myself placing my arm in its empty place, only to have gravity p

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