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2016 Scion iA vs Scion iM

2016 Scion iA vs Scion iM

Scion, the youth-oriented counterpart of Toyota, has released two brand new vehicles in the 2016 Scion iA and the Scion iM. These vehicles target latte-sipping, banjo-playing, origami-folding hipsters who want features and style at a relatively low price. Even if you don’t fall into any millennial stereotypes, these new Scion cars are worth a look. Today, Carsforsale.com is comparing pricing, specs, features, design, safety, and performance of the 2016 Scion iA vs Scion iM.

Scion iA Overview (base)

Engine: 1.5L 4-cylinder

Horsepower: 106

Fuel Economy: 33 City / 42 Hwy

MSRP: From $15,700

2016 Scion iA Review


The brand new 2016 Scion iA is a subcompact car with both spunk and youth. While many subcompact sedans take on an awkward, quirky appearance, the Scion iA is surprisingly sporty. Taking design elements from the sporty Scion FR-S, the iA has somewhat complex sculpting and a large trapezoidal grille.

2016 Scion iA exterior

Cabin design of this Scion looks surprisingly upscale for the price point. Steering wheel controls, skinny center stack, circular buttons and vents, and a high-set infotainment screen characterize the interior. There are some cheaper, plastic interior materials present, but the majority of trim is soft-touch.

2016 Scion iA interior

Front seats provide plenty of space, but the back seats have significantly less leg and head room. Storage space is impressive for a subcompact sedan, thanks to a large trunk and 60/40 flat folding rear seats.


Every Scion iA comes with a front wheel drive 1.5L 4-cylinder engine that produces 106 hp and 103 lb ft of torque. While these numbers are low, keep in mind the engine is powering a very small and light vehicle. Drivers can choose between a 6-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual. It’s not a sports car experience, but the little engine does well for its class.

2016 Scion iA engine

The iA achieves an estimated 42 mpg highway and 33 mpg city. These numbers are on par for the subcompact class.


The IIHS calls the 2016 Scion iA a Top Safety Pick+, which is a rare achievement for subcompact vehicles. We are still waiting on NHTSA crash testing. Every iA comes with a backup camera and a low speed pre-collision system.


Standard features include keyless entry, rearview camera, pushbutton start, Bluetooth, 7-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, two USB ports, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and more. Other dealer-installed features and add-ons are available a la carte.

Scion iM Overview (base)

Engine: 1.8L 4-cylinder

Horsepower: 137

Fuel Economy: 28 City / 37 Hwy

MSRP: From $18,400

2016 Scion iM Review


The brand new 2016 Scion iM is a sporty-looking compact hatchback. From the side, this hatchback looks much like a modernized Toyota Matrix. The iM is characterized by a forward sloping hatch and a low front stance.

2016 scion im

Interior design is handsome and straight-forward. The cabin has a piano-black theme throughout, with the occasional silver accent. A 7-inch touch screen sits in the middle of the dash below the air vents and above temperature controls. Trim is mostly on par in terms of quality, with a combination of soft, padded materials and some plastics.

2016 Scion iM

Front seats have plenty of room for passengers, but rear seats may be inadequate for taller adults. Overall cargo space is on par for the class, and the 60/40 folding seats provide extra space when needed.

2016 Scion iM Storage


Scion offers exclusively a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine that produces 137 hp and 126 lb ft of torque. Drivers can choose between a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT. While handling on the Scion iM is sporty, acceleration isn’t all that impressive. This vehicle will provide good power for the typical commuter, but it isn’t a performance-minded hot hatch.

The iM achieves an estimated 28 mpg city and 37 mpg highway with an automatic transmission. These numbers drop by 1 each with the manual transmission.


The verdict is still out on the 2016 Scion iM crash test ratings, however it comes with some promising safety perks. Smart Stop Technology and Brake Assist and rearview camera come standard, along with other expected standard safety features.


Every Scion iM is equipped with power-folding mirrors, steering wheel audio controls, dual-zone auto climate control, 7-inch touchscreen, USB, iPod connectivity, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, rearview camera, keyless entry, and more. Other dealer-installed features and add-ons are available a la carte.

2016 Scion iA vs Scion iM Winner:

2016 Scion iA

2016 Scion iA

Normally, we would pick a winner for standard vehicle, upgrades, and overall. Because of Scion’s single trim approach, we only have one winner. When comparing the 2016 Scion iA vs Scion iM, the Scion iA comes out on top by providing similar features and capabilities to the Scion iM at a lower price point. The iA has incredible value, even offering a few features that aren’t in the iM, like the pre-collision system. The subcompact 2016 Scion iA is arguably the most sporty-looking subcompact sedan, and the interior is top-notch for the class.

Want to own a Scion? Be sure to check out all the Scions on Carsforsale.com.

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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