$13,937 - $14,476

2016 Scion iM Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Scion iM was new.


Performance: 6.7

The brand-new 2016 Scion iM isn't as powerful, agile or fun to drive as rivals like the Volkswagen Golf, Mazda3 or Ford Focus, reviewers say, but it provides secure handling and enough power for everyday commutes.

  • "The segment is also full of cars offering better performance." -- Car and Driver
  • "The iM makes a reasonable commuter car or everyday driver for the non-enthusiast. If you're looking for driving fun above all, go buy a Mazda3." -- Autoblog
  • "… this isn't a performance car and doesn't offer the same kind of entertaining drive as cars like the Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta or VW Golf." -- Autotrader

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Scion iM is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 137 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a continuously variable transmission (automatic) is optional. According to the EPA, the 2016 iM gets 27/36 mpg city/highway with the manual and 28/37 with the automatic, both of which are typical for the class.

Test drivers say the 2016 Scion iM has enough power for your daily commute, but it is less potent than rivals like the Ford Focus and Mazda3. The manual transmission makes the Scion iM feel faster, according to critics, but it is a chore to use because of its tall, imprecise gear shift and high engagement point on the clutch pedal. On the other hand, reviewers write that the automatic transmission performs well, downshifting quickly when you need passing power.

  • "Let's not get your shorts in a twist about the iM's performance, since you'll have to make do with this 1798cc inline-four's 137 hp @ 6,100 rpm and 126 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm. You can make this 3,000-pound front-wheel-drive package really go, but you'll need the six-speed manual transmission to help, and even then you'll be chasing the taillights of a Mazda3." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "While acceleration is plenty good enough to keep up with traffic, flooring the throttle from a stop doesn't seem to bring much quicker movement off the line than a quarter-throttle stab, and there's an unusually long wait for power to build. Once under way, however, hitting the gas results in fairly quick kickdowns for added passing power." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The CVT works just fine - no sour points here - and it's good for up to 37 miles per gallon on the highway (30 city)." -- Autoblog
  • "The throws are long, and the gates are like ones you'd find at a confusing airport: poorly marked and easy to miss. The clutch also has an unnaturally high catch point that I never got used to during the drive route. If you're going for the iM, stick with the continuously variable transmission." -- Cars.com

Handling and Braking

The front-wheel drive 2016 Scion iM doesn't have the responsive steering or athletic handling of rivals like the Ford Focus and Mazda3, auto writers report, but they say its handling is composed and note that the iM's brakes provide strong stopping power. The iM also has a comfortable ride in most situations, according to test drivers, though some write that competitors like the Volkswagen Golf ride more smoothly over bumpy pavement.

  • "Given this car's mission, and its Toyota engineering, it's no surprise that the iM is no great steer on engaging roads. But in the city and on highways, it's perfectly fine. The suspension is forgiving over rough pavement and potholes." -- Autoblog
  • "In the corners, we enjoyed the car's relatively direct feel through the controls and the reassuring cornering grip from the 225/45R-17 tires. The iM is alert and eager, if not fast. This Scion isn't a Mazda, but as we reminded ourselves several times, neither is it a Honda Fit." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Going over rough surfaces makes the cabin somewhat loud, and bumps aren't absorbed to the same degree as some of the higher-quality compact hatches, such as the Focus and the Volkswagen Golf. Despite comparatively wide tires, the steering is too light and doesn't have the same feel as the Focus. So it's unlikely that the iM will find many fans among those who like to squeeze some joy out of their daily drives." -- Autotrader
  • "… my quick dash through Topanga Canyon barely fatigued the four-wheel disc brakes." -- Motor Trend

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