2017 Toyota Corolla iM Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.0

The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM's engine produces sluggish acceleration on the highway, and it can be noisy. Handling is decent, but it’s not as composed or sporty as some competitors. The Corolla iM's fuel economy estimates are average for the class.

  • "While 137 horsepower isn't exactly a figure that will win the hearts of hardcore driving enthusiasts, Toyota's 2017 Corolla iM does have the kind of ride and handling that generally brings a smile to most people's face." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite its sporty styling, the iM's performance is barely adequate." -- Edmunds
  • "The segment is also full of cars offering better performance." -- Car and Driver (2016, Scion iM)

Acceleration and Power

Powering the Corolla iM is a 137-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable (automatic) transmission is optional. According to the EPA, the 2017 iM with the manual transmission gets 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway and 28/37 mpg city/highway with the automatic, both of which are typical for the class.

The Corolla iM's engine is loud. Acceleration is decent enough for the average commute and made better with the manual transmission. However, the Corolla iM is much slower than most rivals.

  • "The four-cylinder engine is noisy and pretty gutless, and the resulting acceleration is quite simply the worst in the class. Competitors are not only more powerful, but more efficient as well." -- Edmunds
  • 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 (2016, Scion iM)
  • A 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine delivers a modest 137 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. For comparison, the Focus starts out with 160 hp." -- Autotrader (2016, Scion iM)

Handling and Braking

The front-wheel-drive Corolla iM's steering is precise, yet it doesn’t provide much feedback. The car feels relatively nimble through a turn, though it isn't quite as sporty as some competitors, and it produces some body roll. Still, its ride remains comfortable over most surfaces.

  • "Agile in the corners with precise steering and a marvelous 6-speed manual transmission, the Corolla iM is as playful as a Mazda3 and more in touch with the road than the Kia Rio5 or Volkswagen Golf. Unlike many cars tuned for athletic driving response, the Corolla iM doesn't punish its owners with a jarring ride. Instead, the iM returns a compliant ride bolstered by a chassis that keeps the outside world where it belongs: outside." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • We're impressed with the iM's ride quality, which demonstrates plenty of bump-soaking compliance while still maintaining a sense of composure and control. But go around some turns and you'll likely be less impressed. The car's abundance of top-heavy body roll saps the driver's confidence, and its steering is so devoid of feel that it might as well have been jabbed by a big needle full of novocaine. Though we're not expecting a sports-car experience, other hatchbacks offer just as much practicality while also being more fun to drive." -- Edmunds
  • 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 (2016, Scion iM)

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