2018 Toyota Corolla iM Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.7

The 2018 Toyota Corolla iM has a noisy engine that’s fine for daily driving but delivers unimpressive acceleration. Fuel economy is respectable, and the ride is smooth over most road surfaces. The Corolla iM is composed on winding roads, but it’s not as athletic as some competitors.

  • "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 (2017)
  • "Despite its sporty styling, the iM's performance is barely adequate." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The segment is also full of cars offering better performance." -- Car and Driver (2016, Scion iM)

Acceleration and Power

The Corolla iM features a 137-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available. This powertrain is noisy, and it doesn’t have the power to move the iM quickly. However, it has adequate power and acceleration for daily driving.

With the CVT, the Corolla iM gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Those are above-average ratings for a nonhybrid compact car.

  • "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 (2017)
  • 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)

Handling and Braking

Like nearly every compact car, the Corolla iM comes standard with front-wheel drive. Though it doesn’t rate as one of the most athletic cars in the class, and it has dull steering, the iM is relatively agile on winding roads, and the ride is generally smooth.

  • "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 (2017)
  • 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 (2017)
  • 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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