What has sleek styling, sporty driving dynamics, serious trunk space and will be available in September? The all-new Scion iA sports sedan. It arrives on the scene soon and features an MSRP of $15,700 for the 6-speed manual transmission and $16,800 for the 6-speed automatic. A delivery, processing and handling fee of $795 is not included in the MSRP.
The pricing is for a mono-spec model equipped with standard Low-speed Pre-collision safety system and 7-inch multimedia system with voice recognition. Since Scion has a no hassle, no haggle Pure Price, customers walk out the door with the same price they saw posted in the dealership. While the visual impact of the 2016 Scion iA is dramatic, beneath the daringly curved sheet metal lies a tight, agile machine that re-defines “entry level.”
Hitting the highlights: a high-strength body structure; quick-revving, high-compression 1.5-liter engine with 106 horsepower; choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions; standard 16-inch alloy wheels; and is rated by the EPA an estimated 33 city/ 42 highway/ 37 combined MPG for the automatic version and 31 city/ 41 highway/ 35 combined for the manual.
Curves Ahead, Trunk Behind
This 2016 Scion flashes a familiar brand face with a hexagon lower grille and sharp-eyed headlights. In the rear, the spacious trunk gives it a distinctive look in the segment. The Scion iA cuts a striking profile that certainly stands out in a crowd. To make the most of its sophisticated sedan breeding, the iA also sports an upscale looking piano black bumper treatment, chrome grille surround and chrome tailpipe. The color choices deliver a range of vibrant intensity: Stealth black, Abyss, Graphite, Pulse, Sapphire, Sterling and Frost.
It also inherits a critical item from its hatchback siblings, a standard 60/40 split rear seat back to extend carrying capacity and versatility.
As Fun As It Looks
Push the “Start” button (Keyless Entry with Push-Button Start is standard), and the Scion iA springs to life with a sporty yet muted rasp from its chrome tailpipe. It’s the sound of a very high-tech 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that’s big in both spirit and technology. In other words, the Scion iA zips as it sips. Much credit also goes to choice transmissions. The standard 6-speed manual is compact, lightweight and super low on friction with a short stroke, making it one of the sweetest-shifting manuals around.
For those who prefer an automatic, the available 6-speed transmission will intrigue. Engineered for lightweight, low friction and a direct-shift feel, the automatic has a bit of a dual personality. It moves the Scion iA from a standing start with the smoothness only a torque converter automatic can deliver, then locks the converter for quicker, more direct shifts and higher fuel economy. For drivers seeking greater torque feel, Sport Mode is available with the flip of a switch.
The MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension are tuned for a just-right balance of sporty handling and comfortable ride not normally associated with this segment. Steering and brake system tuning, in particular, received attention befitting of a sports sedan. The Scion iA uses a rigid steering mount, which provides a direct yet light feel. Progressive braking feel comes to the fore when cornering. Entering the curve, the pedal provides smooth operation, then progresses to a more rigid feel as G-force rises.
Agility is engineered into the Scion iA, not just added on with stiffer springs and shocks. The body structure uses straight beams wherever possible, continuous framework that makes the individual sections function in harmony, and effective positioning of high-tensile steel. Bottom line, it’s strong.
Big on Safety
That high-strength structure also forms the foundation for safety in the Scion iA. A solid H-shaped ring joins the roof and B-pillars to underbody and combines with high-tensile steel on key frame members and a part of the floor to form a robust structure.
Front side airbags and curtain airbags help protect front and rear seat occupants. But the biggest safety news in this low-priced, high-MPG model is a standard Low-speed Pre-collision system that uses a laser sensor to help the driver avoid collisions and to help minimize damage in the event of an accident. The iA also features a brake override system and a rear view backup camera comes standard.
Scion = Amazing Value
Looks do not deceive in the Scion iA cabin. Premium chrome accents and soft-touch trim and surfaces belie the car’s price point, a value equation that runs in the Scion family. For starters, consider how the iA accommodates a wide range of drivers’ physiques, including its 10-inch fore-aft slide adjustment and the standard seat height adjuster, too. There’s no skimping with the steering wheel, which offers tilt and telescoping adjustments.
It’s easy to take for granted features like cruise control and power windows, locks and exterior mirrors, because they’re standard in most cars over a certain price. On some cars in the Scion iA’s neighborhood, those could be extra-cost options, but they’re all included on the 2016 iA’s lengthy standard equipment roster.
The sporty steering wheel has control switches for the audio and standard Bluetooth. Hardly “entry level,” the standard 7-inch Display Audio system has a touch screen, six speakers, remote interface and rear-view camera. Pandora®, Aha™ and Stitcher™ come standard, providing a huge music, talk and podcast universe when paired with a compatible phone. For those who bring their own music to the iA, two USB ports and an Auxiliary input are standard. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel by using Voice Recognition to control many of the multimedia system features. An available navigation system also is offered through Scion dealers.
Make It Your Own
To further appeal to millennials perhaps purchasing their first new car, a number of Scion dealers have inaugurated Pure Process Plus. This allows customers to research a car through Scion.com, find it at a dealership, apply for credit and secure a price, all without leaving the couch. Scion will continue working with dealers and Toyota Financial Services to fine-tune the process and plans to significantly expand its reach in 2015.
Limited Warranty Like all Scion models, the 2016 iA is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. It also comes with Scion Service Boost, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and two years of 24-hour roadside assistance.
Scion continues to be the test laboratory division for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. From its start in 2003, Scion’s goal was to offer products and processes that stand apart from the crowd. Scion offers distinctive vehicles that reflect owners’ passions with a model line-up that includes the iconic xB urban utility vehicle, the tC sports coupe, and the FR-S rear-wheel drive sports car. The all-new Scion iM 5-door hatchback and the all-new iA sedan will arrive this fall. Scion also appeals to a youthful audience by offering a simple, no-haggle buying experience and by engaging with potential customers in meaningful and creative ways. For more information, visit www.scion.com.