Scion iA trounces sibling in San Francisco!

Scion flew a gaggle of writers to San Francisco last week to show us two new cars, both due in September.

The iM ($19,255, including freight) is a subcompact hatchback based on a car Toyota sells elsewhere as the Auris. The iA sedan ($16,495) came about when Mazda chose to not bring the Mazda2 to the States; it is essentially a rebadged Mazda2.

Both cars are sold “mono spec,” i.e., in a single, well-equipped trim, with available options installed at either the port or at the dealership.

2016 scion iA
2016 Scion iA

Standard iA features include:

  • Cruise control
  • A/C
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • Low-speed pre-collision system
  • Rear-view backup camera
  • 7-inch touch screen multimedia system with voice recognition
  • Tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
  • Two years of free maintenance

Though it’s not exactly a standard feature, the iA also boasts a massive-for-the-segment trunk (though at least a few inches are trimmed from the rear seats to accommodate).

2016 Scion iM
2016 Scion iM

The iM features list is even more impressive:

  • 7-inch Pioneer Display Audio unit with standard HD Radio and Aha™
  • Rear-view backup camera
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Scion’s first 4.2-inch color TFT multi-information display
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Color-keyed heated power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Hill Start Assist

Both cabins are impressively finished, with contrast stitching, abundant soft-touch surfaces and pleasing ergonomics.

Because I’m such a hatchback fanboi, I expected to come away favoring the iM. But it was the iA that took first-place honors on the winding backroads south of the City. Its lowly twist-beam rear suspension (the iM is all-independent) notwithstanding, it retained its cool no matter how hard we pushed it along the tight and twisty redwood-lined drive route. Its 105-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine performed stoutly, whether mated with the standard six-speed automatic or optional six-speed automatic.

I’ll have more to say about both cars in a upcoming Spokesman-Review piece. Watch this space.

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