4 Things That Could Potentially Make the Scion iM a Hot Hatch
Going into the Scion iA and iM drive, I really wanted to like both of these cars. While the iA left me with a pretty nasty taste in my mouth, the iM was decent enough to have me questioning what could be. It looked great, after all, it had a lot of utility, and it's probably going to be a pretty decent seller in the Scion lineup. But what is it missing? Can Scion turn the likable iM into a potentially hot hatch? PHOTOS: See More of the Scion iM Hatchback
When you move the steering wheel of certain cars, you don’t want them be just cars. Does that make sense? The Scion iM is good at being just a car, but it’s not good at being a fun car.
The Scion FR-S, for example, is a very fun car. And if we’re thinking in the same segment, the Volkswagen GTI is also a fun car. It needs to steer like it has a purpose, like it wants to give the person behind the steering wheel a big grin, not like it’s just there to be a…car.
In line with better steering, the suspension needs to be a whole lot more responsive. Corners weren’t terrible, but felt like a chore. Driving through some twisty mountain roads, you would expect better feedback than the Scion iM actually gave.
Toyota has the ability to build a really good hatchback platform, and they should. A hot hatch might actually inject some life in the Scion lineup. Or they can at least make an effort to make the Auris more fun for Scion.
RELATED: The Scion FR-S Maximum Attack is Retro Goodness From Front to Back
The CVT, unfortunately, is a gearbox of the future. Love it or hate it, more manufacturers are shying away from the standard automatic for the more efficient CVT. And that’s fine, as long as you build a good manual option to go along with it, especially in a car like this.
Unfortunately, the manual in the Scion iM was questionable, at best. The clutch was overly springy, the gears were long and sometimes hard to find, and the whole gearbox felt like some second hand parts they pulled out of a bin somewhere.
Probably the most important thing on this list, though, is that the Scion iM needs a more powerful engine. Much more powerful. Shove something with 200 or 230 horsepower under the hood and I might— might be able to overlook the first four things that I mentioned.
You have potential to actually do something good with this car, Scion, don’t mess it up.
RELATED: The Scion iA and iM Aren't Much to be Excited About
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