Tested: 2016 Scion iM

It’s not just that the U.S. hatchback market is seeing a bit of an upswing – we could actually be looking at one of the best periods ever for the car type in this country. Volkswagen, Mini, and Fiat hold down the the three- and five-door arenas for the Europeans. Focus and Fiesta are strong products for Ford, and Chevy has just announced a Cruze Hatchback to add conventional flavor to the lineup of plug-in Volt and Bolt. Kia and Hyundai have five traditional hatchbacks between them. The Nissan Versa Note is a value, Mazda’s 3 hatch a critical darling, and Honda’s upcoming Civic Hatch is bound to be at least a match for the versatile competence of little brother Fit.

Toyota sells the Yaris under its main brand, of course, but the new-offering Scion iM should be the heavy hitter in North America, slotting next to Civic, Focus, Mazda3, Golf, et al.

Pros:

  • At $19,255 (MSRP of $18,460 plus $795 for delivery/destination fees), Scion has packed a ton of content into this car. These days it’s nothing to spend twenty-five grand on a compact hatchback, but the iM gets you out the door with a seven-inch touchscreen, bluetooth, remote keyless entry, one-touch up/down windows, and dual-zone climate control for under twenty. I don’t love the look of the leather-trimmed dash strip, but I can admit that it might sway some shoppers as a ‘premium’ touch for no extra money.
  • The powertrain may not deserve it (more on that in a second), but the standard wheel and tire package is great at this pri...