Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My last Scion review ever?

Photo from Scion
  It wasn't all that long ago that when buying a subcompact sedan meant that you had to sacrifice performance and comfort as well as foregoing many standard features and optional ones too. You might not have paid much, but you also didn't get alot either. Recent entries into this class have been changing that, and the 2016 Scion iA does no less.

      Packed with features and pretty fun to drive, the iA sets a new standard for the class. You could easily argue that it fits perfectly with the types of cars that Scion loves to build. Really though, the iA is just a rebadged Mazda 2 sedan, and not a Toyota at all.

      The 2016 Scion iA is a subcompact sedan that is offered in only one, but very well equipped trim level. Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, low speed forward collision system with automatic braking, full power accessories, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seat, and a/c.
Photo from Scion

      On the technology front, you get a rear-view camera, 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker audio system.

       Under the hood of the 2016 iA is a 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder engine making good with 106 horsepower and 103 lb. ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels by either the standard 6-speed manual transmission, or a 6-speed automatic. EPA estimates for the auto are 37 mpg combined, and 35 mpg combined for the manual. Both numbers are on the higher end of the scale for this class of car.

      Every iA comes standard with anti-lock brakes, front seat side airbags, and front rear and side curtain airbags as well as stability and traction control.

      Shoppers in the compact sedan segment usually have lower standards in terms of interior refinement, but the 2016 Scion iA raises the bar higher for thoughtful design and comfort. Materials used throughout the cabin are similar to those found in pricier cars, and the infotainment system rivals that of luxury autos.

Photo from Scion
  The front seats have only the most basic of adjustments, but average and shorter people will likely find these seats just fine for longer periods. Taller drivers might have to compromise on positions, since the minimal amount of telescoping from the steering wheel might make them sit closer than they are used to.

       Rear seats are typical for the class, meaning the rear is better suited for small passengers due to the lack of head and legroom. The tall door panels and small side windows also serve to make you feel more confined. Cargo capacity is above average for the class at 13.5 cubic feet, and the short liftover height and remote folding seatback make things even better.

Photo from Scion
      With only modest power coming from the tiny 4-cylinder engine, the 2016 Scion iA requires some space and time to get up to highway speeds. A tap of the sport button for models equipped with the automatic sharpens response and keeps the revs higher, but you still need to keep your foot planted. With the underpinnings of the Mazda 2, the Scion benefits from the handling that Mazda is known for. Reactions to steering input are quick and predictable, making it one of the more fun to drive cars in this class. It also delivers a smooth and compliant ride, while wind and road noise are also present, but never overbearing.

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