The badass replacement for the more practical but dearly departed Toyota Matrix.
Yes, the Scion iM is one hot-looking hatchback. It’s a badass replacement for the more practical but dearly departed Toyota Matrix, the last compact hatchback offered by Toyota (and was phased out because Americans apparently didn’t care for it nearly as much as we Canadians).
But the Scion iM is also lower, shorter and less practical body than that of what was initially marketed as a Corolla Matrix – the iM’s standard 17-inch aluminum wheels and street-ready lower body cladding says mission number one is to look good, always.
That aligns nicely with Scion’s urban chic brand that does things differently, such as offering only one trim level on the iM: choose your colour, transmission, audio/navi system, and you’re done. Starting at $21,165, our CVT-equipped model comes in with an as-tested total of $23,812, which is very reasonable for such a good-looking machine that includes a backup camera, steering wheel audio/phone controls and dual zone climate controls.
Granted, there is no push-button start button, heated seats or other niceties that some other cars in this class offer – or even in the class below, once you sneak into the iM’s price range.
But just because the iM doesn’t offer some practical features, doesn’t make it unpractical, especially when compared to market leader Honda with its Civic, which still doesn’t offer a five-door version – yet. Most others in this segment do; and while the iM offers the same interior room as a Ford Focus hatchback, and much more cargo room than the Volkswagen Golf, a quick size comparison says it can’t quite touch the Mazda3 Sport for interior or cargo space.
Where it does stack up well is fuel effeciency, a key factor in this class. The 1.8L’s overall average of 7.4 L/100 km is in the top half of its class, while its 137 horsepower and 10.8-second 0-100 km/h figure is on the lower side, especially compared to the latest Civic. More show than go, but an impressive urban street show nonetheless.