The 2016 Scion iA is the first sedan to wear the Scion badge. Starting at $15,700, it will also be one of the least expensive.
It's no secret that behind that Scion badge is a car that was designed and built by Mazda.
The iA separates itself from the Mazda2 upon which it is based with a Toyota designed front fascia and headlamp treatment.
This is a face that only a mother could love, but for now it's the only way to experience the 2016 Mazda2's performance in the US.
Under the hood, you'll find a 106 horsepower 1.5-liter engine.
The owner will have to choose between an automatic or a manual transmission. Both feature six speeds.
The iA rides on a MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle.
On the road, the iA is poised to be one of the best handling cars in its class.
Standard 16-inch wheels fill the iA's wells.
The cabin is identical to that of the Mazda2, save a few badge swaps.
The iA's instrument cluster features a large analog speedometer flanked by smaller digital gauges.
The tiny tachometer can be hard to see.
Push button start and smart keyless entry are standard features.
Infotainment is a sanitized version of Mazda Connect.
The 7-inch screen is touch sensitive, but when the vehicle is in motion this physical bank is where infotainment control resides.
The iA features a pair of USB ports, which makes up for its lack of a CD drive.
Map data is stored on an SD card.
The system is easy enough to navigate and more intuitive than Scion's own BeSpoke system.
However, the non-standard screen placement means that the iA won't be as easily modified as the rest of Scion's lineup.
The Scion iM is a world market import and another badge engineering job.
In this case, the Scion is based on Toyota's own Auris hatchback.
17-inch wheels are shod in 225mm wide tires.
The iM also features a unique suspension tune and sport body kit to stand apart from its Euro-twin.
This example has also been augmented with TRD lowering springs and anti-sway bars.
Under the hood is Toyota's 1.8-liter engine that outputs 137 horsepower.
This engine is an older design that uses port injection.
A TRD oil cap doesn't add any performance, but looks pretty neat.
I was disappointed to see that the TRD intake is merely an improved air filter in the stock airbox.
Another disappointment was the six-speed manual transmission, which featured a ridiculously long throw on the shifter.
I wasn't able to test the optional continuously variable transmission, but I suspect that this more efficient transaxle is the best choice for iM owners.
Scion is aiming the iM at younger drivers who want the utility of a hatchback.
Though spacious, the iM isn't much longer from nose to tail than the compact iA.
The cabin was very quiet at cruising speeds; the fit and finish were also nice.
Instrumentation is a simple bi-gauge setup with the automaker's first 4.2-inch color MID.
Display audio is standard and features HD Radio and Aha app connectivity. The optional BeSpoke upgrade adds navigation.
The iM was a competent driver, but I think the iA is definitely the more fun of the two.
A rear camera is standard safety tech.
The 2016 Scion iM starts at $18,460 for the manually shifted model.
With the iA and iM, Scion is using its mono-spec approach. The only options given to the buyer are color and gearbox.
The automaker will also be offering an array of dealer installed options and accessories, such as the TRD upgrades.