The Scion iA sips as it zoom-zooms

2016, Scion, iA

When Doug Murtha, Vice President, Scion, started talking to a group of journalists about the Scion iA it was introduced as Scion's first ever sedan. It quickly became apparent that Scion has heavily collaborated with Mazda to bring out a thinly veiled Mazda 2.

Many companies collaborate on different projects. Mazda is well-respected for their tiny skyactive direct injection engine and 12.0:1 compression ratio. It is a coup for Scion. Scion could have worked with Toyota or borrowed from Lexus, but they went to Mazda for the zoom-zoom factor. The Toyota Yaris will be based on the Mazda 2 and built alongside each other in Mexico. The Scion iA will be built in Japan.

Scion can make a case for bringing out a 1.5-liter engine with an estimated 42 highway mpg that starts under $16,000. Scion told a group of journalists that forty percent of the buyers of the iA were replacing a used, that they had never owned a new car.

The compact sedan segment is a competitive segment filled with great driving vehicles; 2015 Toyota Corolla LE Eco ($18,965) that gets 42 highway mpg, 2016 Ford Fiesta ($14,580) 37 highway mpg, 2015 Nissan Versa ($11,990) 35 highway mpg, 2015 Chevy Sonic ($14,245) 35 highway mpg, and 2015 Hyundai Accent ( $14,745) 37 highway mpg.

The 1.5-liter engine can extract 106 horsepower and has a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions. The sedan is rated by the EPA at an estimated 33 city/ 42 highway/ 37 combined MPG for the automatic version and 31 city/ 41 highway/ 35 combined for the manual.

A vehicle less than $16,000 has few standard amenities. The Scion iA standard amenities include dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry push-button start, 16-inch aluminum wheels, forward-collision warning system, and turn-signal repeaters in the side mirrors, two USB ports, and an Auxiliary input.

Scion had us put this sub-compact sedan through the test; the twisties through the Redwoods and down Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Cruz, CA. The car could use a little lower torque engagement, more on-demand power.

The interior comes complete with cruise control, air conditioning, seven-inch infotainment system screen, and a backup camera. From the Genesis, Scion has been the Burger King of cars, allowing you to customize and accessorize your car. Now Scion has created Pure Process Plus, a process that allows customers to research a car through Scion.com, find a dealership, apply for credit and secure a price, all without leaving the couch.

The MSRP for the 2016 Scion iA is $15,700 for the 6-speed manual transmission and $16,800 for the 6-speed automatic. Add another $795 for delivery, processing and handling fee.

By Lou Ann Hammond
2015-07-08

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Images of the 2016, Scion iA

2016 Scion iA
2016 Scion iA
2016 Scion iA coming into the light
2016 Scion iA coming into the light
2016 Scion iA interior
2016 Scion iA interior
2016 Scion iA form and function
2016 Scion iA form and function