Editor’s note: 2016 was the last production year of the Scion iA for the U.S.
What Is It?
The 2016 Scion iA is an all-new subcompact car that will play the role of Scion’s first-ever 4-door sedan when it reaches dealerships this fall. Based on the upcoming Mazda2, the iA is set to offer impressive fuel economy numbers and a remarkable level of modern gadgets.
On the outside, the iA’s Mazda heritage is unmistakable thanks to unique character lines down either side that appear to come straight from the Mazda3 and Mazda6. The same is true in back, where Mazda’s signature taillights make you look twice when you see the Scion emblem on the trunk. In front, however, Scion has added its own unique grille treatment to help distinguish the iA from the Mazda2.
Under the hood, the iA offers a 106-horsepower 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Available with 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions, the engine will reportedly deliver up to 33 miles per gallon in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.
As for equipment, the iA is surprisingly loaded for a subcompact car. Options include a low-speed forward-collision alert system that can help avoid collisions and an available 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, while a backup camera and keyless access with push-button starting come standard.
Although Scion hasn’t announced exact pricing or trim levels, the automaker says the car will start "in the $16,000 range."
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The subcompact-car world often gets ignored by automakers, who let old designs languish and rarely add new technology due to slim profit margins. But that isn’t true of the 2016 Scion iA, since it offers a clean-sheet look at the subcompact car. There’s new technology, impressive gas mileage, two modern transmission choices and a reasonable projected price tag. If your subcompact car needs can wait until this fall, we suggest adding the iA to your shopping list.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Chevrolet Sonic — The subcompact Sonic offers sedan or hatchback body styles, along with a sharp focus on fuel economy and handling. It’s certainly worth a look in the crowded subcompact-car world.
2015 Ford Fiesta — The Fiesta boasts a sharp driving experience and a stylish, modern interior with one of our favorite new infotainment systems. Like the Sonic, it deserves a spot on your shopping list.
Used Honda Civic — Since the subcompact Honda Fit is only offered as a hatchback, drivers who want a 4-door sedan will have to go for the larger Civic instead. That’s a good thing, as the Civic boasts impressive reliability, a smooth ride and a comfortable interior. The only drawback: Prices are higher, so you may have to consider a used model.
Used Toyota Corolla — Although Toyota’s recently facelifted subcompact Yaris remains a little too outdated to recommend, the recently redesigned Corolla is worthy of your consideration. It’s reliable, roomy and surprisingly well-equipped, but higher prices mean you may have to consider a used model.