My most recent road test was of the Scion iA,, the new-for-2015 compact that is essentially a Mazda2 (the Mazda2 is not sold in America). Scion is the division of Toyota that has marketed affordable smaller cars since 2002 with the goal of selling them to millennials. The i in its name stands of individualism and the A is emblematic of accommodation, referencing the ample luggage space in the trunk, which is 13.5 cubic feet. Interior space is 85.9 cubic feet (five people).
I drove my test iA (2016) to Pirate Radio in Greeley, which is 104.7 on the FM dial. The DJ’s at the Pirate, George Gray and Matt Arguello, looked over the Scion and sat inside for a feel for the car. Their impression was favorable, and they commented that the vehicle was the least expensive of any offering that I had showed to them. We talked about the car on “Stu’s Reviews” at 7:30 am on December 11th, and the positive remarks were voiced on-air that morning.
The M.S.R.P. of my Scion was $17,570.00, including freight of $770.00. Standard equipment on the car included an air conditioner, AM/FM radio with 6 speakers, 7″ audio touchscreen display, tilt/telescope steering column, push button starter, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, backup camera, cruise control, and power windows/locks. Up front were black cloth bucket seats and the rear 60/40 bench seat folded flat for additional cargo capacity.
I drove the Scion iA for a week and the performance was satisfactory in all respects. The power for the car is supplied by a 4-cylinder, 1.5 liter, dual overhead cam, 16-valve engine. Horsepower is 106 @ 6,000 rpm and torque rating is 103 lb. ft. @ 4,000 rpm. EPA ratings have been computed at 42 mpg-highway, 33 mpg-city, and 37 mpg-combined, and my result was 40.6 mpg for the week. Fuel tank capacity is 11.6 gallons, so range is quite good. Zero to 60 acceleration for the iA is reportedly between 8 and 9 seconds.
With Mazda putting together the styling of the iA, you can expect a good-looking car, which the iA is. I have my reservations about the grill, but must say that onlookers at my radio station visit seemed OK with it. It is not a hatchback, just a conventional sedan with trunk, and looks pretty nice with the Pulse red paint and ten spoke alloy wheels (not plastic hub caps). The car is 171.1″ long and weighs 2,400 lbs.
The Scion iA is good, basic, inexpensive transportation and I enjoyed having it in my possession for a week. An entry-level automobile shopper would be doing themselves a favor dropping by the dealership to test drive the iA.