2016 Scion iA sets off on a new course

By Bob Nagy on April 1, 2015 5:42 AM

First formal sedan ever offered by Toyota's youth-focused division, the 2016 Scion iA made its global debut in New York. Showing a more sophisticated side of the brand, this impressively packaged subcompact 4-door promises to raise the bar on driving pleasure as well as on overall value. With its lengthy roster of class-above standards, sporty demeanor, excellent fuel economy and a "$16,000-ish" starting price, the new Scion iA should have no problem attracting attention when it arrives in dealers this fall. 

Mono-spec with maxi features 

Demanding but budget-constrained buyers of any age should find plenty to like about the bounty of features in the Scion iA's well-appointed, 5-passenger cabin. On the functional front, a multifunction steering wheel sits atop a tilt/telescoping column while the height-adjustable driver's seat offer 10 inches of fore/aft travel and its 60/40 split rear seat folds flat to enhance utility. Power window/locks/mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, pushbutton starting and a rearview camera are all included in this rich mix while the infotainment side of the ledger brings a 6-speaker Display Audio sound system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Voice Recognition, Bluetooth phone/music streaming, USB ports, an AUX jack and Aha/Pandora/Stitcher apps. The Scion iA also supplements its front/side/side-curtain airbags with a Low-speed Pre-collision system and buyers will be able to add a personal touch to the basic package with a selection of dealer-installed accessory items. 

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Sharing common platform architecture with the redesigned 2016 Mazda2 -- including its extremely robust central structure and a 101.2-inch wheelbase -- the new Scion iA measures 171.7 inches nose to tail. Its cleanly styled exterior is highlighted by a bold front fascia treatment set off with Piano Black accenting, prominent character lines and 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 185/60 all-season tires. The Scion iA's suspension matches MacPherson struts up front with a torsion beam rear axle that's reportedly been tuned to deliver a solid mix of control and compliance while its rigid-mount electric power assisted steering offers a more direct feel. Sole Scion iA engine is a Mazda-sourced SkyActiv-G 1.5-liter/4-cylinder that makes 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. It drives the front wheel through a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic with Sport mode and is projected to deliver in excess of 40 mpg on the highway with either cog changer.

Like its Scion siblings, the 2016 Scion iA will bolster its basic 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage with two years or 25,000-miles of complementary factory-scheduled service and two years of roadside assistance under the Scion Service Boost plan.

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