As promised, Toyota's young-at-heart brand, debuted two new models at New York including the 2016 Scion iM, a compact 5-door hatch that matches fun and functionality with a starting price of less than $20,000. Based on the revamped 2016 Toyota Auris, a European model that debuted in its latest form last month in Geneva, the iM shares a platform with the current Scion tC Coupe. Like its newly debuted stablemate, the Scion iA, this hot hatch will arrive at dealerships this fall.

While sharing basic styling with the Auris hatchback, the new iM features more aggressive exterior detailing. An edgier front fascia with Piano Black accents and LED running lights sets the overall sporting tone which is reinforced by the car's subtle aero body kit, 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/45 low-profile tires and bespoke headlamp/taillamp treatments. A fully independent suspension matches struts up front with a double-wishbone rear that promises impressive handling and helps optimize usable space in the iM's rear cargo bay that's accessed via a large, single-piece liftgate.

High level of equipment

Maintaining the division's longstanding single-spec philosophy, the new Scion iM comes loaded with features intended to please both the driver and passengers. Isolated from road noise with an acoustic windshield, foam insulation and blanketing in the floor, the iM's well-finished cabin matches nicely-contoured front sport buckets with a versatile flat-folding 60/40 rear bench seat. Highlighting the long list of amenities are a full array of basic power assists, multifunction steering wheel on a tilt/telescoping column, 4.2-inch color driver information display, Eco-Driving indicator, cruise control, keyless remote and a dual-zone automatic climate control system. 

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The Scion iM is also equipped with a 6-speaker Pioneer Display Audio sound system featuring a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone/music streaming capability, USB/iPod connectivity and a AUX jack. In addition to its comprehensive Toyota Star Safety System, the iM has eight airbags and Hill Start Assist. For those seeking to add a personal touch, this new Scion hatch offers a selection of dealer-installed accessories,  a navigation system, roof rack, pet-friendly tethers/barriers, roof racks, and various TRD performance components as well as a several custom graphic treatments. 

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The Scion iM is powered by Toyota's 1.8-liter/4-cylinder engine with Valvematic continuously variable valve timing, that's also used in the Corolla. Developing 137 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of peak torque, it can be paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional CVTi-S continuously variable automatic that includes a custom-tuned Sport Sequential Shiftmatic Mode that emulates seven gears. Beyond altering the shift points, choosing the Sport setting also quickens throttle response and tweaks the feel of the iM's electric power steering. Projected combined EPA stats are 36 mpg for the manual, 37 mpg on the automatic. Additional detail about the new 2016 Scion iM will be released closer to its official on-sale date.

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