We Need to Talk: 2016 Scion iA

Scion iA

I spent a week behind the wheel of the all-new, 2016 Scion iA. In that time, I put more than six hundred miles on Toyota’s latest experiment in badge engineering to see if this Scion might be the one, finally, to lure younger buyers into Toyota’s showrooms.


You’ve Got Some Growing Up To Do

Despite the fact that it’s got a sporty vibe and willing, competent chassis that’s chock-full of the best kind of Mazda DNA, the 2016 Scion iA is going to be a tough sell- largely because it’s not really sure what it’s supposed to be.

Like that beautiful trainwreck you dated in your twenties, the Scion iA has a lot going for it, but it hasn’t really decided what it wants to be when it grows up. Is it a sporty, affordable urban runabout meant to lure college kids into Toyota showrooms? If it is, then what’s the Scion tC for? Is it a practical, yet sporty four-door sedan with enough room to get you and your friends to a summer music festival? Even if Scion didn’t offer the xB, the iA’s petite-class rear seat makes that a definite “No.”


2016 Scion iA | Final Thoughts

Despite its four door layout, the Scion iA is really a two person vehicle with room for an occasional passenger. Hopefully an occasional passenger that doesn’t require a booster seat, too, since those passengers will spend hours and hours kicking the back of your seat all the way to Wisconsin. As such, I think the car would be better served with two larger doors and a marketing department that wasn’t afraid to hearken back to the era of the E30 BMW and call the thing a two door sedan. It would be more fair to the car, and would let its positive qualities in the ride, handling, and front passenger compartment really shine.

As it is, I’d really just recommend the 2016 Scion iA to single twenty-somethings who want to express a willingness to grow up, but who aren’t quite ready to settle down. If that’s you, and you like sporty little sedans, buy an E30 BMW. If you prefer something a little newer, the Scion iA really is basically a Mazda 2, except with Toyota’s excellent dealer network behind it- and that’s high praise.


Original content from Gas 2.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.