2017 Toyota Corolla iM 5-door Hatchback

Susan Frissell

The Toyota iM-formerly the Scion iM is a great little hatchback. As everyone knows, any Corolla product is a winner, with great fuel economy, comfortable ride and pep, this is one of the greatest vehicles every introduced.

The questions remains: Why did Toyota build the iM as a Scion when they knew the Scion nameplate would be leaving the lineup. After 10 years, Toyota no longer saw a need for the Scion brand, having penetrated other markets aimed at younger buyers.

The practical hatchback, although maybe small for some consumer’s tastes, is the blend of comfort, room and totability. We prefer it over the average SUV of today. With its long list of amenities, and now more upscale materials, the iM is the perfect daily driver.

Our test iM came equipped with the 7-speed CVTI-8 automatic transmission, with sport mode. The jury remains out for some on the CVT transmission; we find it at times annoying when trying to take off from a standstill. Its habit of hesitating can be unnerving.

Toyota Corolla iM dash

Our test Corolla iM Hatchback did not come with any options, so it’s MSRP at $19,490 seemed more than reasonable. How many good vehicles can you purchase for just over $20,000? Not many in today’s market.
A new edition to the Toyota lineup, the iM and its stablemate the iA, started out their lives as Scion models. In 2016, they became part of Toyota’s brood. A compact four-door hatchback, the iM is larger than Toyota’s Yaris subcompact hatch. Competition in this category is plentiful and includes some of the more well-known compact cars such as Ford Focus, Chevy Cruse, Nissan Sentra, Mazda3, Honda Civic and Kia Forte5, to name a few.

Powered by Toyota’s 1.8-liter inline-four cylinder engine, the iM is powered by 137 horsepower (126 lb.ft. torque). The Scion iM was rated at 28/37 mpg. for the automatic; 27/36 mpg. with six-speed manual. The Corolla iM hatch features a 60/40 split-folding rear seats, great for gear, dogs, or toting anything a sedan can’t accommodate.

For some who favored the popular Toyota Matrix (now discontinued), the iM hatch might be a choice. The cabin is cozy, well-appointed and just plain comfortable. We looked forward to going places during our week with the iM. The engine is quiet, the interior is quiet, and driving on local roads or highway is stress free.

If you’re looking for a more sporty vehicle, the Mazda3 will probably better fit that bill. The Focus is also got better handling and agility. But for those who are die-hard Toyota owners, the iM will be a nice addition to the fleet. For those who follow European/American twins vehicles, the Corolla iM is based on the Auris hatchback, sole in several European countries.

It’s hard to beat Toyota iM’s overall value; The ride comfort, fuel economy and high-tech features make it stand out. Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, side-mounted and rear airbags are equipment not seen in compact cars of years past. One can feel very safe in the iM, despite its smaller stature. We prefer it to bigger SUV’s.

Toyota Corolla iM wheel

The handling, acceleration and snug rear seat may be drawbacks for some consumers. We found the sound system, despite its six speakers, to be not very good. It was difficult finding stations that were clear and consistent. We didn’t take advantage of the multimedia system, but hear mumblings that it wasn’t the best.

Power-folding side mirrors and backup camera are standard; both nice features.

MSRP: $19,490; total vehicle price $20,355; destination $865
Engine: 1.8-liter -cylinder DOHC, 16-valve, 137 hp., 126 lb.ft. torque
Transmission: 7=speed CVTI-8 automatic transmission, FWD, Compact
Wheelbase: 102.4 in.
Length: 170.5 in.
Width: 69.3 in.
Height: 55.3 in.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.0 gal
EPA Fuel Economy: 28/27 mpg. automatic
Curb Weight: 3,031 lbs.
Warranty: 3 yrs/36,000-miles basic; 5 yrs/60,000-miles drivetrain; 2 yrs/25,000-miles free maintenance

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