Segment Buster

Scion’s all-new iA ups the ante on subcompact sedans
by Dan Nied
May/June 2015
Segment Buster
The brand new 2016 iA is Scion’s first ever sedan.

That, in itself, is newsworthy. But there’s so much more to talk about when it comes to a car that redefines the entry subcompact segment.

As one iA focus group participant said, “The iA is like a girl. Yeah, there are plenty of girls out there, but this one makes you say, ‘Hey, I want to know that one.”

Take a Look
With a hexagon lower grille and sharp-eyed headlights, the iA looks at you with attention-grabbing style and an aura of expressionism.

The upscale black piano bumper treatment shows a serious – but not too serious – side. And a chrome tailpipe and chrome grille surround paint the picture of a driver embracing life and loving the road.

The roomy cabin provides for maximum lifestyle, which is to say, you can look both cool and comfortable while driving the iA. Especially with an interior that features premium touch and trim that, frankly, you’d expect to see in a car at a higher price point.

Setting the Standard
For an “entry level” sedan, the iA comes with some pretty impressive standard features.

A low-speed pre-collision system comes standard. So does a rear-view back-up camera.

In addition, the iA has an impressive roster of standards that could make Tony Bennett want to cut another album of duets with Lady Gaga:
 
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • a 60/40 split rear seat back to extend carrying capacity and versatility
  • Seat height adjuster
  • Cruise control
  • Power windows and locks
  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls
  • Power exterior mirrors
There’s also plenty of state-of-the-art technology that comes standard, too. How about a 7-inch touch screen display audio system with six speakers and a remote interface? Within that audio system, Pandora, Aha and Stitcher come standard, too.

And, of course, that all comes with voice recognition.

Manual Lives On
Some say do-it-yourself shifting is a lost art. Not with the iA. The standard 6-speed manual is compact and lightweight, and is super low on friction with a short stroke, making it one of the sweetest-shifting manuals around.

But hey, manual might not be your thing. The iA also has a 6-speed automatic transmission engineered for light weight, low friction and a direct-shift feel.

Agile and Athletic
The iA is all about slick, efficient movement. Its sleek lines dance in motion, even as it sips gas at an anticipated 32 city/42 highway/36 combined mpg rating.

Drivers will find the iA’s agility refreshing. The body structure uses lightweight beams wherever possible, continuous framework that makes the individual sections function in harmony, and effective positioning of high-tensile steel.

The MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension are tuned for the perfect balance of sporty handling and a smooth ride that isn’t too common in the segment.

How’d Scion do that? Well, the high-tech 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder, 106-horsepower engine certainly didn’t hurt.

If you’re thinking about a way to picture all this, think of a Venn diagram. In one circle, you’ve got expressive styling. In another, you’ve got crazy amazing standard features, and in a third, you’ve got an incredible price point around $16,000.

In the middle, where all the circles overlap, you’ve got just two letters in big bold print: iA.

It’s the best of all three worlds.
 
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