2016 Scion iM and iA

Upon revealing the 2016 iM and the iA, Doug Murtha, vice president, Scion Div., said, “they’re just the first signs of renewed momentum you’re going to see from Scion.” 2016 Scion iM 2016 Scion iA One might wonder about Scion and Newton’s First Law of Motion (Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it) because since mid-2012, when the 2013 FR-S came rolling out, there hasn’t seemed to be a whole lot of momentum going for it; last year, Toyota sold more Avalons than all the Scions in the showroom (67,183 vs. 58,009). But Toyota isn’t giving up on its youthful initiative.

Upon revealing the 2016 iM and the iA, Doug Murtha, vice president, Scion Div., said, “they’re just the first signs of renewed momentum you’re going to see from Scion.”

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2016 Scion iM

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2016 Scion iA

One might wonder about Scion and Newton’s First Law of Motion (Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it) because since mid-2012, when the 2013 FR-S came rolling out, there hasn’t seemed to be a whole lot of momentum going for it; last year, Toyota sold more Avalons than all the Scions in the showroom (67,183 vs. 58,009).

But Toyota isn’t giving up on its youthful initiative. Arguably, it is doubling down, given that both cars are to hit the streets this fall, and how often does a vehicle manufacturer put out two distinctly different cars—cars that arguably will compete for similar buyers (i.e., there are probably those who will go into a Scion showroom and those who simply won’t)--at the same time?

The Scion iM is a hatchback with a 137-hp, 1.8-liter engine and a standard six-speed manual that will have a starting MSRP of under $20,000.

It is the more aggressively styled of the two cars, as hatches ought to be.

The iA is a sedan. It will be priced in the vicinity of $16,000, according to Murtha. It comes with a 106-hp, 1.5-liter engine and a six-speed—manual or automatic.

Unusually, it comes standard with a low-speed pre-collision system that uses lasers and cameras to help the driver avoid collisions and to help minimize damage in the event of an accident. While this is certainly something that sets it apart, and while no one can be opposed to anything that enhances safety, Murtha described the iA customer as someone who “is all about individual expression and selective indulgence. Whether it’s the latest must-have ticket in town or the hottest fashions they want it all--high form and high function while still meeting their needs for practicality.” I’d guess they’d probably be more interested in a high-end audio system than a pre-collision system.

Of course, that criticism is a variant of the Third Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. They did one thing, I suggest another.

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Still, it is encouraging to see that Scion is putting some new cars on the road. The last time the company did two cars at once was at the start, with the 2003 xB (the boxy one) and the xA (a hatch). Word is that they’d expected that the xA would take off, but the xB left it way behind.

It will be interesting to see what happens this time.