The 2016 closure of the Scion brand was disappointing for many, but wholly predictable given its recent lack of new vehicles.
But two were launched in 2015, so it made sense for Toyota to bring them under its umbrella and sell them as Toyotas for 2017. (The sporty FR-S was also carried over.) The Mazda-based iA sedan was renamed the Yaris iA, and the Corolla-derived iM was appropriately rebadged as the Corolla iM. We liked the Scion version enough when it launched last year, and this year’s Toyota is no different save for a few new advanced safety features (and a very small price bump).
One of the Corolla iM’s strengths is its ample list of standard features, which is good news because there really aren’t any additional options or packages on the order list. And although the Corolla iM is a perfectly acceptable hatchback, it pales in comparison to many of its similarly priced rivals. The Mazda 3 is a perennial favorite thanks to its thrilling driving dynamics, while the all-new Civic hatchback offers a robust and fuel-efficient engine and transmission combination. The Corolla iM isn’t a bad choice per se, but it doesn’t really bring anything exciting to the table.
The 2017 Toyota iM is new to Toyota this year but is basically the same car as last year’s Scion iM. Standard automatic high-beam control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning and mitigation are new for 2017.
The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM comes in a single well-equipped model. On top of a lengthy standard features list that includes alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a rearview camera and a central touchscreen, there are several accessories and dealer-installed options worth considering. These include a larger rear spoiler, Toyota Racing Development upgrades and a fob that can help you find misplaced keys. Really, though, our opinion is to just get a base iM and leave it at that.
trim levels & features
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the identical (except for the name) 2016 Scion iM (1.8L inline-4 | CVT automatic | FWD).
The Toyota Corolla iM is noticeably sharper to drive than the Corolla sedan, and although pleasant to drive, it’s not as engaging as top competitors. The 137-horsepower iM is underpowered, and it perpetually shows, letting down the entire car. The CVT automatic behaves nicely, however.
For a car that started out as a Scion (not necessarily known for comfort, tranquility and/or general refinement), the iM offers a genuinely comfortable and controlled ride and seats that are impressively supportive and comfortable. A noisy engine is one of the only faults.
For many, the Corolla iM will be a very agreeable daily driver. Its user-friendly controls, abundant features and high-quality cabin materials will certainly be appreciated, while its so-so backward visibility and a lack of backseat room could be cause for concern.
The Toyota Corolla iM has many small item bins and storage areas throughout its cabin. The cargo area is smaller than those of some competing hatchbacks, but not by a significant amount.
There are two cupholders in the front near the shifter, two in the back under the armrest and one in each door. The under-armrest bin is fairly deep, but the cellphone bin under the center stack doesn’t allow much room for USB wires.
Cargo capacity is a bit smaller than other hatchbacks in this class, with only 20.8 cubic feet available behind the rear seats. (For comparison, a Golf measures 22.8 cubes and the Civic hatchback boasts 25.7 cubic feet.) In short, it’smore versatile than a sedan but less so than other hatchbacks.