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2017 Toyota Corolla iM (Nee Scion iM) Review By John Heilig


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THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2017 Toyota Corolla iM

ENGINE: 1.8-liter I-4
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed CVT automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 137 hp @ 6,100 rpm/126 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 102.4 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 170.5 x 69.3 x 55.3 in.
TIRES:  P225/45R17
CARGO CAPACITY: 20.8 cu. ft. with rear seats up
ECONOMY: 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway/30.5 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 14.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,031 lbs. #/HP: 22.1 
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Focus, VW Beetle, Nissan Sentra
STICKER: $20,760 (includes $865 delivery, $395 options (color))
BOTTOM LINE: The Toyota Corolla iM is a good, solid, inexpensive hatchback.

The Toyota Corolla iM began life in 2016 as the Scion iM hatchback. When Scion died, the iM became a Toyota and was renamed the Corolla iM. It’s the same car as the Scion with some rebadging, in the same way the Scion FR-S became the Toyota 86.

The iM was one of the better Scion models with a small engine that was symbolic of the brand. The 1.8-liter four has decent power for a small car. It tends to be buzzy when provoked, but basically little engine noise intrudes into the cabin. We did encounter some road noise on washboard surfaces, but otherwise the iM offers a quiet ride. While the 7-speed CVT automatic worked well, it whined in reverse.

Handling is good - to be expected from a small car. Ride quality is decent. After all, this isn’t a big Lexus, but it’s okay. And while my wife exhibited some trepidation because “we will be riding on the ground,” even she said that the ride quality was good. The iM has a tight turning circle radius that isn’t necessarily reflected in the data, but feels tight. That’s one of the drawbacks of the iM - everything is good, but not outstanding.

Except for cargo. One of the major advantages of a hatchback is cargo capacity. A hatchback is almost like a small wagon or SUV without the size issues. As far as you can tell from the front seat, you’re in a sedan, but when it becomes necessary, you an easily convert the iM into a hauler, as long as you keep the load light. The hatch opens easily. Under the cargo floor and above the space saver spare is a concealed tray that is good if you want to keep small objects hidden.

The driver faces a clear instrument panel with deeply nacelled tachometer and speedometer separated by a busy information section. In the setup we chose, it read, from the top, outside temperature, gear, information choices, current mpg, overall mpg and odometer. 

In keeping with the character of the car there is a small infotainment screen. Audio choices in our tester were AM/FM/aha/Bluetooth, AUX. We chose Bluetooth.

I was impressed by the HVAC system in changeable weather. At the base of the center stack beneath the HVAC controls is a cubby with 12-volt and USB outlets. There is additional storage with a small center console/armrest that has a tray inside.

And, surprise! the glove box is a useful size.

While front seat legroom is good, rear seat legroom is cozy with a flat floor. There are water/cupholders in the doors, and the pull-down arm rest in the rear has a pair of cupholders. The rear seat backs fold easily to create an extended flat cargo floor.

Fans of Scion - and there were and are many - may rue the demise of the iM under the Scion badge but will be pleased to note it hasn’t changed much in becoming a Toyota. It is still a solid compact hatchback at a great price point.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

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