The point of Toyota’s Scion brand seems to have been to attract young drivers of modest means, in the hope they’d eventually graduate to Toyota’s more mainstream (and more expensive) models. Since their introduction in 2003, Scions have been quirky, inexpensive and easily personalized, but without the reliability and durability problems that often plague quirky, inexpensive cars. As older drivers, we’ve generally felt the Scions we've test-driven didn't measure up to their subcompact and compact competitors.
We could tell there was something different about the 2016 iM, a new model, the first time we opened a door and noticed how substantial it was. Where some Scions we’ve driven have sounded tinny, this one felt solid, from the fit of its doors to its behavior on the highway. The iM, a 5-door hatchback, also is better equipped than previous Scions we’ve driven and delivers better fuel economy. And while it rides as smoothly and quietly as Toyota’s venerable Corolla, it’s more fun to drive and costs less when comparably equipped.