By on November 12, 2014

scion-im-concept-02-1

Well, we called it. Scion will be bringing its own version of the Toyota Auris over here as their next new model launch.

Rather than the truly wagon-like Auris Touring Sports, the iM appears to be a traditional hatchback. While no powertrain details have been revealed, the examples driven by our own Ronnie Schreiber were evidently not up to snuff for North American tastes.

 

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54 Comments on “Scion iM Concept Revealed...”


  • avatar

    So, is this to get Millenials prepped for a sad retirement life driving a Venza?

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      When is Toyota going to update the interior in the Venza? Or are they just giving up on it?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        There has been a lot of speculation that the Venza would be axed.

        The Venza’s best year was 2009 – about 54K deliveries – through October 2014 total Venza delivers sat at 25K.

        Interior issue may be in part due to branding separation.

        The Venza is really a Camry wagon, but so is the Lexus RX – up the interior too much and you blunt the value prop on what is probably Lexus’ biggest profit maker.

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          Still for the price it should at least be as nice as the Camry.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            You see other makers with this same issue.

            Ford vs. Lincoln is a good example, and certain GM products like Lambda – Traverse vs. Enclave or GMT900 update with say the GMC Yukon Denali versus the Cadillac Escalade. The Acura ILX versus a top trim Civic is another example – if we stick just to interiors.

            The Traverse gets thumped for its Coleman cooler interior, but if they upped the game the question becomes why buy the GMC or Buick version for the extra Cheddar.

            At the end of the day car companies aren’t charities (well OK, GM and Chrysler ran their businesses like charities who planned to make it up in volume) and they exist to make a profit.

            Higher end trim models are vastly more profitable, hence the need to differentiate.

            The Venza has always felt to me like the Honda Crosstour, an answer to a question no one asked. As much as I beg and plead for the Holden Commodore Sportwagon to have been brought to the states, the sad reality is it too would answer a question no one is asking.

            Honestly, I’m a bit surprised the Venza is finding roughly 2,500 takers a month as it is. If it were my money, I would buy the stripper RX or an off-lease CPO RX over the Venza every day of the week – understanding that both are tarted up, slightly lifted (the RX lifted even more) Camrys (or would that be Camries)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      +1

      • 0 avatar

        @APaGttH:
        I wouldn’t think there would be much cross-shopping between the two quite honestly. Though similar on paper to use car nerds, a separation is maintained with a few key differences. Venza’s lower H-point increases its appeal to the older folk who appreciate the slide-in/slide-out-ability of the car. The 4-cylinder is ‘enough’ motor for most people looking for a retirement buggy or a car for the wife to do the shopping. Also – unlike GM and Ford – Toyota has much wider dealer footprint than Lexus, meaning the ability to really see both side-by-side in a showroom setting is nonexistent.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Scion i(t’s)M(atrix). That’s what we have here.

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      The back end looks heavily cribbed from the Elantra GT. I guess a hatch*ss is a hatch*ss, but still.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Yup.

      Given how badly Toyota botched the last Matrix, I’m hoping they actually try with this one. The retarded front fascia of this concept isn’t promising.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        So is the CT200h Corolla based or is it based on this? They seem the same shape.

        Those multi-fog lights at the sides look like an illuminated scale model of a building.

        • 0 avatar
          epsilonkore

          Neither, CT200H and the tC are based off the Avensis platform.

        • 0 avatar
          Occam

          The CT200h was Corolla based. The Auris is a Euro-Market Corolla. The Lexus HS was based on the Avensis/tC platform.

          I’m curious about the innards. I somehow doubt they’ll put the 2.5L from the Camry and tC in it – perhaps something from Mazda, as they have some product sharing in the works already, and the Mazda2 will be coming to our shores as a Scion model.

          I sincerely hope they don’t saddle it with the Corolla’s twist-beam rear suspension. Give it real multi-link suspension!

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Meh.

    I’m an around-the-arm barbed wire tattoo and a visor short to appreciate “this”.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Is it bigger than a Yaris? Another four-door hatch is great. More choice.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I like it!

    But it needs more guts than that sluggish 1.8 in the current Corolla. After all, the Matrix had a 170hp option.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      There was a prior-gen Auris variant with the 3.5L V6: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Auris#Toyota_Blade

      I can dream, right?

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      As a former Matrix XRS owner, I miss the concept of a high-revving, lightweight hatchback from Toyota. The engine will make or break this car, but with the Yamaha partnership long dead I have little hope this will carry anything other than a Corolla or Camry powertrain.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I wondered if Toyota would give the Matrix another go. If the 1.8 is the only engine, this is DOA for me, Mazda3 wins. The Camry 2.5 w/6spd would provide enough power (the tC with this engine is certainly not slow), but anytime they’ve shoved the Camry engine in the Corolla/Matrix it had pretty miserable EPA ratings for a compact.

    Dunno. This would have been a far better move a couple years ago than the insipid iQ, but it will face some real stiff hatchback competition from the Focus, 3, Golf (in theory only, not sales), and Elantra.

    Do this right, revive the xB, keep the tC a great packaging and value play, and maybe Scion can cling to life for another model cycle.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Funny how the Golf has it’s own halo around it, and is separate from other small hatchy considerations.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        It is funny. I really like the Golf and find it has an interior and driving feel beyond its price point, but it just doesn’t sell worth crap on these shores. The curse of wearing the VW badge.

        From what I’ve seen driving around my area (always an accurate metric), 3 and Focus hatches are noticeably common, Golfs are quite rare, and Elantra/Forte hatches are nonexistent. So maybe the Golf can finally claim to sell more than one of its competitors.

      • 0 avatar
        DeeDub

        Isn’t it the only hatchback left that hasn’t gone squashback? That alone makes it special.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          I think so. That’s good for visibility and fitting taller items, but the floor space and seats-up capacity of the Golf cargo hold is still pretty poor. This is why I want c-segment wagons, not hatchbacks.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It’s also the only hatchback which does not have a general air of “can’t afford much” about it *special Impreza models excluded*.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This could be fun with the 2.0T and AWD. Doesn’t look promising on the looks front though. Or powertrain front for that matter. Scion won’t thrive as Toyota’s quirky model graveyard. They need ground up designs tailored to the US’ 50 and up ‘its hip to be square’ market.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    I think Scion needs the Aygo from the UK more than it needs the Auris.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      It would have been a better choice than the iQ. That said, it’s still a tiny car – smaller than the Mini Cooper or the Fiat 500.

      I’d still love to take one for a spin! Featherlight with a stick sounds like fun.

      People laugh, but the original Echo, aside from being hideous, had a peppy little engine that loved to spin. I miss the days when I could insist on the cheapest rental car they had in the shop. “No I don’t want to upgrade, I specifically reserved the 3-cylinder Metro with a stick and no power steering.” Now even the crappiest rental cars are saddled with automatics.

  • avatar

    Excellent. I’d been hoping Toyota would bring the Auris to the U.S. ever since I saw Jeremy Clarkson deliberately destroy an Auris rental while doing a special in Australia (or was it South Africa?). Hopefully it can be had with tamer exterior features, because that body kit is just too wild for my taste.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That segment just made me so angry. So fake and everything else bad about Top Gear. And he didn’t mention how the car was to drive even once.

      And he was in Australia.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Top Gear has usually been better about blending the real and the staged aspects of their competition segments so you can at least convince yourself it is real despite your suspicions to the contrary, but that Auris one was not well done.

        That show has never been a legitimate source of real information unless Hammond and May are solo reviewing a car, and that doesn’t happen often. Clarkson is an entertaining personality, but he’s a snot, his mouth exceeds his knowledge base, and can’t be bothered to review anything that doesn’t require celebrity status or a manufacturer invitation to purchase.

      • 0 avatar
        AprilFools

        There is the episode where he says he is “driving the fastest car in the world”, a rental because who cares about them, he was racing James May who was on a Racing boat and they were racing to the tip of New Zeland.

        I want to say it was season 20.

      • 0 avatar
        bosozoku

        It was New Zealand.

    • 0 avatar
      olydoug

      I really liked the Auris we rented in the UK and if it had been available right now it would have been on my new car shopping list. The Top gear race was in New Zealand to be exact and the Auris was probably chosen as whatever compact size rental car was available at the time. But don’t expect to haul 5 people and their luggage at the same time. There’s not enough room.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    How would this compare to the xB in terms of interior space? Can anyone comment from where these are both already available, like Australia?

  • avatar
    Syke

    I like the looks of it. By the time it comes out, my first generation xB will be ready for replacement. Will keep my eye on this one.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So Scion, a dead brand walking, is launch a hatchback as a replacement essentially to the xB and/or xD (the xD is a hatch, the xB you could argue invented a category) when American buyers don’t want hatchbacks.

    For some reason, I can see Kia product management doing the happy hampster dance right now.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Keep that wheel gap, but put the face of the corolla on it…

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    As much as I despise the melty styling I have to appreciate the seemingly tolerable greenhouse.

    That being said, I want to point out just how dated those rear quarter windows look. Back in the early 50’s the Plymouth Cambridge and a few other Plymouths had these, little did Chrysler know how long their small styling cue would last.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    You could vacuum up a LOT of leaves with this.

    If you had, like, a putting-green smooth lawn.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I’m pretty much guessing that no one on this thread is in the target demographic of this car.

    • 0 avatar
      spudenater

      I am in the target demographic of this car (22 y/o single male). While I like the idea of the iM, seeing as a Matrix XRS is one of the few cars you might be able to convince me to give up my ’80 Corolla wagon for (it’s tan and a 5sp, incase you were wondering). I think the styling looks like someone taped go-fast bits to a Matrix and put it in front of a funhouse mirror though, especially the back. With a calmer, though not necessarily less sporty production model ( Ilike the wheel gap), I could see this being moderately successful. Or, alternatively, I could see it being the car everyone claims to want and no one buys, which is honestly much more likely. We’ll see what is available under the hood though, if it’s got a peppy option to go with the inevitable boring econo-max option, it just might survive long enough to be called a vague success.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I might not be the target demographic, but I think it looks damn hot. I’m partial to hatchbacks anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “I’m pretty much guessing that no one on this thread is in the target demographic of this car.”

      True, most of us have completed puberty.

      Although I *would* like to dump a box full of tennis balls in front of one and watch it scuff to a halt.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Rather than the truly wagon-like Auris Touring Sports, the iM appears to be a traditional hatchback.”

    Then what’s the point?

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Scion has never really lived up to its potential. Even the very good FR-S has been a bit of a disappointment.

    I’m a little worried that this Scion iM/Toyota Auris will be another bland Toyota sold under the Scion name. Depending on how the actual vehicle turns out and how it is priced it could do well, though it doesn’t seem to have the potential to be an out-of-the-ballpark hit.

  • avatar
    2kriss2kross

    If only Scion could import the Toyota bb from Japan, the true successor of the original Scion xB, it’d be hit with people dying to replace their 6-11 year old xB’s.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I suppose if Toyota want to value add they can turn a Yaris into a Lexus.

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