Goodbye to the Wedge: Will Toyota Grace Us With a Next-generation IM?
The strange saga of the Scion brand ended in 2016, but there’s still two holdouts from Toyota’s foray into the funky youth market: the Corolla iM and the Mazda 2-based iA sedan.
Across the Atlantic, the iM carries the Auris name, and there’s a next-generation model scheduled for a public unveiling at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. If Toyota deems the current iM’s sales sufficient, this third-generation Auris will become your second-generation iM.
Judging by this teaser photo released by the automaker, the new Auris ditches the doorstop shape in favor of a flowing five-door design that immediately calls to mind the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Nissan Leaf. There’s only so many ways to package a hatch.
Debuting in the new Auris is a new hybrid drivetrain, this one featuring a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as its dance partner. There’ll be more details available at Geneva. Right now, the iM is only available with a Corolla-spec 1.8-liter four-banger, mated to a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic. Neither the engine nor the CVT impressed in our most recent review, despite the attractive five-door’s obvious virtues.
A hybrid system would change things up (while boosting the model’s price). Still, we don’t even know for sure whether iM will even return in a new form. Corolla buyers overwhelmingly choose the sedan over the hatch. In 2017, iM sales in the U.S. amounted to 20,501 units. Subtracting this number from the Corolla family’s overall U.S. sales leads us to a figure of 308,695 — obviously, the sedan reigns supreme in buyers’ minds.
Is a second-gen iM worth it? That’s for Toyota to decide. Spy photos of a camouflaged iM tooling around southern California that cropped up late last year should give iM fans a decent amount of hope.
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.
- Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
- Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
- Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
- ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
I am OK with the current iM... it just needs a version with AWD and a 2.0T.
This is one for you if you like your car be made in Japan