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The adorkable iA, Scion's first sedan, is likely to appeal to a number of customers who value efficiency, affordability and equipment. And because the iA is essentially a rebadged Mazda2 there should be some pep in this little guy's step. If you're wondering why Mazda would build a car for Toyota, volume is a big reason. 1,003 Toyota dealers have a Scion store, more than one-and-a-half times as many franchises as Mazda, and that translates into higher production numbers.

Ignoring the rather tragic grille, the rest of the iA is actually a handsome little four-door, which makes sense, considering the amount of Mazda blood coursing through its veins. One need only compare the shots of the Scion, shown above, and the leaked images of the Thai-market 2 sedan to see the similarity. The headlights and taillights are identical in shape and similar in overall design, while both cars share Mazda's expressive Kodo character lines in the profile. While the 2 is cute and brawny, the iA looks a little sullen, with its catfish-mouth grille drooping low in front of the sloping hood.

It's a similar story in the cabin, where Mazda's work is plain to see. The dash is crowned by an ample, standard seven-inch display, which is in turn controlled by either touch or the excellent dial-and-buttons input also found in the Mazda3 and Mazda6. Toyota's Entune system is conspicuous by its absence. A trio of knobs control the HVAC system, while a section of faux leather, complete with stitching, separates the tactile controls from the main display. The instrument cluster is home to a single binnacle, housing the speedometer. A pair of secondary displays feature a tachometer and other ancillary information.

Considering that the interior and exterior are almost unchanged from the Mazda2, it's no surprise that the 1.5-liter four-cylinder is also common to both cars. In the iA the lump under the hood makes 106 horsepower, while the Euro-market 2 comes in three flavors – 75 horsepower, 95 hp and 115 hp (with the i-ELOOP system). The 1.5 is paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

Following the theme, the iA's chassis is largely identical to the new 2's. The front suspension is of the MacPherson strut variety, while a torsion-beam axle sits out back with rear drum brakes. The steering assist is electric, which contributes at least partially to the 33-mile-per-gallon city rating and 42-mpg highway.

The 2016 Scion iA's single trim, which includes the seven-inch touchscreen and a pre-collision braking system, starts "in the $16,000 range." Other entry-level subcompacts, such as the Mitsubishi Mirage and Chevrolet Spark start at a lower price, but with much lower levels of feature content.

Check back for much more on the 2016 Scion iA, including live photos, from the 2015 New York Auto Show.
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Sports Sedan that Shouts Success
All-New 2016 Scion iA Rolls Into New York With a Trunk

- Brand's first-ever sedan with dramatically sporty look and agile moves
- Estimated MSRP in the $16,000-range for well-equipped mono-spec model • High-spirited 1.5-liter engine; estimated 42 MPG highway
- Choice of 6-speed stick shift or 6-speed automatic
- Standard Low-speed Pre-collision safety system
- Roomy cabin with premium amenities
- 7-inch multimedia system with voice recognition

NEW YORK, March 31, 2015 – Scion is expanding its line-up in more ways than one. In addition to adding a new vehicle to its stable, it's also adding its first-ever sedan, the remarkably sporty, yet very affordable, 2016 Scion iA.

The Scion iA sedan joins the all-new 2016 Scion iM hatchback for a one-two punch in the subcompact and compact segments.

The new sans-hatch Scion will arrive in dealerships this fall for an estimated MSRP in the $16,000-range. That's for a mono-spec model equipped with standard Low-speed Pre-collision safety system and 7-inch multi-media system with voice activation. Because Scion has a no hassle, no haggle Pure Price, customers walk out the door with the same price they saw posted in the dealership.

"Dramatic" could be an understatement when describing the visual impact of the 2016 Scion iA. Beneath the daringly curved sheetmetal lies a tight, agile machine that re-defines "entry level." Call the design "class above," a term that applies throughout the car.

If the Scion iA happens to be a customer's first new car, then it's going to be fondly remembered no matter how many others come later. If it's a second car for the household, it may start arguments over who gets to drive it.

The basic ingredients: a high-strength body structure, quick-revving, high- compression 1.5-liter engine with 106 hp; choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions; standard 16-inch alloy wheels, and manufacturer- estimated fuel economy ratings of 33 city / 42 highway / 37 combined MPG.

What Do Those Letters Mean?

There's no mystery to the Scion iA badge. The "i" in the all-new 2016 Scion iA and iM models suggests Individual. Intriguing. Easy on the customer's income. The "A" in iA could mean aggressive styling, accommodating cabin and trunk, and affordable.

Curves Ahead, Trunk Behind

The 2016 Scion shows a familiar brand face with a hexagon lower grille and sharp-eyed headlights. In the rear, the spacious trunk gives it a distinctive look in the segment.

The Scion iA cuts a striking profile that certainly stands out in a crowd. To make the most of its sophisticated sedan breeding, the iA also sports an upscale looking piano black bumper treatment, chrome grille surround and chrome tailpipe.

The Scion iA does inherit a critical item from its hatchback siblings, a standard 60/40 split rear seat back to extend carrying capacity and versatility.

As Fun As It Looks

Push the "Start" button (because Keyless Entry with Push-Button Start is standard), and the Scion iA springs to life with a sporty yet muted rasp from its chrome tailpipe. It's the sound of a very high-tech 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that's big in both spirit and technology.

In other words, the Scion iA zips as it sips. Much credit also goes to the choice of transmissions. The standard 6-speed manual is compact and lightweight, and is super low on friction with a short stroke, making it one of the sweetest-shifting manuals around.

For those who prefer an automatic transmission, the available 6-speed automatic will be intriguing. Engineered for light weight, low friction and a direct-shift feel, the automatic has a bit of a dual personality. It moves the Scion iA off from a standing start with the smoothness only a torque converter automatic can deliver, yet very quickly afterward locks the converter for quicker, more direct shifts and higher fuel economy. For drivers seeking greater torque feel, a Sport Mode feature is available with the flip of a switch.

Agility is engineered into the Scion iA, not just added on with stiffer springs and shocks. The body structure uses straight beams wherever possible, continuous framework that makes the individual sections function in harmony, and effective positioning of high-tensile steel. Bottom line, it's strong.

The MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension are tuned for a just-right balance of sporty handling and comfortable ride not normally associated with this segment. Steering and brake system tuning, in particular, received attention more befitting of a sport sedan than an "economy car." The Scion iA uses a rigid steering mount, which provides a direct yet light feel also unexpected in low-priced, high-MPG models. Progressive braking feel comes to the fore when cornering. Entering the curve, the pedal provides smooth operation, then progresses to a more rigid feel as G-force rises.

Big on Safety

That high-strength structure also forms the foundation for safety in the Scion iA. A solid H-shaped ring structure joins the roof and B-pillars to underbody and combines with high-tensile steel on key frame members and a part of the floor to form a robust structure.

Front side airbags and curtain airbags help protect front and rear seat occupants. But the biggest safety news in this $16,000-ish Scion iA is a standard Low-speed Pre-collision system that uses a laser sensor to help the driver avoid collisions and to help minimize damage in the event of an accident. A rear view back-up camera is also standard.

Scion = Amazing Value

Looks do not deceive in the Scion iA cabin. Premium chrome accents and soft- touch trim and surfaces belie the car's price point, a value equation that runs in the Scion family. For starters, consider how the iA accommodates a wide range of drivers' physiques, including its 10-inch fore-aft slide adjustment and the standard seat height adjuster, too. There's no skimping with the steering wheel, which offers tilt and telescoping adjustments.
It's easy to take for granted features like cruise control and power windows, locks and exterior mirrors, because they're standard in most cars over a certain price. On some cars in the Scion iA's neighborhood, those could be extra-cost options, but they're all included on the 2016 iA's lengthy standard equipment roster.

The sporty steering wheel has control switches for the audio and standard Bluetooth. Hardly "entry level," the standard 7-in. Display Audio system has a touch screen, 6 speakers, remote interface and rear-view camera. Pandora®, AhaTM and StitcherTM come standard, too, providing a huge music, talk and podcast universe when paired with a compatible phone. For those who want to bring their own music into the iA, two USB ports and an Auxiliary input are standard. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel by using Voice Recognition to control many of the multi-media system features. An available navigation system is also offered through Scion dealers.

Make It Your Own

One could buy the Scion iA, choose the color and be perfectly happy with the result. For those who see the car as a blank canvas, Scion offers a full range of dealer-installed accessories, as it does for all its models.

A number of Scion dealers have inaugurated Pure Process Plus, which allows customers to research a car through Scion.com, find it at a dealership, apply for credit and secure a price, all without leaving the couch. Scion will continue working with dealers and Toyota Financial Services to fine-tune the process and plans to significantly expand its reach in 2015.

Limited Warranty

Like all Scion models, the 2016 iM is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. It also comes with Scion Service Boost, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and two years of 24-hour roadside assistance.

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