In 2016, Toyota decided to bid adieu to the Scion brand, allowing for select vehicles to take the Toyota badge in 2017. The Scion iA, iM and FR-S have officially joined the Toyota family as the 2017 Yaris iA, Corolla iM and Toyota 86.
They’re aimed squarely at young drivers. Scion has always focused on younger drivers who might be buying their first new car, and the iA and iM are no different. The 2016 Scion iA, for instance, is targeted at buyers with a median age of 35 years old and a median household income of $45,000. And Scion expects about 40 percent of iA buyers will be upgrading from a car they bought on the used market to their first new car. The iM is also aimed at a 35-year-old median buyer, but as the car costs a little more, Scion hopes iM drivers’ average HHI will hover closer to the $55,000 mark. For comparison, Scion says iM competitors like the Volkswagen Golf, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3, and Ford Focus hatchbacks have a median buyer age of 52.
Scion iM offers extensive personalization… While the iM is not as strange and unique as past Scion offerings, Scion still offers a range of cosmetic and performance dealer-installed parts for buyers who want to personalize their rides. In addition to body cladding and graphics, a rear diffuser and roof-mounted spoiler are available to add an aggressive appearance. A TRD air intake, anti-roll bar, lowering springs, and oil cap are also on offer from Scion dealers.
…but the Mazda-sourced Scion iA won’t have any add-ons. Scion and TRD will not, however, sell any parts for the iA sedan. That’s because the iA is based on the Mazda2, so Toyota and Scion haven’t developed any upgrades for the car. So why does the Scion FR-S, which was co-developed with Subaru. still offer extensive TRD upgrades? Scion representatives explained that the chief engineer behind the FR-S/BRZ was a Toyota engineer, so the company could work on TRD upgrades as part of the development process.
Scion buyers prefer streaming to satellite. While both the 2016 Scion iA and the iM offer standard Bluetooth and HD radio, satellite radio is conspicuously absent from the cars’ options list. Why? The brand’s young buyers simply don’t want it. “The idea of a satellite subscription service does not appeal to our core set of buyers,” said Doug Murtha, Scion Group Vice President. “The numbers are too low to justify.” Instead, Scion buyers like to stream music from their phones, so the Scions offer integrated Aha internet radio functionality instead.
A new Scion is on the way to fill a new niche. Murtha remains tight-lipped on Scion’s next new model, but it will debut in the near future to expand the brand’s lineup alongside the iA and iM. Murtha did say that the upcoming Scion will fit in a very specific segment, with a different appearance and packaging than the rest of the market. Look for more details on the next Scion later this year.
The 2016 Scion iA: coming this FALL! To learn more about our inventory, both Scion and Toyota, visit www.oaklawntoyota.com. To receive updates on the new Scion iA, sign up here, and select “stay connected”.