2017 Toyota Corolla iM takes over where Scion left off

2017 Toyota Corolla iM

After Toyota nixed the Scion brand, the new vehicles added to the youth brand were incorporated into the Toyota line. The iM was one of those and is well-regarded in the compact hatchback segment thanks to its solid ride, comfortable seating, and generous list of standard features.

The manufacturer says

Sporty performance and the good looks to match. Corolla iM comes standard with an aggressive aero kit, bringing extra attitude to the front fascia, side skirts, and rear bumper.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Toyota
  • Year, Model: 2017 Corolla iM
  • Class, Type: Compact hatchback
  • Base Price: $18,750
  • MSRP as tested: $21,498
  • Availability: Now

Overview

One thing missing from the popular compact Toyota Corolla model was a hatchback option. In the compact car market, five-doors are becoming the new brown as the wagon look ceases to lose its negative connotations. With the introduction of the Scion iM, Toyota hoped that the youth brand could bring a Corolla-based hatchback to market with enough appeal that youngsters looking for a slightly more upscale wagon might appreciate. It seems to have hit a chord and the iM moved over to its rightful place as a Corolla model after the Scion brand was discontinued.

There’s a lot to like about the 2017 Corolla iM, but it’s not all roses. The drive dynamic and acceleration are less than fun-filled and the visibility out of the rear is cramped due to large roof pillars. For those who are more practical and eye-candy minded, though, the Corolla iM has a lot of appeal. The styling of the iM is very nicely done with a sporty, premium look that belies the car’s low cost of entry. The interior is also much more competitive with higher-priced contemporaries than might be warranted by the window sticker.

Although the Toyota Corolla iM is no longer under the Scion brand, Toyota kept the single model trim as its base without any upgrade options via trim points. Instead, a few add-ons are available, mostly as dealer upgrades. The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM is well-equipped as-is, with a central touchscreen, rearview camera, alloy wheels, and automatic headlights being standard equipment alongside keyless ignition and more.

The Corolla iM is powered by a four-cylinder engine that outputs 137 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This has been much-improved over the standard Corolla model and is much less intrusive in its noise level and fake shift points.

What we like

Good amount of standard features given the low price point of the car.
Great seating, especially in front.

What we don't

Slow acceleration and boring drive.
Difficult rear visibility.

Conclusions

With good, real-world achievable fuel economy and a smart design, the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM is a great hatchback option. It’s more driveable than its sedan namesake and has a bit more utility and room to boot. Others in this class have more to offer in many ways, but Toyota has a hatch here that competes will regardless. The Corolla iM is well worth keeping on your list of possibles in this category.

Test Period Length and Limitations
The Corolla iM was a manufacturer’s press loan given for about a week. During that time, 537 miles were put on the vehicle in a highway-heavy mix of driving.

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