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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
SCION iM EKES ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Let us start off by recognizing that this all-new compact hatchback from Scion is no powerhouse. But it does offer some redeeming qualities that will appeal to potential buyers, especially the novice driver in the family.
Under the hood of the one-trim, front-wheel-drive car sits a 1.8-liter inline-4 cylinder engine developing 137 horsepower @ 6100 rpm and 126 pounds-feet of torque @ 4000 rpm. A 6-speed manual is standard though you can opt for a continuous variable transmission. A MacPherson strut front and a double wishbone rear suspension suppress road and wind noise to result in a pleasingly agile ride.
Up front, the iM displays sharp-eyed, projector-beam halogen headlights surrounding a piano black grille, hexagonal lower grille, side bezels with honeycomb pattern and sporty body aero kit. The cabin is spacious and elegant with standard dual-zone a/c, leather tilt/telescopic steering column, 60/40 fold rear seat, height-adjustable driver seat and armrest, digital clock and piano black and satin-chrome trim throughout. The 4.2-inch multi-information display between the analog gauges for the speedometer and tachometer is useful. So is the 7-inch touch screen audio display.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with traction, stability and hill start control, front active headrests, three-point seatbelts, rearview camera and tire pressure monitoring system are standard. The two-year/25,000-mile maintenance plan is a bonus.
No doubt, the iM lacks muscle and, as a result, manages a passable performance. However, it makes up for the deficit with plentiful cargo and passenger space, good fuel mileage (our mixed driving average was EPA-estimated 31 mpg) and a price that is competitive in the compact hatchback market.

SCION iM
Tires: 225/45R17
Wheelbase: 102.4 inches
Length: 170.5 inches
Fuel capacity: 14 gallons
City: 27 mpg
Highway: 36 mpg
Base price: $18,460
Web site: www.scion.com

CALLING ALL SCION DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com