#9- Scion iA
Priced inexpensively at $15,770, the Scion iA was the brand’s first-ever sedan. Based on the Mazda2 with the only difference being a different front bumper and grille, the Scion iA is powered by Mazda’s 1.5 liter SkyActiv engine with 106 HP and 103 lb-ft of torque. With an impressive 37 combined MPG, the iA was the quintessential first car for the starving college student or the beginning family.
Did you know:
- The iA is based on the JDM Mazda2 and not the Ford Fiesta-based Mazda2 hatchback. Since Mazda doesn’t sell the JDM Mazda2, this is the only way to get a Mazda2 sedan here in the United States.
- The iA shares the characteristic of being the only other car to be rebadged with the Scion FR-S (which is also a Subaru BRZ.)
- If you put the pedal to the metal it takes 9-seconds to reach 60 MPH. While some automotive journalists lament this fact, the Skyactiv engine is perfectly happy around town.
- iA keeps it so simple. There’s only one trim level and one factory option (a six-speed manual.) Scion does offer dealer accessories but you’ll have to go to the catalog for those options.
Besides the Toyota Yaris, the Scion iA is the perfect beginners car to enter into the Toyota family. The rationale being if you enjoyed the iA, maybe you’ll upgrade to a Camry. Once you have a family you can step into a Sienna. And when your kids are old enough, their first car will be the iA, which might still be hanging around 16 years from now. Then when the kids go to college, your parents will sell the iA and Sienna and buy themselves a Lexus. See, its all part of the plan.
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