Scion unveils its instantly gratifying iM subcompact hatchback in New York

What’s efficient, affordable, sporty, versatile, easily modified, and pet friendly? If Scion — Toyota’s youthful offshoot — is to be believed, it’s the all-new iM subcompact hatchback, which was unveiled this week at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

Aimed at Millennials who have rent, groceries, and student loans yanking at their purse strings, the iM intends to be an instantly gratifying response to the realities of life. After all, just because you can’t afford anything more than a $20,000 subcompact doesn’t mean you shouldn’t suffer … too much.

Accordingly, it’s been fitted with enjoyable, standard accoutrement like a 7.0-inch Pioneer Display Audio unit, 17-inch alloy wheels, and “a roomy glove box and console box,” as well as “numerous front door pockets and storage bins.”

The good news keeps coming for buyers, as the iM isn’t just flush with features, it’s also sporty. It comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox mated to a “Valvematic” naturally aspirated 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 137 tire-rending horsepower and at least a dozen torques. At least, I assume so … Scion didn’t say.

The performance story doesn’t end there. Scion offers Toyota Racing Development (TRD) performance upgrades at the dealer, including an air intake system, anti-roll bar, and lowering springs to name a few.

If these specs or only moderately whelming, just wait; the best is yet to come. The 2016 Scion iM is rated to achieve 37 mpg on the highway. So, at least in this way, it should be gratifying. After all, gas might be cheap right now, but it never hurts to save more.

All playful ribbing aside, the iM should be actually a pretty good buy. It also boasts LED daytime running lights and taillights as standard, as well as 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display within the instrument cluster and backup camera. Buyers can also spec real leather, a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with seven simulated shift points and a “grass pad,” which, as Scion says, “discourages your doggie from standing on center console.”

Clearly, the iM wants to be all things to all people. And, weirdly, I am eager to find out if it succeeds.

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