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.

Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.
Product Review

Acer Predator Triton 500 review

Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 Max-Q is the fastest GPU you’ll find in any laptop, but it usually comes at a steep price. Acer’s Predator Triton 500, starting at $2,500, makes it a little more affordable. But what must you sacrifice in the…

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.

Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…