The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM sounds like a new model, but it’s really a rebadged Scion iM that was launched last year. The Scion brand was axed but this Corolla rides on the same platform, meaning the remnants of Scion are still under the Toyota Umbrella.
This week, we drove the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM automatic 5-Door hatch.
What’s New For 2017
The 2017 iM is new to Toyota this year but it’s basically the same car as last year’s Scion iM. Standard automatic high-beam control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning and mitigation are new for 2017.
Features & Options
The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM comes in a single, well-equipped model. The 5-door hatchback automatic ($19,490) comes with many standard amenities for the price. It features 17-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, automatic headlights, power-folding heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping column with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats, and a rearview camera.
Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 7-inch touchscreen, six-speaker stereo with HD radio, Aha streaming Internet radio, and a USB interface complete the list of connectivity technologies. Our tester also came with floormats and a cargo mat ($185), wheel locks ($65), and rear wind deflector ($399). Total MSRP including destination: $21,498.
The cabin of the Corolla iM matches the outside with its contemporary design. A dash covered in fashionable piano black features swooping lines and round vents. There’s a lot of upscale, soft-touch trim throughout. The height-adjustable front seats are supportive and the upholstery is average for an economy compact. We liked the simple instrument layout and dual-zone climate control; the standard 7-inch touchscreen is easy to reach and reacts quickly.
The rearview camera is a welcome feature as the rear hatch window is small and visibility is limited when backing up. Front visibility is good with the small pillars, raked hood, and big windshield. The backseat is not as roomy as the front and there’s not a lot of cargo room (20.8 cubic feet) when the rear seatbacks are up, but they’re still 60/40 and fold flat for some cargo carrying ability.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM is powered by the same high-revving, 1.8-liter four-cylinder as the Corolla. It produces 137 horsepower and 126 lb-ft. of torque. Our Corolla iM tester had the 7-speed CVTi-S automatic transmission that transfers power to the front wheels, although a 6-speed manual is standard.
Fuel economy is an EPA estimated 28/36 city/highway and 31 combined with the CVTi-S.
The iM automatic felt lively and light in the corners as we tossed the subcompact around the tight mountain curves near Evergreen, west of Denver. When we took it on the open road and through the high country at altitude, the automatic felt like any Continuously Variable Transmission: it winds up tight when pushed hard.
The Toyota iM is a sporty compact but it’s not a true sports hatch. It won’t blow the doors off with its acceleration, but it does hold its own after you get up to speed. We dropped the 7-speed CVTi-S automatic into sport mode and kept the revs up for more spirited driving in the tight mountain curves. In heavy, stop-and-go city traffic this week, we thought the automatic was preferable over the manual. It gets tiring when you have to continually push in the clutch to move a few feet forward.
The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM comes with a long list of standard features for the price, has hatchback versatility, it’s fuel efficient, and would be a good vehicle for urban dwellers.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy