I am going to put this out there.
The Scion iA is the best value sub-compact sedan ever.
Ok, I'll give you my justification.
Tech and Features
When it comes to standard tech and features, the Scion iA is performing well beyond its pay grade.
Standard features include split-fold rear seats, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control , infotainment with voice recognition and Bluetooth, A/C, and a rear view camera. But the real stand out when it comes to the iA's standard features is the inclusion of a forward collision warning system and automatic braking.
This feature is rarely found in economy cars, let alone being included as standard. many vehicles that are upmarket from the iA offer such a system as an option, but that means that you'll have to pay extra for it. These systems are so effective at protecting the vehicle and passengers that the IIHS has made them a requirement in order to be considered for their Top Safety Pick + award, which the iA won.
The infotainment system also deserves attention. This is something that often causes headaches for vehicle engineers as well as those who have to dedicate a significant amount of time learning the ins and outs of the controls. The iA has a simple touch screen in the center of the dash within reach of most drivers who will take the helm. In addition there is a rotary knob so give you more options n how to control things while on the go.
The Scion iA has excellent driving dynamics, and that is all thanks to the Mazda engineering team's work on the Mazda2 (which has now become the Scion iA.) It runs on Mazda's 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. Admittedly, it's a small engine, but when paired with the manual transmission, the iA is a really fun car to drive.
Marketing, Value, Awards
The real fun in the iA is in the drive itself. Shifting is easy and has been so simplified that even novices will master it quickly. The ability to move the lever and push the third pedal adds a lot of joy to the driving experience. That experience is already fun thanks to the tight chassis and nimble nature of this little car. The high torque value it achieves gives a punchy feel off the line. In corners, the precise steering and sporty chassis means that the little iA hugs the line, enjoying itself when a little zig is asked of its zag.
So this is where it all comes together. Scion has managed to cobble together so many great things in to the iA, while still keeping the cost low. People are paying attention, awards are being awarded and it is most likely in part because Scion has an excellent marketing department.
Making a deal with Mazda was super smart. The company has an uncanny ability to build vehicles that can perform well above their nice and affordable price points. Scion, being a subsidiary of Toyota that is focusing on younger people, has a lot of resources and creative liberty to market the iA.
That combination has got people buying it, increasing sales astronomically when compared to how in the gutter Scion sales were before this product release. It has also received an award from Consumer guide, their Best Buy Award. This award is judged on a balance of features and value -- things like room and comfort, power and performance, ride and handling, fit and finish.
And all this for just $16000 US?
I rest my case.