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    Review: 2016 Scion iA


    • A Mazda in Scion Clothing

    Badge engineering. Mention this term to anyone in the automotive industry and you are sure to get a look of disgust. This comes from past attempts where a number of automakers seemed to rightly mess it up. The classic example is GM’s A-Body vehicles from the eighties where each brand’s version looked very close to one another. This led to the infamous Fortune Magazine cover showing this. But when done correctly, badge engineering can actually do a lot of good. You’re probably wondering how badge engineering can be done correctly. One way is to bring over a model not sold in the country. A recent example is the Scion iA which is a Mazda2 in different clothing.

     

    Anyone who knows cars will instantly recognize the iA as a rebadged Mazda. The overall shape lines up perfectly with the larger 3 and 6 sedans. That’s not to say it is a bad thing. Mazda has been on a roll producing some of the sharpest looking vehicles in the industry and this model is no exception. Such details as a flowing character line and sculpting on doors make the iA a standout in a crowded class. Scion has done the requisite changes to transform the 2 into the iA with badge swaps and inserting a new front grille. The grille is the weak point in the iA’s as it doesn’t look quite right. Scion’s designers thought it would be a good idea to squish the tC’s grille and place it on the iA. The end result is polarizing, but not in a good way.

     

    2016 Scion IA 10

    The iA’s interior is all Mazda with simple dashboard design with a mix of hard plastics and soft-touch materials. Standard is a 7-inch touchscreen with Mazda’s infotainment system and control pod in the center console. The only real changes that you can pick out are the Scion emblem on the steering wheel and a different color palette for the infotainment system.

     

    Getting yourself situated in the iA is quite easy with a small number of manual adjustments for the seat and a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes. Once adjusted, the seat provides excellent levels of comfort and support. Controls are within easy reach for driver and passenger and feel quite solid. Space in the back seat of the iA is what you expect in subcompact; decent amount of head and legroom for passengers under 5’7”. Trunk space measures out to 13.5 cubic feet, making it slightly better than other subcompact sedans.

     

    The infotainment system is somewhat infuriating to use with the touchscreen as it doesn’t seem to act like other touchscreen systems. A perfect example is listening to something on your iPod. You can pause or skip tracks by using the touchscreen. But if you want to pick a different album or artist, you can’t choose it by using the touchscreen. You’re better off using the dial controller in the center console to move around and control the system.

     

    Power comes from a 1.5L inline-four with 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque (@ 4,000 rpm). There is the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Our test iA came with the manual. The modest power output of the engine does very well in the city as it gets up to speed at a good rate. The expressway is another story as the 1.5L struggles to get up to speed, even with your foot planted on the floor. The six-speed manual makes the engine slightly more flexible when it comes to making a pass, but you’ll still be pushing the pedal almost to the floor. The manual itself is quite enjoyable. Movement of the shifter is quite smooth and feels precise when it comes to putting it in gear. Fuel economy is rated at 31 City/41 Highway/35 Combined. I got an average of 37 MPG in mixed driving conditions.

     


    2016 Scion IA 9


     

    As it's a Mazda2 in disguise, the Scion iA is no slouch when it comes to driving fun. Around corners, the iA’s suspension feels sorted with barely any body roll and the willingness to change direction quickly. Steering is direct and provides the driver a decent level of road feel. Ride quality is smooth and the iA wasn’t unsettled by any bumps. One item I do wish Mazda and Toyota could work on is noise isolation. There is a good amount of road and wind noise coming into the cabin.

     

    One item that sets the Scion iA apart from the competition is a low-speed collision avoidance system that comes standard. A radar system mounted on top of the windshield monitors the road and if it detects an obstruction, it will warn the driver. In certain situations, the system can activate the brakes to prevent or reduce the amount of damage in an accident.

     

    The 2016 Scion iA proves that when done correctly, badge engineering does a lot of good. For Mazda who supplies the vehicle, it helps bring in some money so they can keep producing some of best driving vehicles on sale. For Scion (and soon to be Toyota), it gives them a subcompact sedan that is at the top of the class. The iA offers an engaging drive, extensive list of standard features, impressive fuel economy numbers, and good value. Our iA manual came with an as-tested price $16,495 with destination. The only option not on our vehicle was navigation for an additional $419.

     

    While the Scion brand will be going away, the iA will be sticking around as a Toyota (creatively named the Toyota Yaris iA). No matter what the badge might say, it will still be regarded as one the best decisions Toyota has ever made.

     

    Cheers: Smooth Six-Speed Manual, Fun to Drive, Automatic Braking System Standard
    Jeers: Small Back Seat, Engine's Performance is Weak Outside the City, Road & Wind Noise

     

     

    Disclaimer: Scion Provided the iA, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

    Year: 2016
    Make: Scion
    Model: iA
    Trim: N/A
    Engine: 1.5L DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Manual
    Horsepower @ RPM: 106 @ 6000
    Torque @ RPM: 103 @ 4000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/41/35
    Curb Weight: 2,385 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico
    Base Price: $15,700
    As Tested Price: $16,495 (Includes $795.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options: N/A

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    WOW, Can you say BIG Mouth Billy Bass!

     

    I knew you could!

     

    Some will love this cheap little ride, but I would pass.

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      Make: Dodge
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      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
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      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
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      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00

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    • By William Maley
      Last fall, I had the chance to drive a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for a week and fell in love. It was basically an SRT Charger, minus a few items for just under $40,000. This fall, another high-performance Charger came in a week’s stay and it was packing more heat. 707 horsepower to be exact. Yes, I finally got my hands on a Hellcat. What was it like? It was fast, but you want more information than that.
      That 707 horsepower figure comes courtesy from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. Torque is rated at 650 pound-feet.This is backed up by an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, then you’ll need to get the Challenger Hellcat. Trying to explain just how fast the Charger Hellcat is difficult. This is a car that you need to drive or sit in to experience the ferocity of the V8 engine. The best way I can use to describe the Hellcat’s power delivery is engaging warp drive. Step on the accelerator and the supercharger whirrs into life and the V8 produces a roar very few vehicles can dream. Blink and you’ll be at an illegal speed before you know it. Taking turns in the Hellcat is somewhat difficult because of the accelerator. You need to roll on it if you want to do it smoothly. If you step on the accelerator pedal like you would on a standard vehicle, the back will become very loose and the stability control will kick on to get the vehicle straightened out. This is especially important due to the tires fitted to Hellcat, a set of Pirelli P-Zeros. These tires need to be warmed up before they begin to bite the road. The Hellcat will be a regular at the fuel pump with fuel economy figures of 13 City/22 Highway/16 Combined. I got about 14.3 mpg during my week in mostly city driving. Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle.  Bringing a 707 horsepower vehicle to a stop is no easy task, but a set of massive Brembo brakes is up to the task. It brings the Charger Hellcat to a quick halt. The Charger Hellcat looks like your standard SRT Charger with a new front clip and lowered stance. There are some slight differences such as a new hood, 20-inch wheels finished in a dark bronze color, and the requisite Hellcat emblems on the front fenders. Inside, the Hellcat isn’t that much different from the standard Charger aside from the speedometer going 200 mph. It would have been nice if Dodge could have done some sprucing of the interior to not make it feel so dank and dark. A little bit more color on the dash would not be a bad thing. The front seats have extra bolstering to hold you in when you decide to let loose all 707 horsepower or take a turn a bit too fast. As I mentioned in my Ram 1500 Quick Drive last week, the Charger’s UConnect system is beginning to show its age. The interface is still easy to use but is beginning to show signs of aging. Performance isn’t as snappy either as in previous FCA models. Hopefully, the 2017 model is able to get the updated UConnect system that debuted in the Pacifica. The UConnect system in the Charger Hellcat does come with SRT Pages. This allows you to record 0-60, quarter-mile, and reaction times. It also allows you to change various performance settings such as gear changes, suspension, and whether you want the full 707 horsepower or 500. The last one pertains if you happen to have the red key. In terms of pricing, the Charger Hellcat kicks off at $65,495. With options and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, our tester came to $72,820. Compared to other high-performance sedans, the Hellcat is quite the steal. If it was my money on the line, I would go for the Charger R/T Scat Pack. I get most of the enjoyment of the Hellcat, minus the supercharger whine. But I would have a fair chunk of change that I could spend on hopping it up. But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger Hellcat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      (Author’s Note: That’s a wrap for the 2016 review season. We’ll be back with the first batch of 2017 model year vehicles after New Years. But I will be picking my favorite vehicles I drove this year. Expect to see that before the year comes to a close.)
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Charger
      Trim: SRT Hellcat
      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $65,945
      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
      Options:
      Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00
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