Toyota handed Scion a pre-wrapped, easy-to-hit home run when it decided the hotly hyped new GT-86 sports car would wear a Scion badge.
That car became the Scion FR-S and was supposed to light the brand on fire. The lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car was the answer to Scion’s woes and a kickstart to Toyota’s return to excitement.
Except it didn’t really turn out that way. The FR-S has sold well, but it remains a niche car that has never reached overwhelming popularity with the masses.
Last month, Scion finally caught fire and roared back on the scene of relevancy. Did FR-S sales finally hit redline?
Nope. The credit goes to a subcompact sedan and a new 4-door hatch.
The Truth About Cars says,
All credit goes to the newcomers. Excluding the iA and iM from the equation results in a drop of 25 percent in September volume with declines reported across the board. Now the best-selling Scion in the United States in September was a model that was only released for sale in September, the iA, a sedan version of the new Mazda2 which won’t even be sold in the U.S.
Including the iA and iM, Scion jumped 57 percent in September. What’s so special about these cars?
Scion has existed as a place for Toyota to market the cars it thought the youth of America wanted. They’ve been unspectacular small cars (xD), boxy cars (xB), and pseudo-sports cars (tC), but it’s the iA and iM that finally registered with buyers.
In my opinion, that’s because they are more traditional passenger vehicles with much-improved looks. Previous Scions had a massive underbite and little squinty eyes, reminiscent of a laughing Buddha. These new cars are more Lexus-like in appearance.
For an automaker to sell in high volumes, it needs cars that most people want. Until now, Scion didn’t provide them. Both the iA and iM offer four doors, good looks, good fuel economy, and a host of standard equipment for a reasonable price. It’s hard to go wrong with that combination.
Is a new Scion iA or iM on your shopping list?