Shatch of the Day: Scion iA

The Scion iA proves that the Shatchback is still alive and kicking and seemingly going great guns in North America. Launched at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, the Scion iA is apparently a “sports sedan that shouts success.” You can make up your own mind about this.

PetrolBlog was alerted to the existence of the Scion iA by Antony Ingram, who tweeted:

Sadly for Antony – along with the good people of North America – the Scion iA is no joke. The wide-mouthed monstrosity is coming and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

Scion is claiming a world-first with the launch of the iA, as it’s the first saloon car the company has ever launched. PetrolBlog can add another world-first, as we believe it’s the first Shatchback to be launched with a face that looks worse than its bottom.

2016 Scion iA Shatchback

There’s a good reason for that, because the Scion iA is essentially a rehashed Mazda2, which is a fine looking car. This explains the tidy rear-end. But just what has Scion done with the front? It’s hard to work out if it looks more like a bottom-feeding fish or a vacuum cleaner. Either way, it’s likely to give children nightmares.

But our reader in the UK should sleep easy tonight, because the Scion iA isn’t likely to be let loose anywhere other than North America.

You’ll want to know where the iA name comes from. Well Scion claims the i stands for individual, intriguing and – curiously – income. The A, well that represents aggressive, accommodating and affordable. This is bunkum, because what it really stands for is irritating abomination.

Quite what Scion is hoping to achieve with the iA is anyone’s guess. Presumably the company has spent tens of thousands of dollars researching the market and has discovered there are enough people in North America who fancy owning a Mazda2, but just want it look like a depressed fish. Seriously, the iA looks like something you’d find washed up on the beach at Romney Marsh.

The one plus side is the price. At $16,000 (£10,000), the Scion iA “redefines entry level.” Not our words, Lynn, the words of the Scion press release. And – whisper this – but the back-end looks alright. Shh.

Rear of 2016 Scion iA

Clearly, PetrolBlog’s mission to rid the world of the automotive afterthought has gone off the rails. We’ve come to expect such horror stories from Renault, Suzuki, Vauxhall and Ford, but the Scion iA represents a new level of terror. A covert operation, organised by Toyota, masquerading as Scion and with the full support of Mazda.

We didn’t see that coming.

Which isn’t something you’ll be able to say in North America. When it comes to the Scion iA Shatchback, you certainly will see it coming. Americans, you have until the autumn (that’s the fall to you) to escape across the Atlantic and to the comfort of five-door hatchbacks and adorable superminis.

The kettle is on.


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Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.


  1. April 2, 2015

    I don’t mind the grille in itself, although the missing top half means it just looks slightly oversized rather than spectacularly monstrous (see the 2015 Toyota Alphard).

    And the normal Mazda 2 saloon seems like a surprisingly pretty car. At least in press shots red.

    But the combination and the choice of colour does make that vehicle look hideous. I suppose it’s catering to the those who feel that it’s cool to own a particular brand with the actual product coming second.

  2. April 11, 2015

    You’re completely exaggerating.

    It looks pretty good for the most part; yes, the grill is a little overly large but with a bit of decoration, it could really acheive the intended effect. The main problem really is just that the grill is plain and unadorned but the rest of the car is fine. But if we’re going to pick on oversized grills, then why don’t we point out Ford’s current generation? Theirs are the sum total of the front end’s personality.

  3. April 12, 2015

    Complete exaggeration.

    Yes, for an unadorned grill, it’s rather large but it’s not that bad; the car as a whole is still quite handsome. But if we’re going to pick on large grills, why not pick on the current gen Fords? The grills make up the entire identity of the front end.


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