2017 Toyota Corolla iM: Hot-hatch look but not-that-hot driving experience

Mar 23, 2017
Editor's rating 3.0
User's rating 3.5
The Toyota Corolla 2017 boasts off with its hot-hatch look but brings not-that-hot driving experience for car enthusiasts.
Overview

Toyota Corolla 2017 review Philippines: Most impressive for AEB system

Toyota Corolla iM on the road

​Toyota Corolla iM is a four-door hatchback and previously named as Scion iM.

The Toyota Corolla iM, which can be confused with the Corolla sedan, was a four-door hatchback and previously named as Scion iM. It was adopted in 2016 by Parent company Toyota. The badge is new and so are the safety features for the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM. The new collision warning system with automatic emergency braking is the most impressive feature in the 2017 iM. Other than that, there’s nothing much to attract the attention. The price is low since the heated seats, satellite radio and a moonroof are not available. 
Exterior

Toyota Corolla 2017 review Philippines: Appealing exterior

Corolla iM's wheels

Corolla iM looks sleek and sporty with attractive dark gray spokes for the standard 17-inch wheels.

The iM has a pretty appealing appearance. It looks sleek and sporty with attractive dark gray spokes for the standard 17-inch wheels. 
Interior

Toyota Corolla 2017 review Philippines: Better quality cabin

The iM’s front seats are comfortable for a long drive. They are roomy enough to fit a 6-foot tall driver but passengers in the back seats may find themselves squeezed in.  The Cruze and Civic of the same class can offer more luxurious and spacious spaces at the backseats.

The iM offers higher quality for materials inside the car than the Corolla sedan: contrast stitching around the climate control, padded center console that allows good resting for your legs, leather-covered steering wheel and instrumental panel details.
The iM's front seats

The iM’s front seats are comfortable for a long drive.

With the iM, you pay for what you get. Ranked at the bottom of the class, the features are standard but just great for what you pay: dual climate control, keyless entry, cruise control and leather –trimmed steering wheel and front collision alert system. Buyers can be a little disappointed to learn that they don’t have on-demand features to add in case they want more. The iM lacks leather upholstery, remote start, heated seat and a moonroof. Drivers in tropical countries may see no problems without the heated seats but those in temperate regions might want to opt for the Cruze hatchback for pleasant driving during winter time. Of course, the heated seat, heated steering and remote start in the Cruze cost you 30% more than the iM.

The iM’s cargo space is 20.8 cubic feet, a bit smaller than that of the Cruze hatchback (22.7), and the Civic hatchback (25.7), and a bit bigger than the Mazda3 (20.2). The volume difference is not really significant and 20.8 cubic feet suffice for luggage of 3 travelers for a day trip. 
The iM’s cargo space

The iM’s cargo space is 20.8 cubic feet.
Accessories

Toyota Corolla 2017 review Philippines: Accessories

Entertainment for the car includes a standard 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth for pairing musical soundtracks and a USB port. What’s painfully missing is the basic satellite audio, the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which can be found in its rivals. The multimedia features including CarPlay and Android Auto are available in the Cruze hatchback and the Civic on EX and above trims. One saving point for the iM is that its volume dial is easier to adjust than the only touch-screen control on the Civic.

Toyota iM 2017's touchescreen

Entertainment for the car includes a standard 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth for pairing musical soundtracks and a USB port.

The most impressive feature of the iM is its standard forward collision alert system. The car achieved highest points in side impact and moderate overlap front tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Other advanced tests haven’t been carried out on the car yet.  The test package for iM evaluates how the camera and laser monitor the speed of the front vehicle, warn the driver of a potential collision and automatically brake if the driver loses control. The test also examines the performance of the Auto High Beam and Lane Departure Alert. 
Operation

Toyota Corolla 2017 review Philippines: Engine & performance

The hot-hatch look doesn’t tell the same story for how the iM drives.  In the class that driving fun and individuality are the norms, the iM lags behind with its noisy engine. The 137-housepower and 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine produces gravelly sound when it accelerates. The iM is offered in 2 options of transmission:  CVT and 6- speed manual transmission. Both of them don’t seem to match with the groaning engine.  Further, the driving gives a feel of a casual commuter rather than a stylish hatchback. 
Toyota Corolla iM 2017 on the road

The iM is offered in 2 options of transmission:  CVT and 6- speed manual transmission.
Conclusion

Toyota Corolla 2017 review Philippines: Verdict

You can’t find a comparable forward collision alert system in other models of this class at a low price of around Php 1,022,134 like the iM. In addition, Toyota includes a free-of-charge maintenance service for two years/24,000 miles, relatively equal to the Cruze’s two years/25,000 miles.

So even the 2017 iM lacks stylish features and driving feel that other pricier competitors like the Cruze or the Civic offer, the safety features and complimentary service can still make the 2017 iM your choice when you consider practicality at a low price. 

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