I know, I know- that little silver hatchback up there is a 2016 Scion iM, but it won’t be for long. That’s because Scion, as you may know by now, is dead. To fulfill Scion’s initial mission of reaching younger buyers, Toyota plans to simply offer “more exciting” Toyotas, instead- starting with the recently announced 2017 Toyota Corolla iM wagon.

Which- um- is just a re-badged 2016 Scion iM. (Are you excited, yet?)

2017 Toyota Corolla iM Wagon | It Works

The truly sad thing about the news that the “new” Corolla hatch isn’t really new is that the Scion iM really deserved better. Equipped with a manual transmission and leather-wrapped steering wheel (as my tester was) the little wagon has a light, sporty feel that somehow eluded the mechanically similar Corolla proper. It’s also visually removed enough to stand as its own model, and I would have been much more excited to talk about “the new FX16” or “the new Matrix” than a new Corolla hatch that isn’t really a Corolla but that we’re all going to just call “Corolla”, you know what I mean?

Otherwise the 2016 Scion iM / 2017 Toyota Corolla iM wagon is a perfectly serviceable little hatch with plenty of room to take a small family on- well, if not a weekend trip, at least a long day trip. The HVAC system worked well. And, as seems to be the case with the Scions, the “generic” Pioneer infotainment system was a significant step up from Lexus’ consistently terrible Enform system.

Finally, the new Toyota Corolla iM wagon’s fuel economy was consistently closer to the 37 claimed HWY MPGs than it was the 28 MPG city rating. I averaged just under 34 MPG in mixed driving conditions, with a bit more traffic than I would have liked to accompany the manual.

So, all in all the 2016 Scion iM proved to be a fun little hatch … one that, I think, would have been a worthy successor to the Matrix as it is. And, maybe, a worthy successor to the old FX16 with a bit louder exhaust and 15 or 20 extra horsepower. That’s high praise.