2018 Toyota Corolla iM

After adopting the Toyota Corolla name following the discontinuation of the Scion brand in 2016, the Toyota Corolla iM hatchback has received is first upgrade for 2018 model year. Well, there are not many changes compared to the outgoing model leaving me wondering whether Toyota really listens to customers and automotive pundits. I think the automaker is blinded by impressive sales of the model since its debut hence the decision to leave the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM unchanged. However, there are a host of things I really hoped Toyota would consider introducing on the iM. To begin with, the cabin looks pretty cheap, its acceleration is still wanting while the passenger space at the rear is really tight.

2018 Toyota Corolla iM

2018 Toyota Corolla iM Exterior

Being a carryover model, there are no significant exterior changes. The model measures 170.5-inches long, 69.3 inches wide and has a height of 58.1 inches. Standard exterior features include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights and heated, power-folding side mirrors. The automaker also offers a rear wind deflector which looks more of a spoiler; that does much to enhance the model’s aggressive design. The model also comes with TRD springs that make it look racier. Except for the wind deflector and a few more standalone extras, the model is not offered with optional packages.

Interior

The cabin is also virtually unchanged. As said earlier, I hoped Toyota would consider working on the cabin’s tightness, especially for the rear passengers. The execution of the interior design is also poor. Although the car is targeted to price-conscious customers, I think Toyota should do better; at least, the automaker should use quality materials.

The dashboard looks bland with its jutting edges and cheap plastics. There is, however, a new white strip on the lower part of the dash that adds some style. A dual-zone climate control is however standard (at least passengers won’t die of heat inside there). The seats of the hatchback are however supportive and comfortable for short drives.  The hatchback misses heating and power adjustment features which are optional for the Corolla sedan.

The infotainment system is still unchanged; it features a 7.0-inch touch-screen as standard but it doesn’t feature touch-sensitive buttons and knobs like the Corolla sedan. A navigation system is optional. Still, the iM does not offer SiriusXM satellite radio, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

The Toyota Safety Sense C (TSS-C) suite is still standard; it features lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning among others.

Engine and performance

The iM hatchback is powered by the same engine that powers the Corolla sedan. The unit in is a 1.8 L, engine rated at 137 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque (5 hp and 2 lb-ft of torque more than the sedan). The mill is paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox; a CVT is however optional. The model’s acceleration is pretty disappointing which I hoped Toyota would improve.

Price and release date

The 2018 Toyota Corolla iM carries an MSRP of only $19,745 for models with manual transmission, an increase of only $100 compared to the outgoing model, automatic transmission attracts an extra $740 taking its MSRP to $20,485. The Corolla iM hatchback is already available in dealerships.

Competition

Key rivals of the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM include the Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf, Chevrolet Cruze hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT and Ford Focus hatchback.

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