Scion iM Concept: Up Close

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We now know the Scion iM concept will indeed become a real product in the U.S., so I took a closer look. Based on the Toyota Auris hatchback sold overseas, this concept is much more real inside than outside.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The interior looks like that of a real car; only a suspiciously large screen in the dashboard looks out of place in a car at this one's likely price level. It's well laid out and the materials quality is decent as shown here — comparable to a Corolla but perhaps not to the best in the compact class.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | November 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

Scion iM Concept Photo Gallery (30 Photos)

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To those familiar with Toyota's overseas offerings, Scion's newest concept should look suspiciously familiar. The iM may wear the Scion badge, but it goes by the Toyota Auris name in Europe and the Corolla hatchback in other markets.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The compact hatchback, which is based on the Corolla, made its debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show as a concept, but the automaker said the production version will bow at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in the spring. 

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Scion to Sell iM Concept in U.S. Next Year

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Today at the L.A. Auto Show, Toyota announced plans to sell the Scion iM concept in 2015. That shouldn’t be a surprise, because it is a Scion version of Toyota’s Auris hatchback that is already sold globally.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Also called the Corolla Hatchback in some markets, the iM is based on Toyota's popular compact sedan. That also makes the iM the most traditional car we’ve seen wear the Scion badge since the brand was introduced more than a decade ago with the xA and the boxy-but-good xB.

By David Thomas | November 19, 2014 | Comments (3)

Scion Reveals More iM Concept Details

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Scion released more photos of the concept car it plans to show off next week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. and it looks very, well, un-concept-y. In fact, it appears ready to slide itself into Scion's production lineup. The concept is aimed at the millennial market and is appropriately called the iM.

Related: More 2014 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The compact hatchback's sporty looks come straight from the European touring car racing circuit, Scion says. Highlights include a large geometric grille, deep air intakes with edgy fog lights, "Incrediblue" exterior paint and 19-inch forged alloy wheels with performance tires; matte silver and gunmetal trim accent the exterior. Scion says it also has an adjustable height suspension.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 12, 2014 | Comments (5)

Scion Amps Things Up at SEMA Show With Slayer tC

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Scion's customized Slayer-inspired 2014 tC could be dangerous. Not because it's a tricked-out tribute to the outlaw elder statesmen of speed metal, but because it's gonna be difficult to steer and work the manual transmission while throwing up your devil horns. The Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC is making its beastly bow this week at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show in Las Vegas, and this car is nothing if not special.

Related: Hey Metal Heads: Slayer-Inspired Scion to Stalk SEMA

The black-as-night Slayer Scion isn't just another token theme car with a unique paint job and some extra badging. It's retrofitted front to back, inside and out with metal motifs and working musical gear. Sinister visual cues include an expansive Slayer logo on the hood, red headlights that look like bloodshot eyes after a rough night backstage and a misty skull mural spanning the side of the car. In the cockpit, metal heads will geek out on Marshall Amplification-branded seats, a sword-hilt parking-brake lever and a gear-shift handle that Hamlet might use to lament poor Yorick's fate (while laying a little rubber on the asphalt).

Moreover, in addition to rear-hinged doors, the rear hatch opens up to reveal a trunk load of fully operational sound equipment — speakers, amps, visual display and all — enabling aspiring rock gods to throw down an eardrum-splitting live set anywhere they can find a parking space.

Now, about getting the Slayer Scion to Cars.com's Chicago headquarters for testing …

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 6, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 L.A. Auto Show: What to Expect

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If you like luxury vehicles, SUVs or sports cars — and even luxury SUVs that perform like sports cars — you're gonna love the lineup of debuts at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. Organizers say there will be 60 premieres, 30 of them global and nearly two-thirds will be luxury and performance offerings.

More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show News

Set to bow at the 107-year-old event — the last major auto show of the calendar year and the first of the new auto-show season — are a host of SUVs, from compact crossovers to midsize models. Performance coupes, convertibles and sedans also abound from automakers ranging from Scion to Cadillac.

And perhaps fitting for the Southern California city famed for its air of affluence, nearly half of the anticipated entrees on our list of what to watch for are from luxury automakers. Among those are SUVs and sports cars from the likes of Audi and BMW. Moreover, during the Connected Car Expo on Nov. 18, Volvo's "Drive Me" autonomous vehicle will make its North American debut, at which time executives will discuss the automaker's driverless technology.

Here's what we'll be looking for as Cars.com covers the L.A. auto show from the event floor:

By Matt Schmitz | November 5, 2014 | Comments (0)

Toyota Leads, Fiat-Chrysler Disappoints in Consumer Reports' Latest Reliability Study

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Toyota and its Lexus subsidiary earned the top two spots in Consumer Reports' 2014 Auto Survey (subscription required), which rates reliability from consumer surveys of some 1.1 million vehicles over the past 12 months. Of the 28 brands ranked in terms of predicted reliability, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Fiat, Jeep, Ram and Dodge brands landed in the bottom four slots. At the top and bottom of the survey, those results played out similarly to Consumer Reports' study a year ago.

Related: Porsche Flies, Fiat Flails in 2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Buggy multimedia systems, including navigation systems, Bluetooth and smartphone compatibility, garnered the most complaints. It's a recurring trend, Consumer Reports notes, and respondents to J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study have expressed similar frustrations.

But rankings between the two have otherwise limited correlation. Consumer Reports says its reliability study surveys subscribers for malfunctions on existing cars, whether recently purchased or older. J.D. Power says its IQS surveys those who recently bought a new car for objective malfunctions and subjective dislikes in the first 90 days of ownership. J.D. Power ranked 32 brands in its IQS this year; Consumer Reports ranked 28. Five brands made the top 10 in both studies: Honda, Kia, Lexus, Porsche and Toyota. Just three brands made the bottom 10 in both: Fiat, Infiniti and Jeep. To some degree, that cements the reliability — or lack thereof — for those eight.

By Kelsey Mays | October 27, 2014 | Comments (8)

Scion Teases Los Angeles Auto Show Concept

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It's a Scion. It's sporty. And it's coming to the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

At the moment that's all we can tell you for sure about the latest concept car from Toyota's youth-market division. Scion this morning released two remarkably unrevealing teaser photos of the iM concept's front end, opening the floor for conjecture, speculation and presumption in the weeks leading to its Nov. 19 unveiling during the auto show’s press-only days.

Related: More Concept Cars

The L.A. Auto Show is open to the public Nov. 21-30, preceded by media and industry events Nov. 18-20. Cars.com will provide full coverage leading up to the show and from the floor. Click here for more 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage.

By Matt Schmitz | October 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

Hey Metal Heads: Slayer-Inspired Scion to Stalk SEMA

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As long as there has been heavy metal, teenagers have sought out bands with which to frighten their parents. Now there's a car to really drive 'em nuts. In November, Toyota-owned Scion will unleash a special-edition car perfectly suited for that purpose, the Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC, inspired by the irreverently iconic headbangers, Slayer. On second thought, given the band's influential career spanning more than three decades, the youngsters' enthusiasm may actually take a backseat to that of Mom and Dad for a road trip "South of Heaven" to spend some "Seasons in the Abyss."

Related: Black Widow Corvette Stingray Is Auto Show Avenger

You can't make out a whole h-e-double-hockey-sticks of a lot from the rudimentary pencil-sketch-style image Toyota released this week of the modified version of Scion's sporty coupe — beyond it being obligatorily black in color with a large, red circle adorning the hood (the band's inverted-pentagram logo, perhaps?). No doubt something very similar has been sketched on more than a couple fifth-period Life Sciences textbooks by daydreaming junior-high misfits (we don't mean us). In any case, the automaker promises an exterior style commensurately aggressive to its subject with band-inspired details. And perhaps of equal importance, that influence carries over into the interior as the "multimedia machine" boasts amps, towers of speakers, a custom mixer and a 32-inch monitor for media playback, Toyota said.

By Matt Schmitz | September 19, 2014 | Comments (1)

Top 10 Urban Cars

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From squeezing between a Dumpster and a wall to holding your breath as a bus hard aports past your bumper, cities can be an automotive minefield. And cars are often the casualties. Need proof? Look no further than auto insurance rates. A 40-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord in Manhattan's West Village would pay 27 percent more for the exact same coverage than if he lived across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of six leading carriers.

Related: Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

Yet scores of Americans still prefer to live in the city. From New York to San Antonio, the country's 25 largest urban centers are home to 31.9 million people within city limits, according to the 2010 Census. That's 10.3 percent of the entire U.S. population in 2010, and given the trend of increasing urbanization, it doesn't look like it will recede anytime soon.

Most city-zens still have to drive. Not to worry: Our latest Top 10 nominates cars best suited for urban driving. Editors considered our candidates' overall size relative to their competitors, as well as visibility, city gas mileage, turning radius, city drivability, utility and more.

Here are our picks, in order of which cars received the most votes. In cases of a tie, we ranked by turning circle and other dimensions.

By Kelsey Mays | August 11, 2014 | Comments (10)

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