After barely a decade, the Scion brand is no more when the last of the 2016 models leave the lots. Toyota’s “youth” brand apparently served its purpose and certain models are going to become full-fledged, grownup Toyotas.
Here’s a quick look at what’s moving up to Toyota for 2017, and what’s being left behind in the Scion aftermath.
Fans of the diminutive Scion iQ, boxy xB and popular tC are out of luck. Those models have already been cut and won’t make the transition to Toyota for 2017. The iQ and xB were technically shown the door at the end of 2015, and the longstanding compact tC coupe will get a final send-off edition this summer.
And then there were three.
The Scion FR-S becomes the Toyota 86, which incidentally showed up at this year’s New York Auto Show wearing more than just some new badges. The front bumper and grille are new and somewhat evocative of the Lexus RC. There are also LED lights front and rear now. Inside, the transition to 86 results in new steering wheel-mounted audio controls and different fabrics.
Oh, and there’s five more horsepower.
Still, these are welcome improvements to keep the FR-S fresh… now that it’s a Toyota.
The old iM fits well with the Corolla lineup, anyway, as it even feels familiar from the driver’s seat. Similar to the long-defunct Toyota Matrix, the Corolla iM will give compact car buyers an alternative to the traditional sedan while keeping overall Corolla sales strong. This comes when many automakers are adding a compact hatchback to the lineup, such as with the 2017 Chevy Cruze hatchback.
The Yaris iA is a little more difficult to explain, since it isn’t a Yaris at all, but a product developed by Mazda. And that’s not a bad thing since the iA is sprightly and enjoyable to drive for a subcompact car.
And then there’s the Scion that will never be called a Scion. Next year, Toyota will introduce the C-HR, a subcompact crossover that was originally destined to be called the Scion C-HR in the U.S.
Still, the changes to the nomenclature are subtle, so buyers this fall are unlikely to notice more than the shiny new Toyota logos where Scion badges used to be.