Corolla iM

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2018 Toyota Corolla iM Overview

The Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling car thanks to its affordable price, practicality, and sterling reputation for reliability. The vast majority of new Corollas on the road are the ubiquitous sedan version, but there is also a hatchback version dubbed the Corolla iM. This car used to be called the Scion iM, but after Toyota retired the Scion brand, the iM was rebadged for the 2017 model year. In most of the rest of the world, it’s sold as the Toyota Auris. It is different enough from the standard Corolla to identify it as a separate model, but the Corolla sedan and iM hatchback share quite a bit. The 2018 Corolla iM is available in only one configuration and starts at under 19 grand. Like its sedan stablemate, the Corolla iM’s main appeal is that it’s a great all-rounder. It’s not really the best in its class at anything, but it does everything reasonably well and doesn’t have any major shortcomings or fatal flaws.

While it does look a bit sporty on the outside, the Corolla iM is powered by the familiar 1.8-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder, just like the Corolla sedan. Rated at a modest but adequate 137 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque driving the front wheels, the engine can be paired with a 6-speed manual, but the vast majority will likely have the continuously variable transmission (CVT) that comes standard on the Corolla sedan. In the iM, the CVT includes a Sport mode that features manual shifting. While it makes a bit more power than the Corolla sedan, it’s not really enough to make much of a difference, with 0-60 taking about 9 seconds. Equipped with the manual, the Corolla iM should get 27 mpg city, 35 highway, 30 combined, and with the CVT it will do a slightly better 28/36/31. Other small hatchbacks do better, but these are still impressive figures.

The ride in the Corolla iM is set up for comfort and not precise handling, but the Corolla iM does have a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension that theoretically gives the hatchback the edge in handling over its sedan counterpart, even though it weighs 73 pounds more. The steering is electronically assisted.

Like the standard car, the Corolla iM features ample passenger room front and rear for a car of its size, and although the interior is different from the sedan's, it still is not luxurious and features the familiar swaths of dark, hard plastic and cloth. In terms of trim level and features, the Corolla iM is roughly equivalent to the Corolla SE version of the sedan. It comes standard with USB and auxiliary jacks, a reversing camera, leather-wrapped steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, Bluetooth compatibility, automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, 7.0-inch infotainment screen, Pioneer audio, power windows, and power locks. Considering the price tag, that’s a reasonably impressive list of equipment. And because it’s a hatchback, the iM offers more cargo space than the sedan, with 20.8 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats instead of 13.

As small cars go, the Corolla is one of the safest choices you can make, not just in terms of practicality and reliability, but also in terms of actual safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given it the coveted Top Safety Pick+ status and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it 5 out of 5 stars overall. In terms of features, the Corolla comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense C, which includes a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams, as well as a reversing camera, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.

Predictably, the 2018 Corolla iM is well equipped and reasonably priced, offering a good value for point A to point B transport with enough room for a road trip or even moving a kid off to college. It’s nobody’s dream car, but it will do everything that is asked of it, and with the available 6-speed manual, it will even be reasonably fun to drive.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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Toyota Corolla iM Questions

Why My Car Value Is $1250 Less Than Same Car With Higher Mileage.

I put my Toyota Corolla IM on cargurus. This model does not have any optional configuration except manual vs CVT transmission. So all IM models have standard assets. As you can see in the picture, ...