The Matrix/Vibe returns


#1

…sort of…

In the February issue of Consumer Reports, they published their test of the new Scion iM, which is essentially a shortened wagon/hatchback version of the Corolla.

On the plus side, the iM has an independent double-wishbone rear suspension in place of the Corolla’s sold beam rear suspension, thus giving the iM very good handling. It also delivers a “respectable” 31 mpg, overall, and–like all Scions–is relatively well-equipped for the price.

On the negative side, the iM’s acceleration is described as “lackluster”, and they compare it unfavorably with the available power of the competing Mazda 3.
CR’s really negative comments were in regard to the CVT, and the ride quality. The hatchback provides good access for carrying bulky cargo, but the cargo area is narrowed by the mounting points for the rear suspension.

So, like all cars, it is a mix of positives and negatives, but overall they conclude that it is likely to be reliable and to be a good “first car or urban runabout” for somebody who isn’t concerned with having great acceleration.

They certainly liked the iM a lot better than the other “new” vehicle that they recently tested, namely the Mitsubishi Outlander–which they nicknamed the Mitsubishi Outdated!


#2

A corolla with a solid beam rear suspension? What Corolla is that?
This is an exploded view drawing of a Corolla rear end, in this case a 2002. Did you mean they’re replacing the struts with upper wishbones and shocks?


#3

I owned a brand new 2005 Vibe which ate the front tires (3 different sets). Pontiac claimed that there was no problem but no alignment shop could no fix it. The arbitrator looked at the tires on the front end (6K on them) and told Pontiac to refund my money. Pontiac offered me a new 2006 Vibe and I took the deal. I shouldn’t have as the front tires were chewed up after about 5K miles. I sold the car and learned my lesson.


#4

EDIT to previous post.
I looked a bit deeper, into a 2014 Corolla rear end, and it appears that Toyota di go to a solid beam. Why is beyond me. Well, not really… it’s a cost thing.
I’ve attached a drawing. Unfortunately, the site won’t allow me to attach an image to an existing post under the edit function.


#5

My family spent a week in a Toyota Auris which is the same exact car minus the side skirts and with more engine options. While it wasn’t as sporty as a Mazda3 it did have a very good ride/handling balance on those alleged 2 lane roads where we were exploring the area where a portion of our ancestors lived north of York in the UK.

If it had been introduced here a year earlier it would have been on my shopping list for a new car but I still really like this car. It’s not a Mazda3 but for mainstream buyers it’s worth a look.


#6


#7
...it appears that Toyota di go to a solid beam.

I’d call that a “twist beam.” A “solid beam” what the early minivans had.

One benefit of the twist beam is that braking causes the rear to settle and offset the tendency of the nose to dive.


#8

I saw one parked on the street yesterday and was wondering. Very similar to the European Corolla hatch. I would probably need a commuter car soon and this one might be on the list, but I don’t like CVT’s and I like SOME acceleration. Will see.


#9

Interesting. Do you have to purchase the CVT or is there a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission option too?

On the Corolla rear axel change, I wonder if Toyota was getting complaints from Corolla owners of the rear wheels going out of alignment and eating up the tires or the struts being damaged and needing replacement from the more flimsy rear end arrangement they had before 2014?


#10

A 6spd Manual is available for a little over $19,000 including destination. The CVT costs about $750 more


#11

$19K puts you in Camry territory unless this is the MSRP and they are going to deeply discount it. I would rather have the bigger comfy car than a Corolla hatch if I am paying the same $$.