Unusual Pennsylvanian Man is Conflicted About the Scion iA

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Regular Car Reviews gets weird with the Scion iA née Mazda2.

The Scion iA commits one of the automotive industry’s capital sins: badge engineering. See, the iA is actually a Mazda2 underneath. Change the bumpers, lights and wheels and you have a Mazda2. This leads RCR and myself to the same question: why?

Toyota has a history of making solid, reliable small cars. Vehicles like the Corolla and Yaris are synonymous with the Toyota brand. The iA occupies the same space as the Yaris, why was it not built off the same platform? A brand with a good small vehicles doesn’t need to go elsewhere to find someone to build them good small vehicles.

Things get even more muddled now that Scion is no more. Toyota now sells the Yaris alongside the iA (badged as a “Yaris iA”). Two sub-compact cars, one a hatchback, and the other a sedan, sharing the same name, built on different platforms. If you’re going to badge engineer a car, at least consolidate production.

Perhaps a Toyota insider can contact me with more information as to why this was a good idea.  Until then, both Regular Car Reviews and I are left scratching our heads in bewilderment.

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