2 newly designed Scion cars set to hit the market

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A pair of cool new cars will be arriving to Toyota Scion showrooms soon. If you're thinking Scion is known for boxy cars, that style trend is essentially over. (KABC)

A pair of cool new cars will be arriving to Toyota Scion showrooms soon. If you're thinking Scion is known for boxy cars, that style trend is essentially over.

"Scion is undergoing a change, and really has been undergoing a change for some years, really adjusting its product line with the marketplace out there," said David Lee, product education administrator with Toyota Motor Sales, USA.

When Scion was launched back in 2003, it ushered in the era of boxy, inexpensive, practical cars.

But times have changed, and the boxy fad has faded. So enter the scion iA, a compact sedan, and the iM, a five-door hatchback. The literal boxy-ness may be gone, but the edginess of those early cars remains.

"Now, we're looking at customers who are still interested in living their lives and enjoying things, but also have a bit of a pragmatic side to them," Lee said. "Both of these cars offer a great amount of versatility and utility for their individual designs."

The company isn't straying too far from the original Scion formula. The cars are still compact, fun to drive and inexpensive. The iM, with a base price of $19,255, is based on a Toyota model sold in Europe, with big cargo space in the hatch area.

The iA, starting at $16,495, is more conventional. The car actually shares its basic elements with the Mazda 2, which is part of a new partnership between Toyota and Mazda.

Both Scion models get efficient four cylinder engines of course and a lot of standard equipment. A buyer only has to choose color and then which transmission, a manual or an automatic. Both cars are available with either transmission.

Both also come in one trim level. Like other Scion models, buyers can then personalize and customize their cars with factory accessories available at the dealership.

These two new rides could be the shot in the arm Scion seems to need right now, as the brand has fallen off the radar a bit. They need a little of the buzz and attention they got back in the beginning.

"The xB was really successful at that, and they've had kind of a problem finding something as unique as that in all the years they've been on the market now," said Mark Vaughn, Senior West Coast Editor of Autoweek.

No longer boxy, but still practical, economical, and projecting a youthful vibe. The iM has already been selected by Kelley Blue Book as one of their "top back-to-school cars."

Both these cars should be populating parking lots at schools, and elsewhere, very soon. They officially go on sale Sept. 1.

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