Putting it bluntly, Toyota has delivered a low blow to its younger fans in the United States as it has decided to absorb the Scion brand – signing its death warrant with a single swipe.
The Japanese company – the world’s largest automaker – did say the Scion brand was an “experiment” on more than one occasion so we should feel at peace with the line “This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota,” ushered by Toyota chief executive Jim Lentz in the press release announcing the decision. They also nailed the point – they trialed interesting vehicle ideas on the market and also attracted a younger customer base. We might wonder if all things went well why the decision to end the streak? But let’s not dwell on the past… oh wait, let’s do that exactly. That’s because from the quirky roster of Scion models we should name a few that might go down in history.
For starters we can recall the original vehicle that made the Scion brand stand out from the crowd – namely the first generation xB. We got from the Japanese a lightweight box with wheels and an engine that was unlike any other model on the US roads back when it was premiered in 2004. You may not want to drive it ten years from now, but its quirkiness factor is through the roof nonetheless.
The Scion tC was a rival for star players such as the Honda Civic coupe and Nissan Altima coupe, though it didn’t live up to the fan hype of the others in terms of street credentials. It was still very Japanese at its heart, meaning a part of the aftermarket community was inherently biased towards this model as well.
Scion iQ – call it an experiment inside the experiment. It had no chance to suit American tastes and had even worse PR than the Smart Fortwo, but in a country where no one buys utterly small city cars this model might become a collectible. Or maybe not…
The FR-S is again one model that might go down in collector garages, but it’s also a fun sports car that has all the good things taken from its Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ brothers. And it will live on for sure inside the Toyota lineup, as it’s really fun to drive in a major departure from the boring state of the Toyota range.