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What Did They Change Anyway? Scion iA vs. Mazda 2

Illustration for article titled What Did They Change Anyway? Scion iA vs. Mazda 2

It’s no secret that the brand-new Scion iA sedan is closely related to the 2016 Mazda 2. But just how close? Thanks to the dark voodoo of state-of-the-art image slider technology, we can find out.


Now, the Scion iA isn’t exactly 100 percent “badge-engineered.” It’s not like the old Dodge Neon and Plymouth Neon where only a handful of badges separated the two cars, anyway. Scion did make a few changes to the Mazda 2. Whether or not those changes were for the better is up to you to decide.

Alright, so let’s dive in and check out our sliders. The Scion iA is on the left. The Mazda 2 is on the right.


Front three-quarter view:

Rear three-quarter view:




Let’s quickly run through a list or two of what changed and what didn’t.

What Changed:

  1. The front fascia. The Scion iA looks like a giant fish. Or maybe an angry Ford Fiesta with a mustache and flabby Richard Nixon jowls. Also, it appears that it lacks provisions for fog lights. The Mazda looks sportier, sleeker and trimmer. The chrome trim that frames the grille also lends an upscale feel to the design.
  2. The headlights. The Scion iA and the Mazda 2 do not share the same headlight design. The Scion’s headlights are more of a teardrop shape and the lighting elements lack detailing. They look rather cheap. The Mazda’s are sort of a triangular shape and the lighting elements have some chrome embellishments. Like the grille, the Mazda’s headlights look more upscale.
  3. The taillights. The Scion has clear taillight lenses for that dope Altezza look, yo. The Mazda has red lenses because it’s not trying to cash in on teenaged angst.
  4. The instrument cluster. Believe it or not, the Scion’s instrument cluster is different from the Mazda’s. The Mazda has a prominent central tachometer with a digital speedometer in the lower right hand corner. The Scion only has a speedometer and no tach.

What Didn’t:

  1. The doors, front and rear quarter panels... the entire bodyshell, really. The Mazda looks like a Mazda while the Scion looks like a Mazda. It’s going to be awkward seeing the iA parked next to a tC.
  2. The wheel designs. Really? Come on, Scion. Even GM will change up wheel designs when it brand-modifies a car. I mean, you put all of that effort into designing a new front fascia and you couldn’t be bothered here?
  3. The rear bumpers and decklids. Yep. This is still the same.
  4. The interior. Despite the instrument cluster differing between the Scion and the Mazda, the interior is pretty much identical between the two cars. Which means the Scion is going to feel really awkward around the iM, the FR-S and the tC. Especially the tC and the iM.

That’s about all I can see. Is there anything else you can spot? If so, drop a line down in the comments.

(A special thanks to Adam Pash for hooking me up with his nifty image slider tool!)


Want to suggest a car for the next installment of What Did They Change? That’s easy. Just holler at me on Twitter and I’ll be sure to include it in a future write-up.

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