Toyota February 2017 Sales Down 7.2% with 174,339 Vehicles sold + 2017 Corolla iM Review

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] An off month for the Iconic Japanese auto maker while the iM shows the hatch is alive and well.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Mar. 1, 2017

    2017 Toyota Corolla iM 5-door w/ the CVT (2016 Scion iM in the woods shown) - $ 20,355 incl. the $885 D&H fee provides owners with a 28/36 mpgUS city/highway rating.

    The Corolla is an icon of reliability, longevity, and a champion of low total cost of ownership for quite literally decades. What the 11th generation Corolla lineup was missing however was a hatch given the demise of the 2014 Toyota Corolla Matrix. With much of the Scion lineup being merged into Toyota, the brand received a car that fit the job opening like a glove. Meet this weeks ride courtesy of the Toyota Corporation, the iM.

    We have not been in an iM since the 2016 Scion iA/iM short lead way back in late 2015. Scion iA First Drive. At the time, I spent a few minutes in the iM with a stick. After driving the Scion iA w/ the MT then and just a few weeks ago (2017 Toyota iA Review) as a Toyota Yaris iA, the iM w/ the 6-speed MT was a non-starter back then as it would be today. A very mushy uncontrolled long throw stick and a very unorthodox clutch action was its downfall.

    What we did not drive however was the iM with the CVT and the brand new Toyota emblem on the hood which left a far better impression.

    2017 Toyota iM


    iM Exterior Design

    The iM includes a thinner hexagonal lower grille, thin wraparound lenses with LED DRLs, and honeycomb upper grille and side bezels. I like it better than the large open face grilles so prevalent in today’s automobile.

    Moving to the profile, you will see a somewhat sharp and rising front to back character line from the top of the front fender flares, above the handles and into the large LED rear tail lamps. The stylish 17” alloys keep the wheel arch gap to a minimum while standard add-on lower rocker panel side cladding provides the youth buyer something to talk about.

    Ours arrived in “Barcelona” Red Metallic, we’ll call it “red”, but it is also available in Blizzard Pearl “white”, Classic Silver Metallic “silver”, Black Sand Pearl “black”, Spring Green Metallic “green”, and Electric Storm Blue “blue”. Why all the extra verbiage? To keep up with everyone else's verbiage I guess? ;)

    Inside the 2017 Toyota iM


    iM Interior

    Inside, heavily bolstered front sport seats did not impinge as I thought they would at first glance. The seat bottoms are still to short but after a few days, I did not notice any pinching when driving like I do in other heavily bolstered B and C-Segments.

    An area where the iM stands out over the entire C-segment is its interior design. The three layered dash with its sweeping edges and piano black bezel around the central display really looks sharp! Many claim Toyota lacks pizzaz but imho, their interiors can be put up against anyone and they hold their own. The iM just looks good from the front seats while providing enough cup holders, center console volume and even a decent sized glove box. Sunglass holders are standard although the sun visors like most Toyota’s need a complete rework.

    [​IMG]The sunvisors suck.

    The standard leather wrapped wheel is an unexpected surprise for car that starts at less than $20k. The 4.2-inch color driver display and speedo/RPM in the instrument binnacle is somewhat dated.

    Standard dual zone auto climate and heated power-folding exterior mirrors, and auto on/off headlamps are standard. Again, a car under $20k to start with this standard was certainly welcome.

    Wind and wheel noise is acceptable thanks in part to an acoustic layered windscreen, foam insulation in the pillars and doors, and floor silencer sheets.

    In terms of size, the iM is barely a C-segment. Due to its 102.4” wheelbase, the passenger volume is just 90.4 cu. ft. This means the back seat entry when the front seat is set for a 6 foot driver is not workable. Out back we find 60/40 fold-down rear seats and standard cargo cover.

    Cargo volume with the rear seats up is a generous 20.8 cu. ft. With the seats down, I am going to guess 40 cu. ft. as there was no spec provided. In any case, look what fit.

    2017 Toyota iM Cargo Capacity

    There is no C-Segment sedan that can take in a carry-on and two checked bags in the trunk as easy as the iM hatch.​

    2017 Toyota iM Chassis

    The chassis consists of a high-strength steel structure and four-wheel independent suspension including a double-wishbone rear suspension and struts up front. 17” alloys with 225/45R17 tires guarantee it will have a sticky feel. Given it is winter here in Illinois where I drove it, pushing it to anything near its limits was not going to happen yet the ride was both compliant and did not crash on the 2” curb apron test. Body roll was well constrained and in a side to side shimmy, it did not feel as if it would get out of control in a higher speed emergency maneuver up to the tire traction limits.

    The Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system was Toyota vague and again, this is the formula that makes a Toyota a Toyota. Its rack is not to overly geared requiring small adjustments at all times and points you down the road where you want to go.

    2017 Toyota iM Divetrain

    Fitted with the Corolla’s somewhat outdated 137 hp and 126 lb-ft. of torque 1.8L I4, it may not turn heads but again, the iM just like the Corolla from which anchors it is all about reliability. Mated to the diminutive I4 is Toyota’s first real foray into the belt and cone CVT space. And its action? It does have a simulated 7-speed action in manual mode but in D with light or heavy throttle, it has the standard rubber band effect of any older CVT. Beyond the driving enthusiast however, who the hell cares? It accelerates to 60 in a competitive 9 seconds and for the average driver, after a few minutes, they will not care if they ever even did to begin with. Yes I am making apologies for the iMs CVT action but for someone like my wife, my parents, and friends, they do not notice or even care.

    2017 Toyota iM Safety

    This is an area where the iM stands out. Although it has not yet been tested by the IIHS or NHTSA as either a 2016 Scion or 2017 Toyota. The iM includes Toyota’s Safety Sense C plus eight airbags (front, side, side curtains, driver knee and front passenger positioning), all standard. The TSS-C active safety system combines a camera and laser beam to mitigate or avoid altogether collisions through a wide range of vehicle speeds. In the C-segment, no other OEM offers these advanced crash avoidance technologies standard let alone offer them at all!

    2017 Toyota iM Infotainment

    A let down as this system reared up and bit…

    The iM includes a 6-speaker Pioneer sound system controlled via knobs and a 7” Display Audio system with backup camera and HD Radio. No XM. In addition, after you synch your phone, you had better have BT on when you start the car because if you start BT after the head unit is booted up, you will have to manually choose the phone by an on-screen menu. This is not 2005 so why does this problem exist in a new car today?

    2017 Toyota iM Conclusions

    Remember the shadow devils from the movie "Ghost"? I caught one in this pic. ;)

    43.2 mpg over 236.3 miles indicated.​

    In the short week we drove the iM, temperatures ranged from 0 to 40 degrees and drive distances ranging from multiple 2 and 4-mile segments to two 42-mile 70 percent highway drives. It is on the 40+ milers that the CVTs low RPM highway cruise where this aging but bulletproof drivetrain shined. Although rated at just 28/36 mpg city/highway, 55 to 60 mph was providing close to 50 mpg in below freezing temps. I will give that a plus although I would need to drive in much warmer weather for a sold offset and speed vs FE graph.

    In terms of cargo volume, I was surprised that this small C-Segment could carry all of my luggage without having to drop the rear seats.

    The independent rear end makes it a better handling and feeling platform than the base Corolla so I would give that a checked box as well.

    It even looks good. Think of a Golf like form factor with boy racer rocker panel cladding that somehow works to make an attractive package.

    The areas I have trouble recommending the iM are its price – only $700 discounts according to TrueCar, tight rear seating, sun visors that are useless, and a poorly implemented infotainment. Despite my lack of enthusiasm to cover the shortcomings, the iM will probably still be on the road long after most of its C-segment competitors have taken their last drive to the junk yard. That is Toyota’s best attribute after all and the iM will deliver on that low total cost of ownership promise.

    Toyota February 2017 Sales Overview

    Toyota reported it sold 174,339 vehicles in February, down a steep 7.2 percent below the 187,954 sold in February of 2016.

    Toyota on its own posted February sales of 156,001 vehicles, down 5.4 percent below the 164,864 it sold in February of 2016.

    Lexus posted February sales of 18,338 vehicles, down an abrupt 20.6 percent below the 23,090 vehicles it sold in February of 2016. YTD sales of 33,910 is down 23.0 percent below the 44,023 sold through the same period of 2016.

    By comparison, the luxury brands incl. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac and Lincoln February sales looked like this:

    • Mercedes-Benz Feb. 2017 sales: 24,522 vehicles, up 6.9%
    • BMW Feb. 2017 sales: 22,558 vehicles, up 0.3%
    • Cadillac Feb. 2017 sales: 10,823 vehicles, down 8.6%
    • Lincoln Feb. 2017 sales: 8,744 vehicles, up 8.8%
    Even with the all-new upcoming gorgeous LC and ultra-luxurious LS, a sales turnaround for the luxury automaker could take some time.

    Toyota February 2017 Sales Highlights


    February sales were about the 3 core models, Corolla, Camry and especially the excellent RAV4.

    With Scion being absorbed into Toyota in August of 2016, the former iM was brought into the Corolla fold. And why not! It adds the utility of a hatch to the Corolla sedan lineup. The Corolla/iM contingent was picked up by 27,161 new owners, down 11.4 percent below the 30,659 sold in February of 2015. Even with the sales decline, the Corolla still lead the compact segment in February beating out the award winning and very well received Honda Civic with its own February sales of 27,039. Corolla/iM YTD sales of 48,728 is down 10.2 percent below the 54,271 sold through the same period of 2016.

    2017 Toyota iM


    Camry experienced sales of 27,498, down 15.1 percent below the 32,405 it sold in February of 2016. YTD sales of 47,811 was down 19.3 percent from the 59,253 sold through the same period of 2015.

    The clear highlight however was the RAV4. February sales reached 26,351- its best February in history, up 3.2 percent over the 25,523 sold in February of 2016. YTD sales of 48,506 was up 3.0 percent over the 47,077 sold during the same period of 2016.


    U.S. February 2017 Sales vs. February 2016 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 18 Automobile Manufacturers

    GM February 2017 Sales Up 4.2% with 237,388 Vehicles sold
    Ford February 2017 Sales Down 4.0% with 208,440 Vehicles sold
    Toyota February 2017 Sales Down 7.2% with 174,339 Vehicles sold
    FCA February 2017 Sales Down 10.1% with 168,326 Vehicles sold
    Nissan February 2017 Sales Up 1.2 % with 122,003 Vehicles sold
    Honda February 2017 Sales Up 2.3% with 121,686 Vehicles sold
    Hyundai February 2017 Sales were flat with 53,020 Vehicles sold
    Subaru February 2017 Sales Up 8.3% with 45,500 Vehicles sold
    Kia February 2017 Sales Down 14.2% with 42,673 Vehicles Sold
    Mercedes-Benz February 2017 Sales Up 6.8% with 27,383 Vehicles Sold
    VW February 2017 Sales Up 12.7% with 25,145 Vehicles sold
    BMW February 2017 Sales Down 2.5% with 24,712 Vehicles sold
    Mazda February 2017 Sales Up 5.9% with 22,824 Vehicles sold
    Audi February 2017 Sales Up 17.3% with 13,741 Vehicles sold
    Mitsubishi February 2017 Sales Up 38.8% with 10,924 Vehicles sold
    Jaguar/Land Rover February 2017 Sales Up 16.4% with 9,231 Vehicles sold
    Volvo February 2017 Sales Down 11.6% with 4,651 Vehicles sold
    Porsche February 2017 Sales Up 2.1% with 3,637 Vehicles sold

    In February, BMW moved ahead of Mazda, Mitsubishi moved ahead of Jaguar/Land Rover, and Volvo moved ahead of Porsche.

    In terms of Market Share, GM was a clear winner in February with a 0.9 percent gain over February of 2016. Nissan was up 0.5 percent while both Kia and Toyota took a 0.5 and 0.8 percent hit respectively.

    Regarding segment sales totals, Silverado and Sierra outsold the F-Series.

    Consider the Niro’s first full month sales totals. From nothing to the 4th best-selling Hybrid in the country!

    The Prius moved back ahead of the surprisingly strong Fusion Hybrid. Remember the Fusion Hybrid outsold the Prius last month for the first time in history. YTD, sales of the Prius (9,971) are ahead of the Fusion Hybrid (9,795) by just 176 vehicles. With the Ioniq entering the C-segment hatch hybrid space, the Prius may lose more sales than the midsize sedan based Fusion Hybrid. It will be a very interesting year based on the monthly and yearly sales results.

    February sales exceeded 17 million vehicles for the eighth straight month although February sales were off 0.01 million vs. February of 2016. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles was approximately 17.5 million vehicles.
    BillLin likes this.
  2. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator

    Not surprised, but disappointed Toyota still can't build a sun visor that doesn't suck. Why can a car that costs thousands less have an adjustable visor, but Toyota can't? Getting tired of having to hold my hand up to shield my eyes in late afternoon driving since I can't adjust the visor to do it for me.
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  3. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Yeah. That's how I have to do it , too. At least the hand is infinitely adjustable and is controlled (usually) by my brain.
    BillLin likes this.
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And now its counterpart, the regular 2017 Toyota Corolla LE ECO.

    The 2017 Toyota Corolla LE ECO.

    2017 Toyota Corolla LE Eco

    Daring to take a drive down California’s famous Pismo Beach. :)

    Almost 45-million Corollas have been sold around the world since it was introduced in the fall of 1966. Not only is the Corolla the best-selling nameplate of all time, it is one of the most reliable vehicles ever placed on a roadway. With the latest most advanced safety equipment standard, there are numerous reasons that it continues to sell in the volume that it does including outselling its main rival the Civic, along with the Elantra, Sentra, Cruze, and Focus.


    U.S. YTD sales of 176,527 again show the iconic nameplate ahead of the new highly regarded and award winning Civic by 764 units.

    For 2017, the Corolla received a bit of a refresh with a new front grille and LED headlamps - L, LE and LE Eco arrive with Bi-LED headlamps and SE, XSE and XLE receive complex-LED headlamps - standard.

    Another area where the Corolla bests its rivals is with its standard advanced safety equipment. Like most Toyota’s today, the Corolla is equipped with Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) w/ Pedestrian Detection technology. This includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and even Automatic High Beams.

    Along with the advanced safety equipment, the chassis and std. passive and active safety equipment provide owners with top scores from both the NHTSA (5 Star Crash test Rating) and the IIHS (Top Saffety Pick+ rating).

    All in, this Corolla LE ECO as driven retailed for $20,454 incl. mats, and the $895 D&H charge. With $2k on the hood and another $1.5 to $2k in dealer discounts, expect to pay in the mid to high 16s for this exact vehicle nowadays.

    Our LE ECO did not include the optional Premium pkg. (+$1,570) which adds Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation App, 16-in. alloys, LED DRLs, Power moonroof, and chrome beltline trim.

    The LE ECO receives a slight aerodynamic boost over the other trims with underbody covers and a rear trunk lip spoiler dropping the Cd down from 0.29 to 0.28.

    All well and good. What about its reported roominess over previous gen Corolla’s. From the short lead back in 2014, it was clearly the largest C-segment available with its 97.5 cu. ft. of passenger volume sans moon roof. The diminutive 13.0 cu. ft. of cargo volume (trunk) was about the going volume for that period of time.


    While the passenger volume specs are decent, the 11th gen Corolla just like all Corolla’s before it has a tall driver problem. Meaning the ergonomics are all out of whack with too short of lower seat cushions, not enough of a telescopic wheel reach, and the seat tracks do not slide back far enough leaving me feeling very cramped. And yet with the short seat track, rear seat passengers have plenty of leg and knee room as sown directly above.

    Inside the number one selling car in the world. I was not wow’ed unfortunately.​

    Moving to the drivetrain, the LE ECOs direct injected and 140 hp and 126 lb.-ft. of torque 1.8L I4 stands out above every other Corolla trim and the std. 132 hp and 128 lb-ft. of torque 1.8L offering all due to slightly more advanced valve timing and smarter CVT control.

    A continuously variable valve lift and phasing provide the boost in both efficiency and performance over the rest of the model lineups Variable Valve Timing.

    2017 Toyota Corolla LE Eco


    Toyota’s detuned throttle response is pretty good imho vs. the non-ECO trims far too aggressive throttle tip-in. The ECO like anything with an ECO button provides less power output for a given throttle input request until 50 percent when it moves to the std. mode of all other Corolla’s to pour on the coals to the best of its ability. When in that range, the drivetrain still sounds raucous compared to the latest rivals who had two more years to perfect their own C-segment offerings.

    The base LE ECOs lower rolling resistance 15” tires also improve fuel economy by 1 city and 2 mpg highway vs. the larger P205/55R16 tires that are part of the Premium pkg. on this same trim.

    The Continuously Variable Transmission still has a wind up CVT action when pushed, under most circumstances, the discrete stepped shift points provide a std. AT like acceleration feel. Anyone purchasing a Corolla for their daily driver is not going to concern themselves with the CVT action anyways.

    Let’s go for a ride.

    30/40 mpgUS city/highway rated 2017 Toyota Corolla LE ECO

    Refueling at a local Shell in Carlsbad, CA.

    The top off and displays reset.​

    This calibration drive was a bit different as Marin and I were on our way to San Luis Obispo to meet up with my son. While on the road I saw a few brief stints in the mid-60s before heavy A/C use but it was not touching the low to mid-70s like the 17 Civic 1.5T sedan or 17 Elantra ECO sedan do. Those levels are of course for the segment leaders. With the Corolla LE ECO drivetrain being offered in 2014, its time at or near the top of the segment has come and gone.

    My wife had a 45-minute conference call and we were in the mountains so I stopped where we had a good Cell signal and let the car idle for 45-minutes with A/C while she completed her call. Despite the at long idle time with A/C running, the calibration drive still showed decent results.

    As most know, I am a newfound fan of Toyota’s RCC system in the Prius lineup. While the Corolla surely uses the same exact HW, it is not the same. It kicks out at speeds below 25 mph – no stop and restart capability, and it was not quite as smooth as I have experienced in all the Prius trims. Still, to have that equipment in a car that can be picked up for under $17k is pretty darn impressive. Just not as impressive as the Prius family’s setup is all.

    The R&H quotient? Not that impressive as there was a lot of body roll with little to no road feel add its accident avoidance recovery was not confidence inspiring. Meaning hard one way to avoid and hard the other to recover. It is the second part that will startle you in one of those once in a decade moments when you are already scared enough.

    The discs all around were perfectly fine with ok progressivity.

    Final calibration refuel at a Shell in San Luis Obispo just around the corner from the Madonna Inn. Not of Madonna fame.

    48.9 mpg over 295.2 miles indicated. 302.2 mi on 6.262 gal for a respectable 48.3 mpg actual result.​

    With a lengthy calibration drive complete and the offset of 0.987 known, let’s get those steady states knocked out.

    30/40 mpg city/highway rated 2017 Toyota LE ECO

    11:45 pm just moments before hitting the I-5 test segments.​

    The indicated speeds of 50 through 70 mph were short of actual mph through the entire range per the Garmin. At all speeds, the speedo was ~ 1 mph over actual. During minor ascents, speed would drop by 2 mph so I had to kick up the CC while ascending for a few seconds and drop it down by 1 mph during descents for a few seconds to maintaining the indicated steady state speed.

    RPM at 60 mph indicated a very well controlled and excellent 1,600 RPM.

    The Corolla LE ECO provides one of the smoothest curves we have seen in quite some time.​

    The 67.5 mph highway crossover occurred at a calculated 43.8 mpg while its EPA 40 mph highway rating crossed over at an excellent 72.25 mph. Owners will receive a benefit of more than its EPA highway rating by 3 to 4 mpg. I love seeing this. Again, while not quite the Elantra ECO or Civic 1.5T Sedan numbers, better than the Cruze and Focus. I hope to have a Sentra tested for the full C-segment graphs laid out before the year is out.

    Is it for me? That answer would be no. While I applaud its bulletproof reliability, std. Safety Sense-P, LED headlamps, and even its efficiency being beaten only by Honda and Hyundai, the terrible driver ergo, hard plastic interior with fake stitching within the soft touch dash, cheap vent controls, and once again, short sun visors with no extensions drove me crazy!

    All in, the offers decent middle of the segment efficiency, with more raucous than what most would expect in a new car today when pushed. Its engine will probably last far longer than the segment leading turbo-charged units from Hyundai and Honda because it is simple and built from an engine family going back almost two decades.

    Will these shortcomings be cause for concern for others? Apparently not as the sales results indicate. It is just not my cup of tea despite to this day still owning an 03 with these EXACT SAME ISSUES.

    2017 Toyota Corolla LE ECO

    A respite on the road at the San Luis Obispo Drive-in to see Spider-Man. The movie earned a C at best imho. :(

    BillLin likes this.
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I also owned an 03 Corolla , and it was a good car. It's still in the family , and still being driven today. It's a shame that Toyota doesn't bother to compete with other C-class sedans , but apparently, they are in the business of making money , not awesome cars. But what do I drive ? The awesomeness of the Prius should be obvious to all of our members , but it's not everyone's choice. Yes, fuel is very cheap.
    xcel likes this.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Toyota Corolla Production in Mississippi Reaches a Milestone

    In November of 2007, Toyota began hiring for the near future production of their most popular vehicle. That being the Corolla.

    In November of 2011 the first U.S. built Corolla rolled off the assembly line.

    This November, a 2018 Corolla manufactured at the brands Blue Springs, Mississippi manufacturing facility reached an important milestone. The one millionth Mississippi-build Toyota Corolla rolled off the line.

    2017 Toyota Corolla


    Just weeks after Toyota Mississippi treated North Mississippi to a free concert to say thanks for 10 years, Toyota’s 1,500 Corolla producing team members cheered as the one-millionth Corolla was driven off the production line.

    From the first team member hired to the first car built to the one millionth car built in just 10 years, Toyota’s first decade in Mississippi has proven to be more than just a milestone for the company but also providing a better financial earnings and work environment for the proud employees producing Corolla’s in Blue Springs, MS today.

    BillLin likes this.

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