Hooniverse Asks: Will You Miss Scion?

Scion
As we learned just last week, Scion be dyin.’ This is the latest salvo in Toyota’s reshuffling to get their house in order, and follows the news that the Prius V will also die at the end of its current run, without a replacement to carry the torch. That pretty much puts the kibosh on Japan’s biggest car maker becoming a brand bigger as it was earlier rumored that Toyota would be spinning Prius off too as their ‘hybrid’ line.
It’s pretty clear that won’t be happening, and now Scion, the company’s long-neglected attempt at carving a slice of the millennial scene is also fading away. Why this is happening is pretty obvious; the brand never had a compelling lineup, nor did it really offer anything that Toyota couldn’t have with their existing models. The question is, will anybody care?
Choice is a good thing, and losing yet another brand means that we—as a society—have fewer choices. Are you going to lament the loss of Scion as a choice? Or, for you, are they already dead?
Image: Yelp

37 Comments

  1. I like the idea of the cheap and cheerful around-town runabout, but I never bought one. Not new, anyway.
    So, no — won’t. Sorry, Mr. Toyoda.

  2. I love Scion, and bought my first xB last year. I wanted one since I was 15 and finally got it. I will be sad to see it go

  3. I confess to being ambivalent, but isn’t it just badge swapping? Most of the same models will stay around as Toyotas.

    1. Exactly – just like Geo, not a separate shop like Lexus.
      Just take down the signs.
      The Scion and Toyota emblems are the same size- prolly use the same alignment pegs.

        1. But once you set up the two depreciation curves against each other….good for Toyota that they can ask that much. And in less stringent countries, they do still offer old school LandCruisers.

          1. Yep the 70-series is still sold here. You can’t unbolt the windshield any more though.
            The xB was sold here, but barely (Toyota Rukus) and we get the 86, Corolla/Auris hatch and Mazda2 sedan. Never the TC though, and I don’t miss it.
            As potbellyjoe noted, Toyota did the same thing with GM and Saturn; they created a new brand instead of fixing the basic issue unappealing cars.

  4. I live in a rural area, so nope, and this change means that the former Scions are going to be available locally, so its great news if I want an fr-s.

  5. As an old curmudgeon, I will miss Scion the way my son misses Oldsmobile. If nothing else I feel vindicated as the “new idea” failed just like the kids today are happy to see the bloated old tech malaise brand kicked the bucket.

    1. Hey, I* was only five years old when Oldsmobile was phased out, and I miss it more than I plan on missing Scion!

      *Said person likely does not represent the general population.

  6. Yes and no. Some of the vehicles should remain, as Toyotas, and some should go. Some should displace cars in the Toyota lineup:
    iA – replace the Yaris
    xB – Go
    iM – be rebadged as a Corolla
    tC – Go
    FR-S – be rebadged as the GT-86, or… Celica?

    1. I would be surprised to see the iA replace the Yaris, since it’s a Mazda2 under the badge. I feel Toyota would be a bit too proud to do that.
      The iM as a Corolla sounds good; perhaps they can call it the Corolla Matrix!
      I’m a bit sad to see the xB go, but it’s not a good car in its current bloated state. The original was fine.

    2. Well, the FR-S, the iM, and iA will continue to live on with Toyota badges. It had been announced that the tC was getting killed off at the end of the model year prior to this news, and I think the xB was getting the axe as well.

  7. I will miss Scion as much as the next guy – that is to say “not at all”.
    Every Scion sold sold in spite of its badge, not because of it. They made a couple of compelling offerings, and if the rest of their lineup had matched that, perhaps “Scion” could have come to mean something on its own.
    Throughout its existence, Scion was riding Toyota’s coattails. “It’s basically a Toyota” was the battle cry of every Scion owner.

  8. The only Scion that really caught on in a big way was the original xB, and that would probably have sold just as well as a Toyota. I have no feeling one way or another over Scion’s demise.

  9. I was selling these things when they came out through when I left sales. Kind of a weird shop to work at; Toyota-Scion and Hummer.
    I bought a tC because I wanted a leftover 2005 Celica, but the ’06 tC had a better stereo, was quieter and someone with legs could sit behind me if I had to use the back seat. Three somewhat important things to a guy looking to commute in a car and be able to keep it for a few years.
    Scion was fixed-pricing, on everything including service, so I actually sold the car to myself and made commision on the sale. My bosses weren’t the keenest on that idea at first until I reminded them that I wasn’t going to be buying a ton of cars to make my bonuses or anything. Then they came around.
    I owned that car for 8 years and sold it when my wife was a few months away from delivering our third child. The tC could baby two pretty easily. Funny story, when I drove my rear-facing infant to a store and parked in “Parents with infants” parking, I came back to a very nastily worded note about how those spots were for mothers with small children and how much safer it is to not have the children go across the parking lot, blah blah blah. I guess the tint on the back windows (installed for baby #1) made it had to see the car seats.
    The problem with Scion was it’s entire existence was based on a false premise; that Toyota wasn’t a cool enough brand for millenials. The problem wasn’t the brand, but the product. The same thing happened to Scion. Toyota is very afraid of taking risks for niche markets. The Prius really wasn’t a risk, more of an opportunity, for the brand regardless of how innovative it was. MPG is always something that can sell to the right buyer. “Coolness” is a risk. It demands that you have the pulse of a market that is fast moving. The closest that Toyota got to making a car that was a disruptor was the xB. Without it I don’t think the Kia Soul or Nissan Cube exist. Even then Toyota didn’t know what to do with it.
    Working on that sales floor, quite frankly, it was embarrassing to watch Toyota miss the boat on Scion. They had the marketing, but the product was a bit off. The small, reliable cars made sense, but the iA was their first sedan. They had no crossover. They didn’t provide products that were what the market was looking for, instead they pumped out hatchbacks and lift-backs. These are cool, but in no line-up are they the mainstream cars.
    A small CUV would have been a boon for Scion, but Toyota was afraid what that would mean for the RAV4, one of the few cars at Toyota without a majority geriatric buyer base. If they stole buyers from the RAV4, it would force the brand even older.
    So rather than get a subcompact crossover that would capture a growing trend, they sat it out, and still sit it out, while Honda and Mazda grab young buyers with the HR-V and CX-3.
    So will I miss Scion?
    I kind of miss my Scion, but as a brand, no. At least Toyota can now focus on their entire portfolio instead of having this distraction in their way.

  10. I won’t miss it. What I found to be interesting/funny was that Scion was started as a way for Toyota to try to connect with young buyers. Get them in as 20-somethings and make them ToyotaZombies for life. However, Scion never really did that. Not as much as hoped, at least. The average age of Scion buyers is something like 35, which is Gen X and not the Gen Y/Millenials they hoped to target.

    1. The gen1 xB that everyone now trumpets as great (of course once the Gen 2 was released) was something like 48-53 depending on the sales year.

      1. I thought the gen1 XB was cool just as soon as it was introduced. I almost bought one. But I was 40 at the time, which kind of illustrates your point.

    2. That’s because GenX/Y’ers have very sensitive Astroturf detectors. They don’t much like being told what is currently “in” for them by rich guys twice their age.

      1. There were also a surprising number of retirees who would buy Scions. Mostly because their other choice in their Florida retirement village was a golf cart. They were ballin’.

        1. The xB, PT Cruiser, Soul and HHR were all aimed at young-uns, but ended up being popular in retirement villages due to their ergonomic combo of low floor and upright “kitchen chair” seating. You don’t have to drop down into them (and pull yourself back up when exiting) like a sedan, and you don’t have to put on your crampons to climb up into them like you do with SUV, CUVs or full-size pickups.
          Plus they were affordable, which is great when you’re on a fixed income.
          I predict the Ford C-Max and Transit Connect will have similar followings.

  11. Scion usually had good auto show swag, so I’ll miss that.
    But, Scion existed to be more interesting Toyotas. Toyota is capable of making interesting Toyotas without a separate badge. In Canada, we already get the iA as the Yaris sedan. It’s not a huge stretch to sell the iM or FRS as Toyotas either, or the tC and xB (although those two are due for replacement.)
    I mean, give me moderately interesting looking cars that last forever and don’t have suspension by Cottonelle, and I’m at least vaguely interested.

  12. When they changed the xB from a direct-from-Japan weird box to a bulbous made-for-America… thing, I lost all interest in the brand. The original lineup was interesting. Their current lineup is not, FR-S aside. If you haven’t noticed, the Scion badge is the same shape and size as the Toyota badge. So they can just change the appliques on those couple of spots and not have to alter any tooling to rebadge Scions as Toyotas.

    1. If Scion had become known as the way Americans got access to niche JDM vehicles that didn’t score high enough in test-marking to make it as Toyotas, they would have really had something special and young people would have responded.

      1. It’d be nice if Scion was a way to get the Mark X to this continent, even if I know that it would never be used for that.

  13. My wife still has her ’09 XD and doesn’t care if it’s a Scion or Toyota or what ever. She liked it better than the Toyota equivalent (can’t remember what it was) or the Honda Fit. Got it for $500 less than the sticker price because it was a cold, rainy March and we were the only customers in the place. The sales manager said the “pure pricing policy” wouldn’t let him sell it for less. I said fine, here’s my cell number – call me if you change your mind. 60 seconds down the road I get a call from the dealership saying they would make the deal but only if I pledged never to tell anyone I got a Scion for less than sticker. Since Scion is no more I guess it’s ok to spill the beans. Except for the badges everything has a Toyota sticker on it, so, yeah, it’s a Toyota just like an Acura is a Honda. Who cares.

  14. The xB was a big hit . . . among retirees. Honestly, the only people I ever see driving them are old people, but I’ve read before that they liked the xB for its upright position, low door sills, and high roof, making it easy to get in and drive.

  15. No. While their cars were perfectly good, some even a bit sporty or interesting, as a brand it was completely pointless. Why? Because seven of the eight vehicles in their lineup where badged as Toyotas elsewhere in the world. The xA and xD were known as the Toyota ist and Urban Crusier, The FR-S called the FT-86 (or GT-86 or just 86, depending on the market), the iM is a Toyota Auris, and the xB and iQ were called the same as Toyotas.
    The only car that didn’t have a direct Toyota doppelganger was the tC, and that was only for the first gen ( the second gen was known as Toyota Zelas in certain markets).

  16. As someone who lives in the part of the world where Scion were not sold, which is nearly all of it, but where we still got ALL the same cars with Toyota badges, no.
    Scion will not be missed.

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