- New Car Test Drive
Some of Mazda’s mission from Scion was to make the iA feel sporty. That mission was limited by cost, however, stuck with the basic suspension of MacPherson struts in front and torsion beam in rear, with drum brakes. But if anyone can make such a car fun to drive it’s Mazda, and they have.
The iA feels lively and light, with only 2400 pounds to toss around on 16-inch alloy wheels. The handling is athletic, and the electric power steering feels good.
The composed ride makes the iA feel like a bigger and more expensive car. Even over bumps at higher speeds, it’s smooth.
The acceleration from a standing start sure won’t knock your socks off, but it gets better as it goes (with only 2400 pounds to carry).
The 6-speed automatic has a sport mode that does a good job of keeping rpm at 4000 for spirited driving. Too bad the digital tachometer is small and gimmicky, almost unreadable with a gray display at the edges.
The 6-speed manual gearbox is delightful, with short throws and precise shifts. However, only 10 percent of buyers will go out of their way to choose it, and fuel economy is lower.