2016 Scion iA: Car Seat Check

16_Scion_iA_ES_CSC_Lead.jpg photo by Evan Sears

The brand-new 2016 Scion iA is a subcompact sedan that could appeal to families with its sporty styling and low starting price of $16,495, including a destination charge. While the iA will work well with kids in forward-facing child-safety seats, families with little ones in rear-facing seats should look elsewhere for their next family car because of the sedan’s tight backseat dimensions. The iA seats five and has cloth seats.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

What We Like

  • The iA’s Latch system is easy to access. The two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats sit behind vertical slits in the seat upholstery. Three tether anchors are on the rear shelf (behind the head restraints) under hinged plastic covers. They’re easy to connect to.
  • After removing the head restraint, the forward-facing convertible installed easily.
  • We also had to remove the large head restraint before installing our high-back booster seat, but once done, the iA’s contoured seats helped to hold the booster in place.

What We Don’t

  • To fit the rear-facing infant and convertible seats, we had to move the front passenger seat forward a significant amount. With the rear convertible installed, our 5-foot-8 tester’s knees were grazing the glove box when she sat in the front passenger seat. It was worse with the infant seat; we had to move the front passenger seat so far forward that she couldn’t fit into it. Once the front passenger seat was far enough forward, both car seats installed easily into the iA.
  • The outboard seats’ seat belt buckles are on stable bases, but they sit low in the seat cushion. Combine this with a raised middle seat cushion and it could be difficult for kids to buckle up independently.

Grading Scale

A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.  

B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.

F: Does not fit or is unsafe.

About’s Car Seat Checks

Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle.

If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.

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