by Melanie Droz Shawcroft
San Diego – Shamu – Scion
When the heat really hits Phoenix, we head for my in-laws house in San Diego. With record-high temperatures of 112 degrees, that gave us at least 12 reasons to take the 2016 Scion iM west for a mommy/son trip to much cooler weather.
1. Gas is extremely affordable in the Scion – driving nearly 1,000 miles in 6 days, it was crucial getting an average of 32 miles per gallon. The multi-information display let me know the average was closer to 40 mpg. With only $20 to fill up the tank, we were able to spend our money on more important things on our trip – like a light up Shamu bubble gun from Seaworld.
2. Room to pick up two teen nephews in the desert – The Scion may look small, but it comfortably fit two boys nearly 6-feet tall. With 60/40 split fold-flat rear seats, this 5-door hatchback fit the four of us happily and all of our luggage and beach gear. The USB port with iPod connectivity was also handy for the boys – I thought I would get to listen to some popular jams, but both of them plugged in and put on their headphones.
3. Stay hydrated – The drive out of the heat requires refreshments, and the Scion proves plenty of storage for drinks. With 2 center cup holders in the front and two in the middle armrest that folds down in the back, the four of us were able to stock up and keep cool. We also used the dual-zone climate control to stay comfortable.
4. Visit the beach to cool off – We spent many days at the beach on our vacation, and the Scion made it so easy. It was stress-free to squeeze into beach parking (we weren’t the only Phoenicians trying to beat the heat), the remote keyless entry system made it convenient to load and unload our toys and the optional carpeted floor mats and cargo mat made it easy to shake the sand out of the Scion once we got back to the in-law’s house.
5. Take friends to Liberty Station – While Berrett stayed with my sister-in-law, I took the Scion for a girls’ night out. Picking up my friends, we made our way to the popular Liberty Station where there are a plethora of restaurants to choose from. I used the color-keyed heated power folding exterior mirrors w LED turn signal indicators to move through many narrow streets to find our way to the Public Market where we splurged on fried clams, ravioli, stuffed hamburgers, ice cream and macaroons.
6. Drive to Temecula – Taking the Scion to Wine Country is roughly an hour drive from the beach, and I was lucky to have the performance of the iM for the drive to visit a close friend for lunch in Old Town Temecula. The 1.8 L 4-Cyl DOHC 16 Valve engine with 137 HP got me there in record time and the Scion easily handled the crowded freeways and hills through Southern California.
7. Take son to visit place where mommy and daddy got married – I made sure to play Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Pioneer 7” touch-screen display audio with Aha speakers since that is what I walked down the aisle to 9 years ago. Berrett stood for a few minutes near the edge of Sunset Cliffs where Matt and I exchanged our vows but quickly wanted to run back to the Scion because it was too cold. Hard to imagine we were too cold at times on this trip.
8. Visit Inflatable World – Watching Berrett glide down giant inflatable slides reminded me of the safety of the Scion and the many airbags throughout the vehicle – I could probably use them all to create my own bounce house. They include: Driver/Front Passenger Advanced Airbag System, Driver knee airbag, Driver/Front passenger St-Mounted side airbags, Front/Rear side curt airbags, and front passenger st cushion airbag. Sounds safe and fun.
9. Play Outside – Our trip was all about being outside in the 70-degree California weather, so at any given time there were 10-15 Shawcroft children running around the back and front of the in-law’s house. I used the integrated rear-view backup camera system in the Scion to dodge as many children as possible when returning to the house.
10. SeaWorld – Quickly after the Shamu night show, we rushed out to the Scion to watch the fireworks at the end of the night. With a great view and comfort, we had the best seats and quickly beat the crowd with the automatic proj-beam halogen headlamps and LED tail lamps out of the busy parking lot. Before we even left the parking lot, Berrett was fast asleep.
11. Staying with the in-laws – Having a place to stay while visiting San Diego definitely saves on the pocket, as does the Scion at an MSRP of $19,200.
12. Award-winning car in America’s Finest City – The Scion was named the 2015 Women’s World Economy Car of the Year in the Budget Car Category and Toyota has been the highest ranked car brand and 28th overall, in the 2016 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking. It was the perfect vehicle to take to the finest city in America.
The 12 degrees over the 100-degree mark made for an easy 12 reasons to take the 2016 Scion iM to the cooler temperatures of Southern California. The Scion made this mommy/son trip an easy, comfortable, safe way to stay cool and beat the heat.