2012 Scion iQ

MSRP ?

$15,265 - $15,265
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Engine Engine 1.3LI-4
MPG MPG 36 City / 37 Hwy
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2012 iQ Overview

Scion's Supermini Outsmarts Smart Despite a flurry of media attention at launch, sales of the Smart ForTwo have done a nosedive since its Stateside debut in 2008. Unsurprising, considering you could strap a lawnmower engine onto Yao Ming's left rollerskate and build a better car. But the ForTwo wasn't a failure of vision, it was a botched execution. Yet despite being underwhelming, overpriced and fitted with one of the worst gearboxes ever crafted by man, we're still seeing a slew of them puttering around San Francisco during the our first drive of the 2012 Scion iQ. Coastal-types and urbanites are apparently hard-up for something spectacularly small, equally frugal and simple to park, so bringing the iQ to SF was a no-brainer for Scion. Its quirky shape and minimalist-at-all-costs design is the kind of thing Northern Californians should eat up with an oversized ramen renge. As well they should. The aptly named iQ outsmarts Smart at its own game, minimizing the compromises and creating something better than a pint-size commuter. Sales of the Toyota-branded iQ have been going rather strong in Japan and Europe since its debut in 2008, and with Scion's aging line-up, it made sense to inject the 120.1-inch hatch into Toyota's "youth" division. Weighing in at a scant 2,127 pounds, it's not only the lightest offering in the Toyota/Scion stable, it takes the trophy for the world's smallest "four-seater." In truth, however, that designation is a bit of a misnomer. Toyota originally called the iQ a 3+1 in Europe, meaning it could fit three people with ease and a fourth in a pinch. In reality, it's more of a 2+1.5. Two full-sized adults have ample room up front, and while Scion insists the seating layout is asymmetrical – with the front passenger seat moved slightly forward to provide room for someone in the rear – in actuality, it's more of a design ploy than a useful feature. As soon as someone moves the seatback into a comfortable position, any and all rear legroom disappears. That said, Toyota tasked its tallest engineer (over six feet), Hiroki Nakajima, with development of the iQ, and he squeezed in with Jack Hollis, Scion's Vice President, and two other six-foot ToMoCo employees for a 30-minute drive around the city. So yes, it can be done. But unless you regularly shuttle midget amputees, it's best to consider this a two-seater with 16.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the 50/50 rear seats folded down (a tiny 3.5 cubes with the seats in place). But that's not to say that the iQ isn't a packaging marvel. With its wheels pushed to the outer edges of its bodywork and a low profile (five-inches tall), center-mounted 8.5-gallon fuel tank spanning the space underneath the driver and right-rear passenger, the maximization of interior volume and compact engineering beneath its sheetmetal makes Tetris look like a game of stick and ball. A compact air-conditioning unit mounted directly behind the dashboard's center stack eschews the complexities of a larger system, …
Full Review

2012 iQ Overview

Scion's Supermini Outsmarts Smart Despite a flurry of media attention at launch, sales of the Smart ForTwo have done a nosedive since its Stateside debut in 2008. Unsurprising, considering you could strap a lawnmower engine onto Yao Ming's left rollerskate and build a better car. But the ForTwo wasn't a failure of vision, it was a botched execution. Yet despite being underwhelming, overpriced and fitted with one of the worst gearboxes ever crafted by man, we're still seeing a slew of them puttering around San Francisco during the our first drive of the 2012 Scion iQ. Coastal-types and urbanites are apparently hard-up for something spectacularly small, equally frugal and simple to park, so bringing the iQ to SF was a no-brainer for Scion. Its quirky shape and minimalist-at-all-costs design is the kind of thing Northern Californians should eat up with an oversized ramen renge. As well they should. The aptly named iQ outsmarts Smart at its own game, minimizing the compromises and creating something better than a pint-size commuter. Sales of the Toyota-branded iQ have been going rather strong in Japan and Europe since its debut in 2008, and with Scion's aging line-up, it made sense to inject the 120.1-inch hatch into Toyota's "youth" division. Weighing in at a scant 2,127 pounds, it's not only the lightest offering in the Toyota/Scion stable, it takes the trophy for the world's smallest "four-seater." In truth, however, that designation is a bit of a misnomer. Toyota originally called the iQ a 3+1 in Europe, meaning it could fit three people with ease and a fourth in a pinch. In reality, it's more of a 2+1.5. Two full-sized adults have ample room up front, and while Scion insists the seating layout is asymmetrical – with the front passenger seat moved slightly forward to provide room for someone in the rear – in actuality, it's more of a design ploy than a useful feature. As soon as someone moves the seatback into a comfortable position, any and all rear legroom disappears. That said, Toyota tasked its tallest engineer (over six feet), Hiroki Nakajima, with development of the iQ, and he squeezed in with Jack Hollis, Scion's Vice President, and two other six-foot ToMoCo employees for a 30-minute drive around the city. So yes, it can be done. But unless you regularly shuttle midget amputees, it's best to consider this a two-seater with 16.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the 50/50 rear seats folded down (a tiny 3.5 cubes with the seats in place). But that's not to say that the iQ isn't a packaging marvel. With its wheels pushed to the outer edges of its bodywork and a low profile (five-inches tall), center-mounted 8.5-gallon fuel tank spanning the space underneath the driver and right-rear passenger, the maximization of interior volume and compact engineering beneath its sheetmetal makes Tetris look like a game of stick and ball. A compact air-conditioning unit mounted directly behind the dashboard's center stack eschews the complexities of a larger system, …Hide Full Review