TEST DRIVE: The 2012 Scion iQ Might Not Be The Smartest Small Car On The Market

Scion iQNot actual size.

Photo: Chris Tracy / Every Man’s Auto

The first time we saw the Scion iQ was on Top Gear UK and it was a Toyota. The iQ was released in Europe in 2009 after its debut at the Geneva Auto Show in 2008.There are few cars that immediately fit the style and build of a clown car. The iQ fit that mould immediately, but doesn’t appear to be the SUV- car crusher that the Smart Fortwo looks to be…

Base Price: $15,265
As Driven: $16,205, the destination fee is added here. There are no factory options.
Engine: 1.3L 4-cylinder, 94 hp
Transmission: Continuously Variable-speed
Curb Weight: 2,127 lbs.
Wheelbase: 78.7 in.
MPG Rating: 36city/37 highway



The iQ is easier on the eyes than the Fortwo. We are not really fans of either car's look, but the iQ is easier to stomach, like eating seafood (we hate seafood) instead of nails…

It is shorter, wider, and longer than a Smart Fortwo. Where the Smart car looks like a strong sneeze could blow it over taller and thinner, the iQ looks short, stout, and stable. We have heard anecdotes of Fortwos being blown off the road while travelling at highway speeds by winds over 30 mph.

The lines add to the box look, but don't make it look awkward or top heavy. It does not look as bad as the Cube.



All of the tech is lined up in the centre of the vehicle. The climate control switches are all stacked underneath the stereo housing in the exact centre of the car. All controls are equidistant for the front passenger and the driver.

There is an instrument console in front of the driver that offers trip computers and mpg readings. The clock was the easiest piece to reset on the fly and the clock is never easy to reset, so that's a positive.

There are audio controls on the steering wheel. It comes with Bluetooth and has auxiliary inputs for your mp3 playing devices and also a USB port. The stereo is powered by Pioneer which is a name we know. The only problem is that we know it because that's a type of aftermarket stereo that high school kids purchase for their '88 Honda Accord LX's… That analogy might have gotten a little too personal.

The iQ's audio system comes standard with four speakers, while the Smart only has two… The iQ also has the ability to play CD's, while the Smart does not. Who still plays CD's? We bet they're over 40.

The iQ comes standard with 11 airbags, which reminds us of the police car from Demolition Man. If all 11 airbags activate in a collision -- the car is so small why wouldn't all of them activate -- then you're basically being wrapped in a pillow.


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