After a couple of years' availability in other markets, Toyota finally brings its tiny iQ car to the U.S., branded as a Scion. Designed well for the city, the iQ is only 10 feet long, so is easy to park.
Toyota started selling its microsubcompact iQ around the world three years ago, during which time it won multiple awards for its creative packaging. Now Toyota deems the time is ripe to sell the car in the U.S., but is using its youthful Scion brand to market the car.
Although the iQ is only 10 feet long, it boasts a back seat. Toyota carved out space in front of the front passenger seat, allowing that seat to move forward farther than the driver seat. As such, there is (technically) room for a passenger behind the front passenger seat. However, it is impossible to get into the back seat from the driver's side.
Toyota keeps the iQ's construction costs low by using a torsion-bar rear suspension and drum brakes on the rear wheels. The front wheels get disc brakes. But the ride quality is surprisingly good, and the car comes standard with traction and stability control.
At only 1.3 liters, the iQ's engine is also tiny. But it still has four cylinders, and uses variable valve timing to improve efficiency. Its EPA rating is 36 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, while its combined EPA fuel economy of 37 mpg is the highest of any non-hybrid car.
The iQ's cabin controls are very simple, with heating and air set up as three knobs running up the center dash, topped by one of three available head units. The instrument cluster combines speedometer and tach in a single pod.
Scion's premium-level head unit sits between the base and navigation head units, and is the only one to offer Pandora integration. To use Pandora, you must have an iPhone running the app plugged into the car's USB port.