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Scion iQ review: The littlest Scion

The new Scion iQ is designed as a city car: with a length of about 10 feet, it parks easily and can do a U-turn on almost any street.

2012 Scion iQ
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The rest of the world has been driving Toyota's tiny iQ model for a few years, and now it comes to the U.S. wearing a Scion badge. That marketing makes sense, as the iQ is a risky sell to an American public that often scoffs at anything smaller than an SUV. Scion serves as an incubator for Toyota's more esoteric offerings.

But the iQ's sci-fi looks fit in perfectly with the Scion model lineup, and its likely buyers also fit the Scion demographic. The car will work well for young urbanites, its small size making it easy to park and maneuver on crowded city streets.

And despite the engine's small displacement, only 1.3 liters, Scion tunes the iQ for low-end torque. It gets up and goes quickly. But it doesn't keep going with the same amount of power. We had it floored going up a hill at 35 mph.

One of the coolest things about the iQ is that it comes with Scion's new line of cabin electronics, Pioneer head units that offer a very usable interface, a Bluetooth phone system, and iPod and Pandora integration.

Check out our review of the 2012 Scion iQ.