2013 Scion IQ – Review and First Look
The diminutive Scion IQ, Toyota’s – I mean Scion’s – “premium micro-subcompact,” is a kind of paradox. It is by far the smallest car I have ever driven but I began to see this as an advantage the second day I had it, when I was able to park in two different on-street parking spots where no other car could have possibly fit. In other words, it’s tiny. Inside, however, it feels much larger, at least in the front seats. The rear seats are suitable for children or, in a pinch, two adults for a very short ride.
From the outside, it’s good looking, possibly even endearing. It also looks substantial until you look past the front door and wonder what happened to the rest of the car. That’s because the car, while 14” longer than a Smart Fortwo, is 26.5” shorter than a Mini Cooper. Its overall length (120.1”) is shorter than the wheelbase of some of the cars we’ve tested.
But back to the parking. I felt as if I were in Europe (where diminutive cars are common). Most people wouldn’t have even considered the space on the street where I eventually parked to be a real spot. But the car fit in nicely and there was more than enough room front and back for easy maneuvering.
The Scion iQ went on sale in October for $15,265, making the iQ a bit pricy compared to larger and less expensive cars such as the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.
INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR
The Scion, despite its diminutive size, looks rather substantial when viewed from the proper angle (the front). Fit and finish is excellent, there is great attention to small details which are typically overlooked in the “cheap” car class, and, if you don’t look too closely, you might even think that the wheel covers on the steel wheels are really metal.
The thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel feels good in one’s hand (and looks more Lexus than Scion); the instrument panel and information screen are arranged in a clear and logical manner. For an inexpensive car, the interior, from seats to materials, is outstanding. The seats are covered in a very good quality cloth and are quite comfortable. The only design flaw I found thus far is the clock, which is visible only to the driver as it’s in the dash cluster on the left, not in the display above the center stack, which is more typical. I also found it somewhat awkward to insert the key into the ignition because of the latter’s position on the steering column.
Other controls are easy to use and the central display has a very high-tech feel to it.
It’s a good thing that getting to the rear seat isn’t easy – that alone will discourage people from wanting to pile in. Once inside, the odd-shaped rear window could lead to a mild case of claustrophobia but those windows do contribute to excellent overall visibility from the driver’s point-of-view.
Click here to continue to Page 2 – Driving the Scion iQ
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