The Scion brand was created by Toyota in 2002 to appear to a younger generation of drivers in North America. Toyota markets the Scion brand with pure price (the price a customer will pay for car including accessories, finance, and insurance), internet advertising, and single trim levels with with a wide range of customization with factory and TRD accessories. The first two Scions were the xA and xB. The tC and xD would later join the Scion lineup. In 2008, Toyota released the iQ, a three-door, four seater, front-engine, front-wheel drive hatchback. In 2011, Toyota brought over the car as the Scion iQ.
I first saw the Scion iQ at the 2011 Houston Auto Show and again at the 2012 Houston Auto Show. The Scion iQ was also available for test drives, but I did not make it over to the Scion iQ test drive area. First thoughts, the iQ is suppose to be a four seater? The car is just slightly bigger than a Smart For-Two. There is no leg room in the back. The iQ is marketed as the world's smallest four seater. That is not something I would focus on. When I hear that, I am thinking there is no leg room for the back seat passengers. Also, the iQ looks weird. There were Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, and Porsches at the event, yet there was a crowd around the iQ.
The iQ is powered by a 1.3L I4 engine, paired with a CVT transmission, that produces 94 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque. The iQ goes from 0 to 60 mph in 11.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 100 mph. The iQ starts at $15,995. The iQ is just slow. Anything that takes over 9.0 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph is slow. There are better cars out there for around $14,000 (Ford Fiesta comes to mind). According to people who test drove the iQ at the 2012 Houston Auto Show, the car barely moves when you hit the accelerator.
The Scion/Toyota iQ was featured on Top Gear Series 13, Episode 3, when the guys were trying to find out what the best cheap car. The iQ was also featured on Fifth Gear, Broom, RTL Autowereld, Cars.TV, and Motorweek. The iQ is playable in StreetRally and Virtual Test Drive.
Final Thoughts: The Scion iQ is slow, sluggish, small, and cramp. There is no leg room in the back. I find it to be a slightly bigger Smart For Two. Styling is unappealing. The only thing that I like about the iQ is its 12.9 in turning radius. I cannot think of another car with that tight of a turning radius. At the 2012 Houston Auto Show, people were not allowed to take a standard test drive. People drove the iQ around a small course that involved going around large traffic cones. When I want to drive a car, I want to drive it around neighborhoods and on the highway, not around cones. Also, I think that $16,000 is a bit much for the iQ. The Scion iQ did not deserve the attention it got at the 2012 Houston Auto Show. I do not get what people see in the car. Toyota and Scion have to use aggressive marketing for the iQ because this car SUCKS!
Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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