Wednesday, February 20, 2013

First Drive: 2013 Scion iQ

The Toyota iQ was revealed in March 2008 at the Geneva Auto Show. In October 2011, iQ was released to the United States and Canada, but wearing a Scion badge instead of Toyota badge. The Scion iQ is a front engine, front-wheel drive, three door hatchback with seating for four. The iQ is classified as a supermini and a city car. The iQ is the world's smallest four seater. I first saw the Scion iQ at the 2011 Houston Auto. At the 2013 Houston Auto Show, I took one out for a test drive.

The Scion iQ is very small. It is only 120.1 inches long and has a 78.7 inch wheelbase. It is also 66.1 inches wide and 59.1 inches high. It has cubic shape. The iQ has a bland styling with no characteristic lines. It is quite small on the interior. There are two seats in the back, but the front seats have to be pushed forwards all the way in order to have some room in the rear for adult passengers. The center is simple, but it works. There are three knobs stacked above each other that operate the air condition/heater. I had some leg room and head room behind the wheel of the iQ, but not much.

The Scion iQ is powered by a 1.3L I4 engine, paired with a CVT automatic transmission, that produces 94 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque. The iQ goes from 0 to 60 mph in 11.8 seconds and has a top speed of 100 mph. The Scion iQ is very slow. It did not feel zippy. The engine felt underpowered. Yet somehow, I caught up to a Hyundai Veloster Turbo. The ride quality is okay. The iQ responds when I turn the wheel. One issue is noise. It was very noisy behind the wheel of the iQ. I could hear the engine the entire time. This made it hard to hear the Scion representative  when he was explaining the details of the iQ. This issue can be solved by adding sound dampening material inside the car. Also, the iQ's ride is bumpy. Prices for the iQ start at $15,995, and you do not get a lot of value for what you get with the iQ.

It is very hard for me to recommend the Scion iQ. It does not have a pleasant drive quality. The ride is bumpy, noisy, and slow. I did not have much room behind the wheel. The front seats have to been pushed all the way forward for rear passengers to have adequate leg room. The iQ should have been designed as a two-seater and not a four-seater. There is no point to sacrifice leg room and comfort in order to make the world's smallest four-seater. I have been in a very small car that has good leg room for rear passengers. The Scion iQ is too small to accommodate rear passengers. If the iQ was three inches longer, then there would be good leg room for rear passengers. One positive for the iQ is the center console. I really like how the climate control knobs are stacked above each other and are nicely spaced out. I like that the gear shifter is on the floor between the driver and front passenger and not on the dashboard. The iQ does not deserve the $16,000, especially when there are other superminis that offer a better driving experience than the iQ does for around the same price.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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