Starting out at just over $15,200, the world’s smallest four-seater is a smart buy.
Featuring an eye-catching design that you will not soon forget, the four-cylinder Scion iQ is only 10 feet long.
“Scion prides itself on being an innovative brand with a lineup of iconic vehicles that set automotive trends,” said Scion Vice President Jack Hollis. “The iQ is the fourth vehicle in the family, and it will define the premium micro-subcompact segment as the choice for new urbanites who want clever transportation without a sacrifice in style or new features.”
You have to give Scion’s copywriters credit for making it sound like four huge NFL linemen could easily fit into the iQ.
Well, I might be slightly exaggerating.
In some of the best ad-writing prose to date for 2012 models, Scion is in the running for the best writing:
“Instead of sacrificing features or comfort to reduce its footprint, the iQ relies on intelligent design,” Scion noted. “Six engineering innovations are responsible for the iQ’s ability to be small in size, but large in capability. A compact front-mounted differential, high-mount steering rack with electronic power-steering, and a compact air-conditioning unit all amount to significant decreases in front-end length.
“In addition, the iQ is equipped with a flat gas tank housed beneath the floor that reduces rear overhang. Slim-back front seats optimize rear legroom, while the ‘3-plus-1’ offset seating arrangement allows one adult to sit behind the front passenger and a child or small package behind the driver.”
In addition to the good copy writing, Scion’s motto for the iQ is rather brilliant:
“iQ THEREFORE i AM”
Scion says the iQ has the smooth handling of a larger car:
“With a 78.7-inch wheelbase and a unique suspension design – consisting of MacPherson struts up front, and a compact torsion beam rear suspension – the three-door hatchback can deftly maneuver through city traffic.”
I may have been quite skeptical of this claim prior to buying a Prius; however, I cannot believe how easy it is to park the Prius, make U-turns, etc., so I don’t doubt Scion’s claim.
“The iQ to fit into virtually any urban parking scenario,” Scion added. “Although short in length, the iQ has a wide stance at 66.1-inches, giving it a confident stance that handles like a much larger car.”
Sounds good so far, but what about gas mileage and range?
The iQ, which features a 1.3-liter engine and 94 horsepower, is rated an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle because it achieves an EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating of 37 mpg.
“The engine is paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission that helps deliver smooth acceleration and excellent fuel efficiency,” according to Scion.
If you have not ever driven an electric vehicle or a hybrid, you will be surprised by the smooth acceleration.
The iQ is considered a premium micro-subcompact partly because it is packed with an industry-leading 11 standard airbags, which includes the world’s first rear-window airbag.
“Other airbags include driver- and front-passenger airbags; driver- and front-passenger seat-mounted side airbags; side curtain airbags; driver- and front-passenger knee airbags,” Scion noted, “and a Scion-first driver- and front-passenger seat-cushion airbags.”
The rear seats have a fold-flat feature, which would come in handy if traveling, and for other purposes.
“The iQ comes standard with a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, and features a flat bottom that provides additional thigh room,” Scion said. “The steering wheel incorporates audio controls to manage the iQ’s impressive sound system.”
Although the Scion comes equipped with a booming 160-watt Pioneer audio system, buyers can opt for the 200-watt system that Scion said is “enhanced with a 5.8-inch LCD touch-screen display, features iTunes tagging, Pandora Internet radio connected through iPhone, and six RCA outputs to add external amplifiers.”
If its technology you are after, the Scion is loaded with it.
“Standard features for all 2012 Scions include Bluetooth connectivity, which allows both hands-free phone connection and streaming audio capability, and HD Radio technology,” Scion said. “Streaming audio allows compatible phone or personal media devices to pair with the audio system and deliver music through the vehicles sound system. The audio system also features an organic electroluminescent screen with a personalized welcome screen, iPod/USB connectivity, Advanced Sound Retriever, and a subwoofer RCA output.
“The USB port and universal auxiliary (AUX) port are located on the center console, which allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the iQ’s four Pioneer speakers.”
Scion’s audio systems also feature satellite radio compatibility and MP3 and WMA capability.
Concerned about directions when driving? Scion has that figured out.
“A Scion Navigation audio system is also available for urban drivers who would like the added convenience of easily finding their way around the city,” Scion said. “The 200-watt SNS 200 system has all of the features of the standard and premium audio systems but it adds a navigation system and DVD player that are accessible through an easy-to-use seven-inch touch-screen LCD display.
“Navigation functions include a Global Positioning Satellite system with comprehensive U.S. and Canada map coverage, plus guidance to millions of points of interest.”
Buyers will have a choice of the following exterior colors:
- Classic Silver Metal
- Magnetic Gray Metallic
- Black Sand Pearl
- Hot Lava
- Pacific Blue Metallic
- Black Currant Metallic
- Blizzard Pearl