Yes, the car pictured above is, in fact a real car. And would you believe it seats four people? The Garage was at the 2010 New York Auto Show were Scion debuted the iQ, which was expected to go on sale here early this year. Various delays, especially the devastating earthquake in Japan have postponed the iQ’s North American debut, but finally, things are getting back on track for what is the smallest four seater car available. Scion will be introducing the Scion in the US in stages-the West Coast in October, followed by the East Coast in early 2012, and finally the Midwest.
Scion calls the iQ a “premium micro-subcompact”, which is another way of saying it is a very tiny but well-equipped car, so look elsewhere if bargain-bin pricing is what you seek. The iQ starts at $15,265USD, not including delivery. Naturally, when a car of this size comes on the market, safety is one of the first questions that comes to mind. All iQs come standard with 11 airbags, including the first rear window airbag, electronic brake force distribution, ABS, brake assist, stability control and tire pressure monitor.
The iQ is powered by a 1.3L four rated at 94hp. The only transmission we receive is a CVT, while foreign markets get a manual. Boo, Scion! Since we expect a slew of bolt-on performance bits from TRD, the lack of a manual is all the more frustrating. EPA fuel economy is 37mpg-not bad, but given the diminutive size I expected more.
Scion is well known for not skimping on audio, and the iQ is no exception. A Pioneer AM/FM/CD/HD/USB stereo with 180 watts is standard, as is Bluetooth connectivity. An optional Pioneer Premium stereo nets 200 watts, sports a 5.8″ LCD touch screen, iTune tagging, and Pandora internet radio from your iPhone. GPS navigation is also available.
The iQ will be rolled out gradually, starting on the West Coast in October, the East Coast in early 2012, and finally the Midwest. Scion is seeking the young,hip, urban dweller with the iQ, so we’ll be interested to see who starts snapping up the car when it becomes available. The most obvious competition is the Smart ForTwo, and the iQ seems superior in nearly every respect. The Fiat 500, a (slightly) larger, more practical car is also in the iQ’s sights. The Scion has a huge advantage when you consider the Toyota dealer network. In any case, the iQ is an exciting addition to the growing micro-car segment, and The Garage looks forward to reviewing one as soon as it becomes available to us.