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If your still on the hunt for Scion iQ reviews here's an interesting one. Auto123 gets an iQ and gives their first impressions on the new subcompact from Scion.


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The Scion iQ is billed as the world’s smallest four-seater and the most fuel-efficient, non-hybrid car currently on the market, at 5 L/100km combined city/highway. In a bold move, Scion Canada made the iQ a “mono-spec” car, one without significant options.

Options in this case consist of a different stereo package and seven different colours. Scion also has a page of dealer-installed accessories that can be added to help personalize your new iQ.



Canada, eh
Part of the lengthy list of standard equipment for Canada includes heated seats, which make cool mornings much more comfortable. Heated external mirrors mean that humid, frosty mornings don’t reduce visibility or safety. In addition, a block heater helps ensure quick starts and faster warm-up times to make those short early morning drives pleasant.

Conservative on the Outside
Ideally, Scion wants to get the 20-somethings through the door, but also admits that the 50-somethings will find the car attractive. To pull this off, the iQ has a flat front fascia with small grille openings that mimics the lower spoiler idea of “tuner” cars. Getting air up and over the front means a sloped nose with sculpted headlamps.

Once up to the passenger compartment, it is obvious that the A-pillars are farther forward than normal. This gets air up and over the high roofline and past the rear lip spoiler mounted on the rear hatch. Air on the sides flows along a slightly sculpted side that makes use of aerodynamic aids to direct it along to the rear and help fold it in behind the car.

Cool on the Inside
Once you open the large door with its large glass area, the cool factor starts to come into play. On the door itself is a grab handle that doubles as a stylish armrest extension and protection for the auto up and down power windows.

Premium front bucket seats keep you comfortable despite the limited range of adjustment. All iQ front seats move fore and aft and have rake adjustments for the seatback, but there is no adjustment for height.

An asymmetrical dash makes the simple instrument cluster prominent on the driver’s side while it drops away on the passenger side to open up extra space for the right-side occupant.

In reality, back-seat space is minimal and I doubt if anyone larger than an infant could fit in the back regularly. With the 50/50-split, flat-folding rear seat down, the area behind the front seats is large enough to hold the results of a trip to Costco. I suspect that a couple of hockey bags would fit as well, although getting the sticks in might be a challenge.



The Grin
The iQ makes use of a CVT automatic transmission and a 1.3-litre, 4-cylinder engine that develops 94 horsepower and 89 lb.-ft of torque. In addition, the gearbox is electronically stepped so that it feels as if there are gears at work, and includes both sport and braking modes. Sport changes the lockup pattern of the CVT for a more aggressive response to throttle inputs. Braking mode keeps the transmission running about 2,000 rpm higher than normal, thus producing significant engine braking.



MacPherson struts up front and a twist beam axle in the rear are well calibrated. The suspension is compliant on the highway, soaking up all but the harshest of broken pavement ruts, bumps and potholes.

In order to minimize turning radius and maximize agility, the steering rack has been raised nearly 20 cm and a strut tower brace helps keep the front on track. Making a U-turn on the narrowest of streets is not an issue, nor is getting in and out of a tight parking space.

Top speed is listed as 160 km/h and 0 to 100 km/h is said to take 11.8 seconds. When combined, these numbers point to a car that can cruise comfortably at highway speeds, merge comfortably and have enough juice left for adequate passing distances. In town, it means being able to get the jump on most others at the stoplight and being able to keep up with traffic.

Innovative Safety
Standard in every Scion iQ is what Toyota calls their Star Safety System. Part of that system is airbag technology and this where the iQ really leads the way, with a rear window airbag to protect back-seat occupants’ heads, which is a world first.

In addition, the front seat cushion thigh bolster has an airbag in it to lift your knees, getting you in the proper seating position to prevent submarining out of the seat belt. When you add in the front, side and side-impact airbags, the total in the car is eleven.

The iQ Test
Scion admits that this is not the car for everyone, but believes that everyone should take one for a drive to find out. With a base price of $16,760 and the size of grin this urban transport machine put on my face, I have to agree.

 

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the iQ is defiantly not the car for everyone, at the few automotive shows I've been to, the impression the iQ leaves on everyone is quite different.

one thing for sure the Scion iQ isn't a car for gear heads!
but this is the perfect car for the working class in a busy city, commuter car at it's finest
 

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I love it, but man that engine looks scary to work on! How would you even change the spark plugs in that cramped under-hood space?

Instructions for changing a headlight bulb probably start with:

1. Remove engine...
 

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That would be

1. Remove the engine and CVT transmission...


As in the Golf the engine and transmission come out together as one unit.
 

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Canada, eh
Part of the lengthy list of standard equipment for Canada includes heated seats, which make cool mornings much more comfortable. Heated external mirrors mean that humid, frosty mornings don’t reduce visibility or safety. In addition, a block heater helps ensure quick starts and faster warm-up times to make those short early morning drives pleasant.
Not sure where they got this car to review, but the items listed are definitely not standard Canadian equipment. I wish they were. I just test drove an IQ yesterday, and currently heated seats and a block heater are not standard, in fact they are not even possible to get at all (from the factory). The salesman did mention that there might be a block heater option available by summer 2012 although I have no idea where he was getting his information.
 
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