With an increasing emphasis being placed on fuel economy these days courtesy
stringent CAFE guidelines, all manufacturers are looking for ways to boost
fuel economy across the board. That means that you will see more hybrids and
full-electric vehicles on the road. It also means that you will see more
"eccentric" cars like the Scion iQ darting through traffic trying to
avoid getting flattened by Suburbans and Expedition XLs.
The iQ is the latest addition to Scion's rather tired an uninspiring
“youth oriented” lineup which currently consists of the (xB, xD, and tC). The
iQ measures just ten feet in length and slightly resembles the Smart fortwo which
has been a sales
disaster in the U.S. marketplace. The vehicle features what Toyota calls
3+1 seating: two people can obviously fit up front with ease, but only one full-size
adult will be able to sit in the back behind the passenger seat. Unless you're
Mini Me or a kid in child seat, don't bother trying to fit behind the driver's
The iQ is powered by a direct injected, 1.3-liter four-cylinder
engine which generates a meager 94 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque. While the engine
can't even crack the 100 hp barrier, it only has roughly 2,100 pounds to push
The only transmission available is a CVT, so any chances of having
fun in the iQ just took a bit of a nosedive with that selection. And
acceleration is on the lethargic side with The
Car Connection reporting that
the iQ reaches 60 mph in 11.8 seconds.
But what everyone wants to know is how does the Scion iQ stack up
when it comes to fuel efficiency. The iQ is rated at 36 mpg in the city and 37
mpg on the highway; the combined rating is 37 mpg.
More expensive compact cars like the Chevrolet
Cruze Eco, Ford
Focus SFE, and Hyundai
Elantra can all boast highway figures that surpass the iQ, but none can
touch its city rating (the three compacts achieve city numbers in the 28 to 30
mpg range while EPA combined is 33 mpg).
With a starting price of $15,995, it closest competitor for fuel
economy comes from the ’12
Hyundai Accent GS ($15,355 including destination charge) which can actually
seat five and has six times the cargo space with the rear seats up. It is EPA
rated at 30/40/33 (city/highway/combined). If you prefer more style, the Fiat 500 “Pop”
will run you $16,000 and is EPA rated for 30/38/33 with a manual transmission.
The Scion iQ will have limited availability on the west coast this
fall. A full-scale launch is scheduled for March 2012.