By Clint Williams
Green Right Now
The 2012 Scion iQ â€“ a micro-subcompact designed for city drivers â€“ is easy to park andâ€¦well, thatâ€™s it.
The Scion iQ is slow, a bit skittish and not at all cheap. If you pay a bit more than $19,000 for a car, it should come with a glove compartment.
The iQ has a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 94 horsepower. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission and together they deliver good fuel efficiency. The iQ is rated an ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV-II) and gets EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating of 37 miles per gallon. We got just over 33 mpg â€“ which is good, but not much better than bigger, cheaper, more comfortable cars.
Scion touts the iQ as â€śthe worldâ€™s smallest four-seaterâ€ť but donâ€™t expect to transport four people. The driverâ€™s seat and front passengerâ€™s seat are slightly offset, allowing one adult to sit behind the front passenger â€“ but only if both are slightly uncomfortable. The seat behind the driver is strictly for grocery bags.
Because of the short wheelbase, the ride is a bit harsh. The handling is a bit flighty. But the car does have a tiny turning radius (less than 13 feet) making it easy to do a U-turn on a city street.
The tiny iQ is big on air bags. There are 11 standard airbags, including the worldâ€™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; and a Scion-first driver- and front-passenger seat-cushion airbags.
This is a car for those who care more about ease of parking that actually driving. Itâ€™s hard to see why anyone outside of Manhattan or San Francisco would consider this car. Especially when better cars â€“ with comparable fuel efficiency â€“ can be had for less money. The review Scion iQ had a MRSP of $19,135 that included a ridiculous rear spoiler as a $285 option.
The iQ comes with a three-year/36,000-mile comprehensive warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and free factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles whichever comes first.
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