The iQ is “a better car in every measure” than the only other micro-subcompact so far sold in the U.S. Somewhere in America, there might exist a parking space that only the Smart Fortwo, from Mercedes, can squeeze into. But the extra 14 inches on this mini Scion add more than curb length. The vehicle seats four “comfortably”—if one is a child and if the front passenger takes advantage of the asymmetry of the clever dashboard to scoot forward a bit. Better yet, “the iQ drives like a real car.”
We’d never actually “inflict a long ride in the backseat on anyone we like,” but the iQ does feel “firmly planted at highway speeds,” and it handles city challenges deftly—as it’s designed to. With its 94-hp engine, this car is slow from 0 to 60 but houses “a whopping 11 airbags” to help passengers survive any run-ins with 18-wheelers. Its calling card, besides tight-quarters agility, is its fuel efficiency on city streets: The iQ’s fuel-consumption rating for combined city/highway driving is 37 mpg.
Car and Driver
Sadly, the impressive potential of this urban go-kart is spoiled by a pokey transmission that completely “drains the fun out of it.” An optional stick and a boosted engine could make this car a winner. “Right now, it’s only frustratingly clever.”