Cars Coming Soon: Scion iQ a Great Punchline, an Odd Car

“Where’s the rest of it?”

“Where do you park that thing, on your pool table at home?”

“Hey man, isn’t that Barbie’s car?”

Drive in a Scion iQ and you can be sure you’ll hear jokes like these multiple times per day, each comedian thinking he is the only one to ever loft such creative barbs at the diminutive car and its embarrassed driver.

Yes, the iQ is incredibly small. It actually would fit on a pool table. Barbie though, could never drive it because inside, everything is full-size. The windshield, seats and side windows might as well be from a Corolla, which makes driving the iQ seem like a perfectly respectable thing to do. It *feels* normal. But it’s not.

For a little perspective, the iQ is nearly 20 inches shorter than a FIAT 500. A driver could conceivably stick his or her arm out the driver window, reach back, and lift the rear hatch.  Cars that have been smashed between a rock wall and a fully loaded semi truck travelling at highway speeds often end up looking like the iQ. Only the iQ looks that way on purpose.

A Rio makes more sense

Yet the iQ weighs around 2,000 pounds and is powered by a 1.3-liter 94-horsepower engine. Paired with its CVT the car is good for a 0-60 time of about 10 seconds.

Running to your Scion dealer yet?

Well, maybe the $16K base price will convince you. Or the sub-40 mpg fuel efficiency you’ll get. Why doesn’t a car this small get upwards of 50?

In my humble opinion, the class of cars that includes the iQ and the smart fortwo has no business being a road-legal class of vehicles. They are too small, too slow, too expensive and have fuel economy that doesn’t justify their existence.

Why not upgrade to something like a Kia Rio and drive something that won’t be confused for a toy?


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Used FIAT 500
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  1. What everyone tends to forget is that the real purpose for these cars is parking. As I commute everyday to NYC, I can’t tell you how convenient it is to be able to park my Smart almost anywhere I want, while everyone else (including probably the same people cracking jokes at me when I pulled up next to them at the redlight) sits double-parked, looking jealously at me, waiting for a spot to open up on the street. The iQ is simply a Smart with a back seat–perfect for a NYC family with small children. That said, unfortunately, I’d have to agree that these cars serve little to no purpose (but for, perhaps, novelty) outside of an urban/street-parking environment.

  2. That thing’s a joke. I can’t imagine using something like that to commute, either in a city or in a rural environment. What a joke.

  3. Usually when you hit either extreme (big or small) the numbers stop adding up. When I test drove a Smart, I didn’t buy because I was turned off by having to buy premium fuel, which actually cancelled out the fuel savings from a bigger, efficient sedan. Cost was fairly high too, as with this one, and the whole package just didn’t work for me.

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