The Scion iQ is little, and it isn't fast. It provides enough acceleration and speed for interstate speeds, but it doesn't perform extremely well outside of the city. Regardless, the second row of seating unseen in the Smart Fortwo, and the better engine and transmission make it a better choice than the competition. Still, the iQ is priced at a point where a larger, more practical car can be afforded.
New For 2013
The iQ went on sale nationwide last spring. For 2013, there’s a bit more standard equipment: an underseat auxiliary tray for the front-passenger seat, a cover for the cargo area, and rear speakers.
The 2013 Scion iQ is an extremely tiny car. It looks like someone forgot to produce a backseat for a bulky and stunted sedan, such as the Toyota Echo, but this is one of its selling points. It easily fits into any parking spot, and unlike the smaller Smart Fortwo, the iQ actually has a long enough design to place a back seat in it. It features only two doors, however. It sits on 16-inch wheel, and there are options for two different wheel coverings. Keyless entry is also standard fare.
Color options include seven paint jobs, most of them being rather conservative except the extremely orange Hot Lava option. The height of the car is 59.1 inches, which makes the short length of 120.1 inches look strange and cramped. The width measures at 66.1 inches. A rear windshield wiper is standard fare, as is a rear liftgate door with a fixed window.
Exterior options include a rear spoiler, which looks a bit silly. A paint protection film is available as well, and a fog light kit can be added. Mechanical options include lowering springs, but again this doesn't do much to improve the look of the vehicle. Overall, the design isn't pretty or even remotely attractive, but it is forward-thinking, offers plenty of visibility, and therefore makes the vehicle easy to maneuver.
Interior & Cargo
The interior of the 2013 Scion iQ is surprising. First of all, at first glance, it doesn't at all seem possible to fit a second row of seats in this vehicle, but Scion managed to do it. That said, the enlarged driver's area eats away at the rear driver's side seat, and likely three passengers is more likely than four. Upholstery is cloth, and the rear seats fold down for additional cargo area. Windows, mirrors, and locks are all powered and easy to control. Audio controls are present on the steering wheel, and air conditioning and air filtration are standard fare.
As expected from Scion, the audio system is one of the best features. The six-speaker, Pioneer brand stereo system includes an AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 CD playback. The system also includes auxiliary jack and USB to connect other devices. Internet and satellite radio services are available, but these require subscriptions. Also available is an upgraded audio system.
Dealer-installed options include interior ambient lighting, voice controls, and cargo-area items for better storage. Door sills can have added illumination, and leather can be added to the shift knob. Other than this, there are little in the way of options, and that includes no factory options available. Overall, the interior is a bit pinched for size, especially in the rear.
The 2013 Scion iQ comes standard with anti-lock brakes, braking assist, and electronic brake force distribution. Also standard is stability and traction control for assisted grip on the road. Airbags include the standard front side airbags, front knee airbags, and front side curtain airbags. However, uncommon airbags are also added for additional safety, and these include front seat-cushion airbags and rear-window airbags that deploy near the rear seat headrests. The additional airbags are particularly helpful due to the extremely small size of the iQ.
During brake testing, the Scion iQ went from 60 miles per hour to a complete stop in about 131 feet, which is slightly less than average. Considering the small size of the car, this is rather unimpressive. During crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Scion iQ received a four out of five star rating, which may come as a surprise.
Other safety features include turn signal mirrors, tire pressure monitoring, and optional foglights. Overall, the safety of this subcompact is more than adequate, and the strong design does its best to reduce injuries.
The 2013 Scion iQ features the 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The output is 94 horsepower and 84 lb-ft of torque. This puny engine accelerates from zero to 60 miles an hour in about 11.6 seconds, which is a bit slow for subcompact cars. As a perk, the 36/37 mpg city/highway fuel economy is easy to boast about. While some larger cars can get slightly higher amounts for highway driving, the iQ is mostly meant to be a city car.
The overall feel is utility. The car is extremely easy on turning and maneuvering, and the fact that it can easily squeeze through tight spaces make it fun to drive in its own right. The weak engine does nothing for speed, and the continuously variable transmission drones the entire ride. Regardless of the drone, the transmission is less clunky and cumbersome than the Smart Fortwo's standard transmission, and the highway ride is actually not incredibly unstable. Still, when approached by larger vehicles, the iQ can get pushed around by wind easily.
Overall, it isn't a driving enthusiast's car, but it does provide a low-priced, fuel-conscious alternative to expensive hybrids and the more uncomfortable Smart cars available on the market.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Scion iQ
- Chevrolet Spark
- Fiat 500
- Mini Cooper
- Smart Fortwo