2012 Scion iQ

Base FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4

Base FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4

2012 scion iq Reviews and News

2012 Scion IQ Drivers Side Front Three Quarters In Motion
San Francisco's streets are littered with small cars. Expensive small cars -- Mini Coopers and Audi A3s abound. Half a million bucks buys you a small apartment in this city, but it'd take multiple millions (or a 24-hour-a-day valet) to make a big car easy to park. (And "big" is relative. In San Francisco, a Toyota Camry is a big car.)
2012 Scion IQ Drivers Side Front Three Quarters In Motion
So it's no surprise that the Smart ForTwo has experienced relative success in the city by the bay. Had Chrysler bothered to put a Fiat dealership in San Francisco, the city would look like Italy, with 500s on every corner. That oversight leaves the door open for the Scion iQ to become the next official San Francisco city car.
If you live in a part of the United States with Ford F-350-sized, white-line-delineated parking spots and drive ten miles from home to the nearest Wal-Mart, you'll look at the pictures of this pint-size new car and think it's the stupidest thing since, well, the Smart. We understand. But if you live somewhere like San Francisco -- or Boston, or Portland, or West Hollywood -- where a parking spot consists of any sufficiently long gap between two other cars, you need to sell your Smart now and put your name on the list to buy a Scion iQ.
Why? Let's be honest for a second: cute as the Smart ForTwo is, it's not very good to drive. It's doesn't do well on the highway and gets buffeted by crosswinds. Its automated manual transmission is rough enough to give you whiplash. It doesn't have enough power to keep up with traffic, much less keep up momentum on steep hills. It has no back seat for your drunk friend to catch a ride home from the bar. It has no power steering. It has no crumple zones in case you crash it. The interior materials make Tyco toys look like Rolls-Royce quality masterpieces. Need we continue?
All of that is changed with the Scion iQ, which has been on sale since late 2008 in Europe and in Japan as the Toyota iQ. Yes, it's bigger than the Smart, but by only fourteen inches. [For comparison, the Fiat 500 is 19.5 inches longer; the Mini Cooper is 25.5 inches longer.] That means the iQ still squeezes into spots normally reserved for motorcycles, birds, and litter. And it may, depending on where you live, be small enough to legally park perpendicularly. Unlike the ForTwo, it's brilliant to drive. In fact, from behind the wheel, it's Toyota's best small car.
It's also really nice to look at. Where the Smart is effectively as tall as it is wide, the iQ stands tough like a bulldog, seven inches wider than it is high. That extra width translates directly into passenger shoulder space, even though the rear seat passengers ride well inboard of the front.
Rear seat? Yup.
Scion calls the iQ a 3+1 seater, and that's an apt description: three normal adults, one small child. The dashboard is asymmetric, allowing the front passenger seat to slide further forward than the driver's seat, making enough room in the back for a six-footer. It's certainly no stretch limo back there, but it's more than roomy enough for a half-hour trip. The driver's rear seat is only really usable if both occupants on the left side are smaller than, say, five feet tall.
The person in the front left seat will have the best seat of all: the iQ delights with accurate, communicative steering. It also has a comically small turning diameter (Scion quotes 25.8 feet, compared to the Smart's 28.7 feet). Thanks to a CVT keeping peak thrust on tap at all times, the 2127-pound iQ feels livelier than the official 0-to-60-mph time of 11.8 seconds, and the iQ cruises quietly and easily at brisk highway speeds, with no apparent susceptibility to crosswinds and no aversion to steep grades. We were able to coax the iQ close to its 100-mph top speed up a steep incline and happily didn't need to use any of the car's eleven (!) standard airbags.
The iQ uses the first belt-type continuously variable transmission we've experienced from Toyota, and while it's not quite as good as the best (Nissan's), it's excellent overall. It does a good job at continually varying engine speed under quick acceleration, even performing pseudo-shifts to break up the noise. The iQ's 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine is vocal, and its modest output means noise is omnipresent, but it's never intrusive. And thanks to a wide ratio spread with a short low ratio, the iQ squirts off the line, even up San Francisco's notoriously steep hills.
From behind the wheel, you keep forgetting that you can reach back and touch the rear window. The iQ feels a couple of sizes bigger than it is -- you expect to see the rear half of a Corolla when you look through the rearview mirror. The suspension does a tremendous job of masking the short wheelbase: the ride is never choppy. And unlike in the Smart, the iQ's rear suspension actually absorbs bumps.
The interior materials are excellent, especially when compared to a ForTwo, and the seats are comfortable enough for city duty. The iQ could use a right-side armrest for the driver, but the surfaces you're most likely to touch (the steering wheel and shifter) feel expensive. In fact, the steering wheel is wrapped in leather and comes standard with stereo controls.
As usual, Scion's choice of radios leaves something to be desired. Even the top-spec system, a 200-watt Pioneer system with four speakers, offers poor sound quality. All of the stereos we played with felt aftermarket in their usability. Still, like all 2012 model year Scions, the iQ also comes with standard Bluetooth and HD radio. And besides, stereo systems are easy to upgrade in the aftermarket. You can't do much about fuel economy, and the iQ shines there: Scion estimates that the iQ will score 37 mpg combined on the EPA cycle (36 mpg city, 37 mpg highway). For comparison's sake, the Smart ForTwo achieves 36 mpg combined -- 33 in the city and 41 on the highway. The 41-mpg highway rating shows that the Smart's narrow shape clearly provides aerodynamic benefits at highway speeds--but it comes at the expense of straight-line stability.
The iQ goes on sale on the West Coast in October, with other markets to follow--the Gulf states and the Southeast in January 2012, New York and the remainder of the East Coast in February, and the rest of the United States in March. Base price is a no-haggle $15,995, and while accessory and option pricing hasn't been finalized, we expect a fully loaded iQ to top out at well below $20,000, where a base Mini Cooper starts.
If you're thinking "I could have a loaded Corolla for that," you're forgetting that big cars with trunks don't fit in tiny city parking spots in San Francisco. And cities with small parking spaces tend to also be cities with huge costs of living, so sticker price is less of an issue. San Franciscans already gobble up ForTwos (which cost about the same as the iQ) and Mini Coopers (which are vastly more expensive), not to mention seriously premium Audi A3s.
We look forward to spending more time with the iQ, but our initial impressions make it clear: when it comes to iQ versus Smart, there's only one smart choice.
2012 Scion iQ
2012 Scion iQ
The notion of an ultracompact city car is pretty foreign to most Americans, but if you live in a crowded urban center, it's one that can make a lot of sense. Heretofore, the only city car available in the United States was the disappointing Smart ForTwo, but now comes the far more pleasant and practical Scion iQ, which should go a long way toward redeeming the concept. The iQ is longer than the Smart by about a foot, but it's still two feet shorter than a Fiat 500. Still, there's enough space to allow Scion to squeeze in four seats--although the company characterizes the iQ as a 3+1-seater. That's because the front passenger seat is mounted farther forward than the driver's seat, allowing reasonable space for a passenger in the right rear seat. Meanwhile, the left rear seat is almost unusable unless the driver's seat is pulled all the way forward. More importantly, the iQ is actually fun to drive. Its tiny 1.3-liter engine makes only 94 hp, but the iQ weighs 2127 pounds, so it doesn't necessarily feel underpowered. Fuel economy is quite good in the city (where you're most likely to drive it) but on the highway it falls short of the 40-mpg mark. The continuously variable automatic transmission is far more polished than Smart's jerky gearbox, but we would prefer a true stick shift. The chassis is where the iQ really shines. Ride quality is far better than you'd expect with such a short wheelbase, and the steering is a delight. The turning radius, at 25.8 feet, is nearly three feet less than a Smart's; you can't beat that for maneuverability. The iQ is the smart choice in tiny cars.
2012 Scion IQ Front Three Quarter 1
Toyota today outlined ambitious plans for new hybrid vehicles, as well as more fuel-efficient gas and diesel engines. At the announcement in Japan, Toyota also revealed details on a new small electric car based on the Scion iQ.
2012 Scion IQ Front View 3
Upon being handed the keys to the itty-bitty Scion iQ, I immediately thought about the brand's viral series of "PARK!" videos involving funny parking situations for the iQ. My quest was to find the smallest spots that I could squeeze the city car into, but discovered that small parking spots are hard to come by in the Midwest.

2012 Scion iQ

2012 Scion IQ Lombard Street
Scion is offering a neat opportunity to the first people to buy its new iQ micro-hatchback. Anyone who buys or leases a Scion iQ between May 1 and July 31 can receive a free PlayStation Vita handheld video game system.
2012 Scion IQ SR Project Pryzm Front Three Quarter
As an A-segment car roughly the size of a large dog, the Scion iQ is one micro-compact that doesn’t need help distinguishing itself from the crowd. But Canadian tuner SR Auto Group customized the miniscule iQ anyway, giving the car a look that some might call unique—and others might call something else. With a blacked-out front grille and valance, as well as a few other tacked-on exterior pieces, the SR Project Pryzm is one way to make your Scion more memorable.
Scion IQ Babes N Donuts 1
The 2012 Scion iQ is already regarded as a great car for city living thanks to its tiny dimensions, but what else can it do? Donuts, at least if the car's new ad campaign is to be believed.

Change Vehicle

Research Now

Certified Pre-Owned 2012 Scion iQ Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$11,050

Used 2012 Scion iQ Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$15,265

Free Price Quote

Compare dealer clearance prices and save.
Select this Vehicle

Compare The 2012 Scion iQ

Click Circles to Compare

Your Selected Vehicle's Ranking

rank
12
2012 Scion iQ
2012 Scion iQ
Base FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4
36 MPG City | 37 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
rank
1
rank
2
rank
3
2012 Kia Rio5
EX FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4
30 MPG City | 40 MPG Hwy
rank
4
rank
5
rank
10
2012 Scion iQ
2012 Scion iQ
Base FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4
$15,265
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
rank
26
2012 Scion iQ
2012 Scion iQ
Base FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4
94hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower

2012 Scion iQ Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
1.3L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
36 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
37 MPG
Horsepower:
94 hp @ 6000rpm
Torque:
89 ft lb of torque @ 4400rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control (optional)
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer Rear (optional)
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
60,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Roadside
25,000 miles / 24 months
Maintenance
25,000 miles / 24 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:21
Component
AIR BAGS
Summary
Toyota is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 Scion IQ vehicles manufactured July 31, 2011, through October 12, 2012. The cable for the Occupant Classification System (OCS) may become damaged when sliding the passenger seat forward or backward.
Consequences
If the cable for the OCS becomes damaged, the front passenger airbags may not deploy or they may deploy inappropriately for the passenger's size and position. This could increase the risk of personal injury during the event of a vehicle crash necessitating airbag deployment.
Remedy
Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will install a protective cover on the OCS weight sensor cable. The recall began on December 20, 2013. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.
Potential Units Affected
11,153
Notes
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:21
Component
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:SENSOR/CONTROL MODULE
Summary
Toyota is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 Scion IQ vehicles manufactured July 31, 2011, through October 12, 2012. The cable for the Occupant Classification System (OCS) may become damaged when sliding the passenger seat forward or backward.
Consequences
If the cable for the OCS becomes damaged, the front passenger airbags may not deploy or they may deploy inappropriately for the passenger's size and position. This could increase the risk of personal injury during the event of a vehicle crash necessitating airbag deployment.
Remedy
Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will install a protective cover on the OCS weight sensor cable. The recall began on December 20, 2013. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.
Potential Units Affected
11,153
Notes
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
4
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
3
NHTSA Rating Front Side
4
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
3
NHTSA Rating Overall
4
NHTSA Rating Rollover
4
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
IIHS Best Pick
N/R
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R

Find Used Scion iQs For Sale

Search through millions of listings in the Automobile Magazine classifieds

5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2012 Scion iQ

Depreciation
17.6%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$4,080
17.6%
Insurance
$6,570
28.3%
Fuel Cost
$7,130
30.7%
Financing
$1,202
5.2%
Maintenance
$2,511
10.8%
Repair Costs
$1,426
6.1%
State Fees
$317
1.4%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $23,236 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent