2013 Scion iQ behaves like a larger car Houston Chronicle

28 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2013 Scion iQ behaves like a larger car Houston Chronicle отключены
Scion iQ Electric Cars

2013 Scion iQ behaves like a larger car

Driving Scion’s 2013 iQ microsubcompact for a week, the most interesting revelation is that life in the world’s smallest four-seater — for the most part — seems normal.

While the diminutive three-door hatchback handles daily driving situations — including highway treks — well, and provides a respectable level of comfort, its long suits are filling urban-driving needs, fuel efficiency and a low price tag.

Scion’s iQ, base priced at $15,385 plus $755 destination fee, is a monospec car with a single model offered, but a long list of options are available for the manufacturer’s targeted urban-driver trendsetters to upgrade and personalize their iQs.

Measuring about 120 inches long — approximately 14 inches longer than a smart fortwo, 19.5 inches shorter than a FIAT 500 and 26.5 inches shorter than a Mini Cooper Hatchback — it has the feel of a larger car.

The iQ is short in length, but its width is comparable to a subcompact. Its 66.1-inch width is close to that of a Toyota Yaris sedan, measuring 66.5 inches, or a Nissan Versa at 66.7 inches. With its optional $285 body-color rear roof spoiler, the test-car gives the illusion of being a bit longer.

The iQ’s width, plus a signature 3 + 1 offset driver/front-passenger seating arrangement, allows the micro car to seat four passengers. The configuration, which Scion touts as a perfect imbalance, has the front-passenger seat positioned slightly ahead of the driver seat. Designers created this arrangement so an … could sit behind the front passenger and space is available for a child or small package behind the driver.

Extra space for passengers was created by pushing A-pillars forward, and using compact CVT transmission, steering and air-conditioning units.

Sitting in the iQ’s firm driver seat, there’s the impression you’re behind the wheel of a larger — maybe compact — car. Headroom and legroom up front fit the needs of most adults. Room behind the driver seat in the two-place 50/50-split rear seat is limited.

Slipping a fat briefcase onto the rear floorboard requires moving the driver seat forward just enough to make my near-6-foot frame feel cramped.

Interestingly, rear-seat passengers benefit from an industry-first rear-window airbag. Rear headrests can be removed and stored in the narrow storage area behind the rear seat to increase rearward visibility. Folding rear seatbacks boosts cargo room from 3.5 cubic feet with seatbacks up to a usable 16.7 cubic feet.

Interior design is an artsy, techno-environmental look with front seats unusually upholstered with solid-colored seatbacks and patterned seat cushions. SCION is stamped in large letters across door panels, which feature futuristically shaped, gloss-black door-pull handles.

The iQ’s dashboard is creatively designed. Its top is board-flat, the gauge cluster is in a small, near-teardrop-shaped housing covered by a trim floating brow, and the center stack is clean and contemporary. Beverages rest in a single cupholder on the center console or in a cupholder built into each door panel.

The center stack’s top portion is home for the air vents and optional LCD touch-screen display, which, depending on the package, measures 5.8 inches or 7 inches.

The 5.8-inch display partners with an optional $845 200-watt Pioneer Premium audio system featuring iTunes tagging, Pandora Internet radio connected through an iPhone, as well as six RCA outputs to add external amplifiers.

Upgrading to the $1,999 Scion Navigation System with GPS includes a 7-inch touch-screen display, 200-watt premium audio unit and DVD player.

Standard is an AM/FM /CD/HD/USB 160-watt, four-speaker Pioneer audio system, as well as Bluetooth connectivity, iPod/USB connectivity, Advanced Sound Receiver and subwoofer RCA output.

Scion iQ Electric Cars

Of course, iQ buyers tap into standard power of a different sort — the 1.3-liter, four-cylinder propelling the 2,127-pounder. The four-banger, which produces 94 horsepower and 89 lb.-ft. of torque, benefits from the latest version of dual VVT-i that boosts efficiency to help the engine sip fuel while delivering a broader power band.

The iQ’s EPA-estimated fuel economy rating is 36 miles per gallon city, 37 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined. Scion recommends its 8.5 gallon tank be filled with 87-octane fuel.

This powertrain provides sufficient muscle for the iQ to behave like a real car. It’s peppy in city driving, and has the power to comfortably cruise on the highway.

With standard 16-inch wheels rolling on a 78.7-inch wheelbase, the iQ feels stable and maneuverable, and adds convenience when parallel parking or slipping into tight parking slots. Using electric power steering, the iQ has an excellent 12.9-foot turning circle radius. Ride quality generally is good, but some pavement irregularities can create harshness.

It’s also sensitive to strong crosswinds.

Importantly, the iQ has a high cute factor. Parked side-by-side, the differences between it and a smart fortwo are great, but, until more iQs hit the road, some will get the two confused. Designers sculpted the body with a muscular appearance, giving it a strong face with powerful-looking fascia and beefy headlamps, as well as aggressive flared fenders and a large, steeply raked windshield.

Adding the optional rear spoiler and $749 16-inch split-eight-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels help pump up profile charisma.

Its body can be painted with a choice of seven exterior colors: Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Hot Lava, Pacific Blue Metallic (the test car’s color) and Black Currant Metallic.

The iQ is a spunky-looking creation, with a funky interior design, solid audio systems, adequate power and clever 3 + 1 seating. Scion is hoping its new microsubcompact has the right stuff to transport its buyers into a new world of urbanism.


Scion iQ Electric Cars
Scion iQ Electric Cars
Scion iQ Electric Cars
Scion iQ Electric Cars
Scion iQ Electric Cars
Scion iQ Electric Cars
Scion iQ Electric Cars

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