2012 Scion iQ Review – Diminutive in size, big on practicality

Expert Reviews Scion

2012 Scion iQ
By David Colman


  • Urban champ
  • Nimble
  • Recasts microcar as premium product


  • Still tight dimensions
  • CVT drone
  • Wear a helmet

Microcars have always demanded that you make concessions to absurdity. Most of them look like circus clown cars or they make you behave like a circus clown. Generally speaking they’re pitifully small and slow. And there’s always been something demeaning about them, whether climbing through a clamshell windshield for entry, or cowering next to an adjacent semi. While they might be perfect for collecting microbes or reading microfiche, microcars have historically been impractical. But what if you could design one to behave like a real car? Then you’d have a Scion iQ.

2012 Scion iQ interiorNot until you climb into the cockpit of the iQ are you convinced this unlikely looking prospect is any different. But the wide door opening, low entry threshold and anatomic seat allay any doubts you may have about practicality or comfort.

Once underway, your initial positive reaction persists as the iQ quickly and quietly gains speed. At 53 inches, cockpit width is sufficient to make the iQ feel like a compact sedan inside. Because its 10 foot length is 18 inches longer than a Smart car, you’ve also got enough useful storage space behind you to make the iQ a realistic weekend getaway car for a couple. Of course, use of that 16.7 cubic feet of space requires you to fold both rear seats flat. If you don’t, interior storage shrinks to just 3.5 cubic feet.

2012 Scion iQ

While Scion bills the iQ as a 3+1, you’ll never get more than 3 adults in this car at the same time. The front passenger seat is actually positioned ahead of the driver’s seat to allow a rear seat passenger just enough legroom to sneak in back. The “+1” addenda would have to be a pet, a baby or an elf.


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