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Toyota iQ2 5MT review

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Summary

If you've never seen a Toyota iQ in the flesh, I can assure you that the pictures you see here don't do it justice. This is one of those cars that you simply have to see up close and personal to really appreciate it. I'm not saying that because it looks great - when it comes to city car style, the Fiat 500 still wears the crown - it's because when you see just how small the iQ is, you'll find it hard to believe that Toyota has squeezed back seats inside.

I actually found it somewhat unnerving driving the iQ, since it grabbed a ludicrous amount of attention wherever I took it. Pedestrians stopped in their tracks and stared, other drivers craned their necks in a frankly dangerous manner to get a better look, and once Toyota's little baby was parked up it drew the kind of crowds that I had previously considered the reserve of Ferraris, Astons and Porsches! OK, so the iQ doesn't garner the kind of lust as the aforementioned exotic cars do, but when it comes to curiosity, the iQ takes the proverbial biscuit.

But the iQ is far more than just a pretty (or should that be unusual) face. What Toyota has done is create a small, no, a tiny car, that doesn't compromise on passenger space or creature comforts. Believe me when I say that in the technology department the iQ can put cars costing eight times as much to shame - seriously!

Then you've got the value aspect, which extends way beyond the iQ's very affordable £9,495 starting price. For a start, you won't be spending too much time in petrol stations, with the iQ turning in a combined average fuel consumption of over 65mpg. The 1lt petrol engine also keeps emissions down to 99g/km, which means that your annual road tax bill will be, well, nothing at all! And with an insurance group of 2E, you won't be spending much there either.

With the low emissions, great fuel economy and affordable asking price, you're probably thinking that the iQ is absolutely awful to drive, but you'd be wrong. In fact I enjoyed every moment behind the wheel of the iQ, and was very surprised at how sure footed it felt, even when pushing hard. And despite the fact that the cars I drive every day are built for performance, the iQ didn't feel slow.

Ok, I'm not going to pretend that it will keep up with a Focus RS or M3, but unless you're coming out of a very slow bend in second, it pulls quite well. In fact it's only that low down pull that's lacking in the iQ, but come on, this is a car with 67bhp! I was shocked at first to see that Toyota has seen fit to include a "Shift" light on the dash, but then I realised that it's configured for best fuel economy, rather than best performance. As such, you're encouraged to change up at around 2,500rpm most of the time, but unless you're really obsessive about fuel economy, keeping your foot planted for a while longer will make for a far more enjoyable drive.

But as always here on TrustedReviews, it's the technology we're really interested in, so let's see just what's so special about all the toys, gadgets and gizmos that Toyota has squeezed into its baby four-seater…

Lon Bailey

June 19, 2009, 7:50 pm

If it only comes in red!

WyWyWyWy

June 19, 2009, 8:25 pm

Is the £960 sat nav price IN ADDITION TO the touch-screen entertainment system, or is it an all-in-one price? And how much are they leather option and the digital climate control option? Thanks.

paranoyd

June 19, 2009, 8:26 pm

If only it came to Canada!


I could use one of these for short commutes to the grocery store on a rainy or snowy day.

Riyad

June 19, 2009, 8:47 pm

@WyWyWyWy - Yep the sat-nav price gives you the whole bundle, but you’ll have to pay extra if you want the iPod kit and the DAB radio.





The climate control is standard on the iQ2, which is £1,000 more expensive than the basic iQ. The iQ2 also gets the keyless entry/start, auto headlights, auto wipers, auto dimming mirror, electric folding mirrors, LED brake light and a few other little bits and pieces. Also, I don’t think that the sat-nav option is even available on the basic iQ.





Leather seats add an extra £690 to the cost, but I think I’d stick with the fabric ones, so I don’t slide off.





@Lon Bailey - It does come in red.

speedyuk

June 19, 2009, 8:51 pm

This is an ideal car to have a "vinyl wrap" job done to it to make it even more funky - have it in any colour you like then!

Tony Walker

June 19, 2009, 9:20 pm

I hope the LED brake lights aren't anywhere near as bright as the dwarf stars that Toyota has installed in the Prius. I swear I came home with a suntan after following an idiot who was riding his brakes.





The iQ has two big problems, one current and one coming. The current one is the FIAT 500 (which I own in diesel form). A wonderfully capable car. The future is another FIAT provisionally called the Topolino. This will be similar in size to the iQ and will utilize all FIAT's know-how in doing amazing things with small cars.





For North American readers, FIAT are moving forward with plans to sell the 500 (and probably Topolino) over there.

ilovethemonkeyhead

June 20, 2009, 3:36 am

am i the only one who considers this car to be pig ugly from the exterior?

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