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…