Other than the repeated queries of my neighbors--"Where's the rest of your car, Richard?"--I admit I really enjoyed my week behind the wheel of the Scion iQ. Sold throughout the rest of the world as the Toyota iQ (and available as a super-lux-trimmed, $50,000 U.K. version known as the Aston Martin Cygnet), the Scion iQ is the antidote for city dwellers who usually think all cars are painted yellow.
The Scion iQ's most obvious competitor is the smart ForTwo. Yet with a starting price of just under $16,000, the Scion iQ competes against larger and, in some cases, less expensive cars such as the Nissan Versa, the Honda Fit, the Fiat 500, and the Ford Fiesta. And since Scion is positioning the car as a premium micro-subcompact, it could also be said to target those MINI buyers actually in the market for a car about the size of the original MINI.
Probably the biggest point of departure from the smart ForTwo is the iQ's 3+1 seating configuration, in which Scion provides a legroom-challenged rear fold-down bench seat. (The 3+1 configuration denotes additional space for the passenger-side rear seat, with the passenger-side instrument panel designed to allow the seat to be moved forward comfortably.)
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