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2013 Scion iQ

Overview
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2013 Scion iQ Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 5.9

If it's true that Americans don't like small cars, someone didn't tell the good folks at Scion. Along with the Mini Cooper, Fiat 500 and Smart Fortwo, the 2013 Scion iQ subcompact joins a growing gang of tiny commuter cars, perfect for those who live in big cities were speeds rarely break 30 mph and time behind the wheel is counted in minutes, not hours. Easy to park in tight spaces, the iQ's tiny exterior hides a rather roomy inside, at least up front. The rear seats are barely big enough to hold two people. But, the rear-passenger-side seat has more legroom thanks to the staggered design of the front-passenger seat tracks and a dashboard that sits slightly forward.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you live in big city with very little parking space, the iQ is worth its weight in gold. Its Toyota pedigree ensures its reliability as well as serviceability just about anywhere in the country, a bonus that Mini, Fiat or Smart can't promise.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The iQ is small and you may not feel very comfortable driving it out on a highway surrounded by big SUVs and 18-wheelers. Slightly larger subcompacts such as the Kia Rio, Nissan Versa or Ford Fiesta are more spacious inside, cost about the same and deliver equal or better fuel economy.

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Scion iQ is updated with content previously optional including the passenger under-seat tray, rear-deck box cover and rear speakers.

Driving the iQ

Driving Impressions When you're behind the wheel of the 2013 Scion iQ hatchback, it's easy to forget you're in a car that's shorter than a Mini. You sit tall, like in the...

Fiat 500, and that gives excellent visibility. Unlike the Fiat, the Scion feels more sleek and coupe-like, thanks to a smaller greenhouse. Scion puts the dashboard and center stack further away, enhancing the impression you're driving a larger car. The 94-hp 4-cylinder is smooth and surprisingly quiet. Freeway speeds are comfy, with only a little nudge from side winds betraying the short wheelbase. In town, it's only when you crank over the steering wheel, when the iQ turns on its heels like an exuberant Jack Russell terrier, that it strikes you how maneuverable the little Scion is. Keep the CVT automatic transmission in Sport mode, and you'll get more zippy performance, but it can't match the Italians (Fiat) or Germans (Mini) for road feel and driving fun.

LEATHER-WRAPPED STEERING WHEEL
You wouldn't think you'd get excited about a steering wheel, but the standard Scion iQ wheel has a fat, leather-wrapped rim, and angular contours that make it look like it came from a Ferrari. Nice.

STAGGERED 3-PERSON SEATING
By pushing the dashboard and console way forward, the Scion iQ puts the front passenger slightly ahead of the driver, adding enough room for a passenger in the back. Clever. No such luck for those behind the driver, though.

2013 Scion iQ Details
2013 Scion iQ photo Interior

Think of the 2013 Scion iQ as a 2-seater with room for an occasional third, and you've got it right. Considering the hatchback's tiny overall length, room up front is impressive. The seats are ample-sized and quite comfortable too. (Warning! If you've got both rear seats up, cargo room is nonexistent.) Even more impressive is the iQ interior design, with beautiful curved door handles, a curved cascading center stack, and nice-quality materials throughout. It's a nice place to spend time.

Exterior
2013 Scion iQ photo

When you think about the Scion iQ's competitors, you realize that both the Mini Cooper and the Fiat 500 are retro-classic designs that have been re-envisioned. The Scion charts a bold new course. It's funky and aero. So we were surprised our 2013 Scion iQ test car didn't turn more heads. We think it was the dark charcoal (magnet gray metallic) paint. We've seen other iQ hatchbacks in a bright orange ("Hot Lava" to Scion) and white ("Blizzard Pearl"), and they really grab your attention. Because it's a Scion, you have a wide choice of personalization, including accessory body parts and wheels, so making one your own should be easy.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Scion iQ comes impressively equipped. Standard items include air conditioning, power locks/windows/mirrors, keyless entry with electronic rear-hatch locking system, a thumping 160-watt Pioneer audio system with HD technology, a USB input for your iPod, Bluetooth connectivity, 16-inch covered steel wheels, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Buyers with safety concerns about the iQ's small size will be happy to know about its armada of airbags, including driver and passenger front, knee, seat-mounted side and side-curtain airbags. There are also unique front seat-cushion airbags and a rear-window airbag that deploys around the rear headrests.

Optional Equipment

There's basically only one Scion iQ, but like other Scion models, there's a nice array of accessories. On the outside, there are a 4-piece aero kit, rear spoiler, mudguards and fog lights. For the inside, the usual assortment of floor mats and cargo nets is available, plus a cool interior-lighting kit. Those of you looking to terrorize your local onramp can plump for Toyota Racing Development (TRD) lowering springs and a rear sway bar. Alloy wheels are available, as is a full-featured navigation system.

Under the Hood

The front-wheel-drive 2013 Scion iQ gets its kicks from a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out 94 hp. It may be small, but it's a technical powerhouse, with dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and dual-variable-valve timing. Toyota recommends 87-octane gasoline – combined with EPA fuel-economy estimates of 36 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, so you won't be spending so much at the pump.

1.3-liter inline-4
94 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
89 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 36/37 mpg

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2013 Scion iQ Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 29 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Fun to drive!

By on Saturday, November 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,676

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive, great turning radius, good looking"

Cons: "very small, no leather seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is a head turner. And it makes people smile! It is fun to drive, easy on the wallet and great in tight spaces. I can fit my groceries and everyday items in it easily."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Good Things Come in Small Packages

By on Saturday, October 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Frugal to buy and operate, easy to park"

Cons: "Choppy ride on concrete freeways"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I was originally looking for a small used car, like a Hyundai or Kia. I live in Seattle where parking can be limited. After an exhaustive search I came across my 2012 Scion iQ with less than 1200 miles for the same price as a either of the aforementioned vehicles...and it had the remained of its warranty (5 years). It turns out the iQ was exactly what I was looking for. I'm single and primarily need it to run errands on the weekend...and mostly NOT freeway (too much traffic). The iQ has a stylish appearance both inside and out (more so than my 2005 Subaru Forester). Its extremely maneuverable and a blast to drive. Kudos to Toyota for bringing this vehicle stateside. Too bad they're stopping production after the current model year. Get one while you can."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great buy for the money!

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price, highly likeable and useful"

Cons: "Could use more storage in front - no glove compart"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"As long as you don't need the extra space of a trunk, the car has it all. Two rear seats with belts, headrests, and airbags make it usable for passengers. With the rear seats folded down there is much usable storage and carrying space. The driver/front passenger cabin is huge and gives no feeling of cramping or tight enclosure. Just like driving a full size car. Mileage of 37 mpg. average is honest. Highway even better. Parking tricks are amazing!"

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Great Small Car

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Makes you smile!"

Cons: "None so far!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought a used 2012 iQ and have had it for two months and so far have enjoyed the little car. I am a 6'2" 250lb man in my late 40's and have absolutely no problem getting in and out of this car and am very comfortable riding and driving it. I have driven mini vans for many years with my last one being a fully loaded Chrysler T&C. When I decided to purchase a newer vehicle I took a hard look at how I used a vehicle daily and 99% of my time is back and forth to work and stopping at the grocery store a few times a week with other errands mixed in here and there. At this stage of my life it made economical sense to go with something smaller and so far I have had no regrets. My wife and I are both comfortable in the car and there is plenty of cargo space for groceries or our small dogs when they go with us. The car has plenty of pep and I must say is a lot of fun to drive. I do get alot of stares and a ton of questions from people and alot of them are shocked when I tell them I enjoy the car and they look in and see how much room I have when seated in it. My gas bill has been reduced by 2/3 and that is with me having a bit of a lead foot with the air on. Of course when you compare it to my van there is things I gave up but I knew that when I bought it and comparing them would be like comparing apples to oranges. I owned a few smaller cars when I was younger so I knew what I was getting into buying a small car but I must say the iQ beats those other cars hands down. I will have to wait and see how it does this winter but with its width and wheel size and based on other reviews I don't expect there to be much of an issue. So far the car has exceeded my expectations and I have absolutely no regrets!"

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Cute little run about car.

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my little Scion IQ. It was rated by CR pretty low, but mostly for being low on pep, but I have yet to have that problem at all. I got it before my grandkids started "arriving"so I'll have to sell it pretty soon. Not much room in the back, but that shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone. It's peppy enough for me, plenty of room for driver and passenger, turns on a dime, easy to park. Get's good gas mileage, but because the gas tank is so small, you still have to fill it up comparibly to larger cars, but it's so cheap to do so. I wish they had the old gas meter. It shows you by increments and I never have been able to figure out how long you can go on the empty square, but, just keep it filled up and that won't be a problem. All in all it's a really great little car. Probably not a good car for an overly shy person, because you get lot's of looks, especially smiles. I get at least one compliment every time I drive it. Of cours, I got the "Hot Lava" color and then had an orange scrol design put on both the car doors. It is SO cute and the funny thing is, I get at least as many compliments from men as I do women."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Fantastic car for city driving.

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "MPG, parking, turning, effecient as a 2 seater"

Cons: "no nicnac space, ineffecient int. lighting"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"MPG is 47 with AC off, 38 with Ac on. My driving is 50/50 highway/city. Shortest turning circle in the industry. Negotiating parking lots and making U-turn's are a snap. Adequate power, excellent rear vision, great maneuverability, large front passenger space. With back seat down, very efficient cargo space. Needs better interior lighting, cruise control and center arm rest. Short length makes for extra space in garage."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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