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2015 Scion iQ

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2015 Scion iQ Review


KBB Expert Rating: 5.7

Scion’s cute and quirky iQ for 2015 is one of a growing number of tiny subcompacts finding their way to our shores. Popular worldwide, the urban microcar is a curiosity to most Americans, although younger buyers living in congested cities seem to be intrigued. Smartly styled and filled with Scion’s high-quality bits and pieces, the iQ is the perfect vehicle for getting around when the weather turns foul, or when there’s a need to carry a friend and some shopping bags on a weekend outing to the suburbs. Then again, you’ll get more power and still be able to fit into tight parking spaces buying a roomier Fiat 500, Chevy Sonic or Honda Fit.

You'll Like This Car If...

Those living in tightly crowded quarters where parking spaces are as rare as snow in July will appreciate the compact 2015 Scion iQ. Fuel-efficient and very affordable, the iQ’s excellent reputation for minimal maintenance cost should also appeal to budget-conscious buyers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a small car that doesn’t feel like a badminton birdie being bandied about when traveling on the freeways, an equally efficient but slightly larger Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta or Chevy Spark makes a much better choice.

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Scion iQ 2-door subcompact carries over with no significant changes.

Driving the iQ
Driving Impressions

Despite its relatively short stature, the subcompact 2015 Scion iQ provides a surprisingly tall seating position for the driver and front passenger, affording both excellent all-around visibility when the rear...

... seat is dropped down. Unfortunately, the lack of a height-adjustable seat or tilt wheel limits how comfortable specific individuals will be behind the wheel. With only 94 horses under the hood, don’t expect quick passing and merging maneuvers. However, in city driving the iQ does deliver quick off-the-line starts and feels fairly zippy. In a head-to-head comparison, the Chevy Sonic, Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 all best the iQ for road handling and fun-to-drive bragging rights. We also found the iQ’s CVT transmission helps prolong engine droning, which seems to grow inexplicably louder with longer commutes. As one might expect, the iQ can tackle the freeway, but it’s easily moved by strong wind gusts and passing 18-wheelers.

With its tiny 26.4-foot turning radius, Scion’s 2015 iQ is one of the easiest subcompacts in which to make a U-turn. Three-point turns are practically a thing of the past in the iQ, and maneuvering through congested parking lots seems more like a fun game than a stress-inducing chore.

Scion’s brilliant approach to seating involves moving the iQ’s passenger seat farther forward of the driver’s seat. This setup creates more rear-seat legroom for one lucky occupant, as well as an easier passage in and out of the rear seat.

2015 Scion iQ Details
2015 Scion iQ photo Interior

Though the little Scion iQ microcar can technically accommodate four people, it's best thought of as transportation for two, or three in a pinch thanks to the front passenger seat that is staggered to expand rear legroom. The front seats are ample-sized and quite comfortable, but the interior as a whole feels spartan and inexpensive. A hidden, slide-out storage compartment under the front passenger seat helps make the most of the iQ's storage space. With the rear seats up, cargo capacity is nearly nonexistent. We’d opt for more cargo space and just leave the rear seats folded flat.

2015 Scion iQ photo

The 2-door Scion iQ brings a modern twist to the microcar segment that sets it apart from the retro-classic designs of the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper. In contrast, the iQ's shape appears more angular and funky. Its front is defined by the nub of a hood that hides the engine, while the rear hatch just barely extends over the rear wheels. Two large side doors allow easy front-seat access, and the front windows are roughly three-quarters the length of the entire car. An available rear spoiler mounted atop the hatchback adds a dose of sportiness.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

For 2015, every Scion iQ comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), 16-inch steel wheels, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, power accessories and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Music and communications are controlled via a 6.1-inch touch-screen Display Audio system with Bluetooth wireless connectivity and HD Radio. Note, cruise control is not available. Buyers concerned with the iQ's small size will be relieved to know it's big on safety. In that respect, the iQ includes 11 airbags, stability and traction control, and emergency-braking aids. Like other new Scions, the 2015 iQ includes free scheduled maintenance for two years/25,000 miles.

Optional Equipment

Aside from the limited Monogram edition, there's really only one trim of the 2015 Scion iQ, and options are on the meager side. Those that are available include a rear spoiler, fog lights, alloy wheels and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) upgrades such as lowering springs and a sway-bar set. Navigation can be had via an upgrade to the 6.1-inch display audio system, part of the BeSpoke audio package.

Under the Hood

Scion iQ hatchbacks are powered by a small, 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out just under 100 horsepower. That power isn't extravagant, but it's adequate to shuffle this 2,127-pound car up to speed in most situations. All iQs are front-wheel drive and use a CVT automatic transmission that helps these microcars attain a combined 37 mpg while running on regular unleaded gasoline.

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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