Nimble and quick about town, funky-looking and an ability to fit in tight spaces for parking, the iQ, has low emissions, is cheap to run and very well equipped. A decision must be made between boot space or rear passengers and the plastics on the interior look gloomy. On faster roads, the iQ seems to have difficulty and overall, it is not a cheap car for its size.
There is an adequate 6bhp with the 1.0-litre engine, and the 1.33-litre does well with 98bhp. Peppy when driven in the city, it can feel sluggish at higher speeds. There is a choice between the Multidrive CVT auto and the regular five-speed manual.
Easy to drive in town due to a tight circle while turning and light controls, it still has a somewhat choppy ride. In bends, body lean is significant and front-end grip runs out quickly. It has a vulnerability to winds from the side and the steering is rather vague.
Mostly quiet while being driven, there is some wind noise from the door mirrors at high speed and the 1.0-litre engine has a thrum that is distinctive. Even though Toyota’s aim was to make the CVT gearbox feel more like a normal automatic, when you put down your foot, it still flops around too much.
For a city car, the iQ is very pricey, although it is equipped well and will hold its value. Costs of running are low as are the emissions.
Some plastics residing in the interior mark easily and are hard to touch. The dash has a futuristic-look design and all components feels like they are built for the long haul. In the 2012 JD Power survey, the iQ was at the top of its class.
Euro NCAP crash tests gave the iQ five stars and its safety kit is loaded. Nine airbags and stability control are standard. Integrated stereo and deadlocks make it a difficult target for thieves.
The centre console is simple and gives the driver extra space. The stereo control that is on the steering wheel is fidgety for no reason, and heat is controlled using thick dials and buttons. More comfort would be had if the wheel adjusted for reach and if the seat could be adjusted for height. Rear visibility is also an issue.
With all seats in the upright position, boot space is miniscule. Although passengers in the front will sit comfortably, children will even find it difficult to sit in the rear behind the driver.
The basic iQ 1.0-litre comes with a six-speaker stereo including MP3 player input, alloy wheels, and air-con. The iQ2 1.0 adds climate control, auto wipers and lights, keyless entry and front foglamps. The 1.33 includes a stop-start system, 16-inch alloy wheels, door mirrors in chrome and a six-speed gearbox.