Toyota iQ: The Smallest Four-Passenger Car in the World


Toyota iQ: Coming to Japan and Europe
The Toyota iQ, which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, will go on sale in Japan in October and in Europe a few months later. Lets have a closer look.

Big Space in Small Package
Unlike the Smart Car which can only seat two people, the Toyota iQ has 4 seats, though only 3 of those can accommodate adults. The last one is better used for a small child, a baby seat or a grocery bag. Still, not bad for a car that fits somewhere between the Smart and Yaris in lenght (117 inches).

Update: 57 MPG Toyota iQ Goes on Sale in Europe, No U.S. Release Date Yet

Engine, Drivetrain
Three choices of engines and transmissions are in the plans right now. According to Edmunds:

The 2009 Toyota iQ is really meant to enhance Toyota's presence in Europe, and this market will get the choice of an iQ with either a 1.0-liter inline-3 with a five-speed manual transmission or a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 diesel with a six-speed manual. In mid-2009, a 1.3-liter inline-4 with variable valve timing will become available, and it'll feature either the six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Meanwhile, Japan will get the 1.0-liter inline-3 matched with a CVT.

[...] we can expect the 1.0-liter to produce around 70 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 69 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. The 1.4-liter turbodiesel will generate approximately 89 hp.

For those concerned about safety, despite its small size, the Toyota iQ received a 5-star safety rating in Euro NCAP testing.

Considering that the iQ weights 1,962 pounds, these engine choices, despite their modest HP ratings, should be more than enough to give a good driving experience.


How Green is It?
According a Toyota engineer, the 1.0-liter gasoline iQ should record 54.1 mpg on the European driving cycle (99g/km of CO2), while the more powerful 1.4 turbodiesel should get 52.3 mpg (106g/km of CO2).

That's pretty good, though in Europe Toyota will have a lot of competition, especially from small diesels.

How Much will the iQ Cost?
The expected price is $13,000, though we won't be sure until Toyota confirms it. We think Toyota should bring the cover over to North-America. Maybe in limited quantities first if they want to test the waters, but we're pretty sure it would sell in urban areas.


Toyota iQ Microcar
Spy Shots of the 2009 Toyota iQ Microcar
Toyota iQ: Less is More for Small Urban Car
Toyota
Yes, It's a Hyper-Pimped Out Toyota Prius from Sweden
Toyota to Boost Prius Hybrid Production by 70% Next Year
Toyota Switches Mississippi Plant from SUVs to Next Generation Prius
More on Toyota iQ Microcar
Edmunds
2009 Toyota iQ revealed (updated)

Tags: Japan | Less Is More | Transportation