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A look at the Scion iQ, the smallest 4-seater in the world

The Scion iQ entered the North American market as a 2012 model in limited sales. It is the world's smallest four-passenger car to date at only 120 inches in length.


iQ Therefore i Am is the slogan for Scion's latest entry into the North American market. Available in Europe and Asia for two years, the car has finally made its way to this side of the globe as an urban gas-sipper at only $15,999 manufacturer's suggested retail. It is also, incidentally, the smallest four-passenger, production vehicle in the world at only 120 inches in length and 66 inches wide.

The iQ sports a turning radius of only 26 feet and weighs only 2,100 pounds, yet it meets all safety requirements for the U.S., Europe and Asia. Of course, if you're looking for a family get-around car, the iQ probably is not the best option. While it's touted as a 4-seater, the car is really a 2+2 with the rear seats being cramped for all but the smallest of passengers and the cargo area being non-existent when the car is full of people. Regardless, at an impressive 37mpg highway and 36mpg in the city, the iQ has appeal for many.

The Scion iQ is powered by a 1.3-liter engine putting out 94 horsepower fitted to a CVT automatic transmission. Its impressive mileage ratings come with a peppy, but not sporty drive, assuming the car isn't heavily loaded. Those over six feet will find the interior cramped and headroom limited, but for the average American commuter, the car has all of the amenities and space to be comfortable.

True to Toyota's Scion nameplate, the iQ comes in several colors and schemes meant to appeal to a younger, trendier audience. With color options like "Hot Lava" and "Blizzard Pearl," along with standard features like keyless operation and USB/iPod connectivity in a Pioneer audio system, it's definitely aimed towards its intended buyers.

With its tiny price tag, impressive fuel economy, and versatile options, the Scion iQ is a sure winner amongst the youthful demographic it aims for. Still, its diminutive size limits its potential in North America and Toyota seems to realize this and has limited expected sales figures and delivery numbers to match.


Anonymous (not verified)    February 11, 2012 - 4:01PM

While the Scion iQ may be the smallest 4 seater car currently in production, it is not the smallest to date. The BMW Isetta 600, also a 4 seater, was 119 inches in length, and 54 inches wide.