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Room for three urbanites and a puppy

April 3, 2010

The 2011 Scion iQ, "the world's smallest four-passenger vehicle," won't carry your family of four but it will carry three plus your puppy. What Scion calls 3 + 1 seating translates to room for one adult behind the front passenger and a child, package or pet behind the driver.

Scion says its micro premium subcompact is "mini-er and smart-er" than it's tiny competition. This fun-looking three-door hatchback is just over 10 feet in length. The iQ's geometrically shaped side view is characterized by a high beltline with large headlamps, short front and rear overhangs and a bold rear end. For facile maneuvering in city traffic, the iQ has MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam rear suspension.

The iQ's smallness is made possible by engineering advances including a compact air-conditioning unit, a flat gas tank housed beneath the floor to reduce rear overhang and extra-slim front seat backs for increased rear legroom. The rear seats also split 50/50 and fold flat to store those ever- necessary two golf bags!

This tiny front wheel drive sports a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder, VVT-I that puts out over 90 hp. The iQ will be rated as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II), with a combined fuel economy in the high 30s. As for much needed safety in such a small vehicle, the iQ comes standard with stability control, traction control and ABS. But wait, there's more safety – ten airbags ignite to protect all the passengers. Scion says one is a world's first – a rear hatch curtain to protect the passengers in back.

Of course, no urban mover would be complete without good gadgetry. The iQ comes standard with a six-speaker audio system, steering wheel mounted controls, USB and auxiliary ports.

Two final small, but important points: The tiniest Scion in the family goes on sale in early 2011 and pricing comes in at "well under $16,000."


See more photos:
2011 Scion iQ Gallery


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About the Author
Holly Reich writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, "Riffs on Rides," appears on

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