The world's smallest four-seater will be here in October. Toyota's youth-oriented Scion brand recently detailed its tiny 2012 iQ city car, announcing overall dimensions, standard features, engine specs and fuel economy.
At just 120.1 inches in overall length, the iQ is barely a foot longer than the pocket-sized Smart fortwo, but unlike the two-seat fortwo, the iQ makes room for four passengers. That comes in thanks to a configuration Toyota calls "3+1," so named because the front passenger seat is slightly forward of the iQ's driver seat. According to Toyota, that allows three passengers to fit comfortably, or four - three "plus one" behind the driver - to get by in a pinch.
But no matter how many people are riding in an iQ, it's likely all occupants will be impressed with the small hatchback's standard equipment, especially considering its reasonable $15,265 base price. From traction control to 11 standard airbags, safety features abound in the iQ, which even includes the world's first rear window airbag. Other standard items include a continuously-variable automatic transmission, a split-folding rear seat and a Pioneer audio system featuring a CD player, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth and HD Radio technology.
Under the iQ's miniature hood is an equally tiny 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that produces just 94 horsepower. While that trumps the Smart fortwo's 70-horsepower, rear-mounted three-cylinder powerplant, it still lags behind most subcompact cars. The small engine works wonders for the iQ's fuel economy, though, which Scion estimates will be around 37 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.
"Scion prides itself on being an innovative brand with a lineup of iconic vehicles that set automotive trends," said Jack Hollis, Scion's vice president. "The iQ is the fourth vehicle in the family, and it will define the premium micro-subcompact segment as the choice for new urbanites who want clever transportation without a sacrifice in style or new features."