Automobile magazine (Nov '08) has an article on the new Toyota iQ which will be sold under the Scion brand in mid 2009. They said it "outsmarts the smart, no contest." The iQ is a front engine front wheel drive (1.0, 3 cyl, 68-hp) microcompact that seats four (?) that's priced in line with a base Mini. First of all I don't need or want a back seat (iQ is a foot longer than a smart). Secondly, I'm a rear drive person, never liked or wanted a front drive car. Lastly, isn't a base-priced Mini ($19,200, miniusa.com) thousands more than a smart? I don't want that either. Doesn't sound that smart to me.
I have a friend who has just bought an IQ for his wife as she realy fancied one, he bought it and she was very excited but she had not thought it out, sfter a few days she said to him their was a problem, the boot is too small, the Smart is bigger.
And here we are, approaching mid 2010 ... and Toyota still has no iQ in the US (hehe). Instead they have a ton of issues with their "not-so-smart" vehicles. The smart has been here for over 2 years now and there still are no competitors available.
The IQ isn't a bad looking car. They copied the smart.
I like some of the ideas used on the IQ that aren't on the smart...notice how the steering wheel is flattened at the bottom to increase legroom. Also, an extra seat means a place for a carseat. This makes it a better choice for someone with a family of three. Since they stretched the 451 (from the 450 specs) the increased length and width is a non-issue for most American roads and parking lots. Still, I would like to know the mileage, and if it has enough headroom. The price shouldn't be higher than a Corolla. Perhaps smart/Renault will return the favor and copy some of Toyota's better ideas in the next generation Smart. If they design well and quickly, perhaps they won't lag too far behind Toyota in entering the U.S. market with their next generation.