Outsmarting the Smart
Squeezing our 6-foot-3 frame behind the thick, sporty steering wheel of the 2009 Toyota iQ, we immediately notice just how spacious the cabin feels. Only when you're standing outside the Toyota iQ do you realize how short it is, less than 10 feet long from the tip of the front bumper to the end of the back bumper.
Due to be unveiled at the 2008 Paris Auto Show on October 2, the 2009 Toyota iQ is a kind of four-passenger Smart car. It's so innovative in its concept, packaging and design that it might just become the new yardstick for small cars.
When we drove this vision of the future here in Japan, we couldn't help but think that the massive influence of Toyota will tip the balance in favor of minimalist cars like the iQ and make them mainstream transportation instead of high-fashion indulgence. When it goes on sale in Japan in mid-October and then Europe a couple months later, the 2009 Toyota iQ could become Japan's answer to the Fiat 500, the Smart Fortwo and Volkswagen up!