Is the iQ recession proof? - Scion IQ Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 07:55 PM
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Default Is the iQ recession proof?

Tough times these might be but Toyota wasted no expense on the launch of its new “micro-premium” car, the iQ in Chiba, outside Tokyo, on Wednesday. Including Toyota employees, 1,000 people were in attendance at an event hall at Makuhari Messe, which serves at the site for the Tokyo Motor Show every two years.

While sales in Japan are likely to be just 2,500 a month, Toyota sees the tiny iQ, which measures just 2.985 meters (117 inches) long by 1.68 meters (65 inches) wide, as a big opportunity. The innovative auto, which will go sale in Japan starting at about $14,000 on November 20, seats three adults and one (small) child by taking advantage of some pretty nifty design innovations. Among them: a flat fuel tank under the floor, a total rethinking of the placement of components to eke out space savings, and a new smaller (but not less effective) air conditioning unit from Denso.

It’s also economical. Under the Japanese 10-15 test cycle, the iQ gets 54mpg, while C02 emissions from its one liter gasoline engine are among the lowest in the Toyota stable (including hybrids). That’s vital in Europe, where the iQ goes on sale in early 2009, as the European Union toughens up emissions regulations.

Chief engineer Hiroki Nakajima also confirmed, to an extent, reports in the press that Toyota plans to bring the iQ to the U.S. He said the iQ can be adapted to U.S. regulations relatively easily, by adopting the front bumper and changing the design of passenger side front airbags (the iQ has nine airbags as standard). Nakajima added that the iQ could appear in the U.S. midway through the current version’s product cycle.

But is Toyota’s iQ a recession buster? Inside, while small, it’s clear that it’s different to many small cars, especially in Japan where minicars tend to be cheap and cheerful econoboxes. The iQ’s doors have a satisfying clunk and the trim is much nicer than the average Yaris. On the other hand, it’s hardly cheap. Toyota says it hopes to create a new segment where small doesn’t have to mean low quality. And while slightly longer than the Smart Fortwo, Toyota points out the Smart only seats two.

Perhaps more important, though, is the way the space-saving technologies used in iQ will be extended to other new models. Nakajima said that while developing the iQ, one idea was to develop a seven-seater Yaris using a similar approach to space.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Is the iQ recession proof?

Toyota certainly seems to think so, at least here in the UK. Dealers have been told they are not allowed to discount. And if they do... well, I'm told that could mean big trouble. I've been in contact with loads of dealers. Only one would offer a discount, and when informed of this, the other dealers were extremely surprised but still refused to offer any discount at all.

I've had my test drive now, and I was very disappointed. I felt that the car really didn't live up to the hype or the reviews. The manual gear mechanism I found to be very loose, so much so that I couldn't hit the right gear on many occasions.

I had lots of other niggles too. You can't realistically fit four people in. The passengers are just a few inches from the back, so if someone shunts into you, the risk of in just is too high for my liking, even with airbags.

If you want to carry any luggage, you have to fold down the rear seats. To do this you have to remove the head rests, but there is no place to store them. The seats are unprotected when you put luggage in. There is no means by which to secure the luggage, so expect it to rattle about and his the rear of the front seats.

Yes, there are too many nagging doubts about the IQ. So I have decided against buying one.
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