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#37

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $15,665 - $17,850
Invoice: $14,882 - $16,958
MPG: 36 City / 37 Hwy
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Scion iQ Interior

Auto writers say the 2014 Scion iQ’s interior is made with cheap plastics, which is typical for a subcompact car, but they like the interior’s overall design. Test drivers say there’s plenty of room in the front seats, but wish there were a height-adjustable driver seat and a telescoping steering wheel. Reviewers like the standard audio system, saying it offers myriad ways to connect to a smartphone, including a USB port, auxiliary jack and Bluetooth.

  • "The front seats are ample-sized and quite comfortable, but the interior as a whole feels spartan and inexpensive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “Overall materials quality is of the rock-hard plastic variety, which isn't entirely surprising at this price point." -- Edmunds
  • "Cabin decor emphasizes trendy style over tactile substance, but most materials are nice enough for the price. Hard plastic dominates, but is nicely textured, and modest soft-touch surfacing appears on the dash top and door panels. The cloth upholstery looks a bit ‘industrial’ but also durable, and it feels better than the fabrics used in some rival minicars." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The cabin materials are good, with niceties like one-touch power windows, tasteful piano-black accents and padding on the doors for your arms and elbows. All are uncommon among subcompacts, justifying Toyota's claim that the iQ is a ‘premium micro-subcompact.’” -- Cars.com (2012)

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Seating

The Scion iQ seats four and comes with cloth seats and a leather-trimmed tilt steering wheel. Reviewers appreciate that the iQ’s dashboard is set farther back on the passenger side, allowing a wider range of front-seat adjustment to provide additional legroom for both front and rear passengers. The front seats are sufficiently comfortable and set high for good visibility, reviews say, while wide door openings make it easy to get in and out of the iQ. The seat behind the driver will only accommodate a child, test drivers say, but they point out that it’s nice to have the option to haul an additional passenger. Auto writers say that without a height-adjustable seat or a telescoping steering wheel, it may be hard for drivers to get comfy. 

  • "Clever packaging under the hood allowed Scion's engineers to move the passenger side of the dash farther forward. This, in turn, allows the front passenger seat to be placed sufficiently forward to fit a full-size passenger in the rear seat behind. Meanwhile, the remainder of the rear seat behind the driver can accommodate a child if need be. Either rear seat is best used only in a pinch, but having them certainly is better than nothing." -- Edmunds
  • "The Scion iQ is a short car, but drivers sit high and enjoy good visibility when the rear seats are folded. With no adjustment for seat height or a telescoping steering wheel, however, finding the perfect fit can be challenging." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite its small footprint, the iQ feels spacious and airy in front. The seats are basic low-line Toyota fare, but adequately comfortable. They're also high enough off the floor that 6-footer heads will brush the ceiling. That positioning also means taller occupants must duck to clear the door frame on entry/exit, which is otherwise easy, thanks to wide but manageable doors.” -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Two people can fit comfortably, but we wouldn't inflict a long ride in the back seat on anyone we like." -- AutoWeek (2012)

Interior Features

The 2014 Scion iQ comes with a six-speaker Pioneer audio system with a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth, an auxiliary jack, a USB/iPod interface, keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and power door locks and windows. A premium BeSpoke audio system with navigation is available as a dealer-installed accessory.

Reviewers say the iQ’s standard Pioneer audio system is high-tech and offers plenty of ways to connect to a smartphone, including a USB port, auxiliary jack and Bluetooth. The BeSpoke audio system adds even more functions, including Facebook connectivity and Internet radio. Critics think the dashboard features simple controls, including legible gauges and large climate control knobs that are easy to master.

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  • "Like all Scions, the iQ benefits from a quality Pioneer audio system with a clever interface and abundant media connections. The optional BeSpoke is also pretty cool given how much added functionality it has with app integration such as Pandora and social media. In contrast, the rest of the cabin features simple, low-tech controls such as the three-knob climate system." -- Edmunds
  • "A high-style dashboard offers a large, legible speedometer and a smaller, less easily read tachometer, fuel, and temperature gauges. Climate controls involve three rotary knobs with inset switches; all stack ahead of the shift lever and are easy to reach and operate." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Inside, the driver faces a thick, flat-bottomed, three-spoke steering wheel covered in red-stitched leather and an instrument panel that nestles the tach in the lower right quadrant of the speedometer. And there’s an information screen to the left of those. It’s a compact, logical, and legible arrangement." -- Car and Driver (2012)
  • "The instrumentation itself is logical, informative and easy to scan. Atop the center dash is a large pod that contains a Pioneer audio head unit; just below that are three knobs that control ventilation. Every switch operates with precision and every plastic surface has a pleasing texture." -- The New York Times (2012)

Cargo 

With the rear seats in use, the Scion iQ has 3.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which is very small, even by subcompact car standards. When the rear seats are folded, the available room increases to 16.7 cubic feet. By comparison, the Chevrolet Spark has 11.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 31.2 cubic feet with the seats folded. Test drivers point out that with the rear seats folded, there’s enough room for a weekend’s worth of luggage for two. However, they also note that cargo space is virtually non-existent with all seats in use. The iQ doesn’t have a glove box or a center console, and test drivers say that there isn’t much room inside the cabin to store small items.

  • "If you're interested in hauling stuff instead of people, the 50/50-split rear seat folds flat to enlarge the cargo area from a meager 3.5 cubic feet to 16.7 cubic feet.” -- Edmunds
  • "With the rear seats up, cargo capacity is nearly nonexistent. If this were our daily driver, we'd just leave the rear seats folded to create a larger hull that accommodates several grocery bags." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's almost non-existent with the rear seats up: just 3.5 cubic feet, enough for a few folded umbrellas. Folding the rear seats nets 16.7 cubic feet, which is OK for two people on a weekend getaway, but is far less than offered by most rivals, which are larger to begin with.” -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Regular accessories - cellphone chargers, sunglasses and the like - will have to compete for space in the door pockets - no center console or glove compartment leave cabin storage as thin as Gandalf's staff. And with just a single center cupholder, you and your passenger will battle for Middle-earth over whose Starbucks gets the spot." -- Cars.com (2012)
Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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