On opening the Toyota iQ's wide doors and getting in, the first thing you notice is the unusual, centre console and its lack of controls.
On opening the Toyota iQ's wide doors and getting in, the first thing you notice is the unusual, centre console and its lack of controls. Apparently, the 'floating' V-shape is a 'mathematical emulation of a manta ray'. Indeed, there are a good few of what could be called 'organic' shapes, throughout the front of the cabin. The instrument nacelle and the top of the centre console are wave-like and, in the latter case, the topmost point of the 'ray' rolls over to provide a nacelle for a slim, digital display.
Below is a slot for CD, then the air vents and below that is the hazard light switch and the fan setting dial sits below that. At this point the 'tail' protrudes slightly into the cabin to form a small pillar on which are two more climate control dials.
You might have noticed that I have missed out audio controls. In the Toyota iQ, these are operated via a mini joystick on the steering wheel and the chosen radio station is shown in another, more comprehensive, display panel behind the wheel and next to the main instrument nacelle. Perhaps it was me, but I couldn't find a way to adjust the balance and fader etc. but in a car this small, it isn't going to make a lot of difference. Luckily, the volume control goes quite high, as there is a great deal of road noise on motorways, but I'll come back to that.
The seats are cloth covered and the steering wheel has a leather covering and a slightly flattened lower section. The interior is fully carpeted and the doors and fascia are made from a chocolate-plum coloured plastic material with a fabric texture, which are durable and easy to clean.
The Toyota iQ is one of those 'Marmite' situations - it is either going to loved or hated for its looks. I have already explained that it is short, squat and surprisingly wide. There isn't much in the way of overhangs at either end and the wide doors and windows make it look as if it is half a car.
At the front, the snub nose is likely to be the most polarising aspect. The deep front bumper and bug-eyed lights emphasise the width, almost making it look squashed. The rear end features an equally deep bumper and distinctively chunky taillights, bearing some similarity to the Toyota Aygo.
There are two grades: the Toyota iQ and the Toyota iQ2. The basic model offers powered and heated door mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, the aforementioned 6-speaker audio system with MP3/WMA compatibility, an AUX port on the central tunnel, rake-adjustable steering column and powered windows.
The Toyota iQ2 adds a high-gloss finish to the 15-inch alloy wheels, climate control air conditioning, retractable door mirrors, keyless start, automatic wipers and headlights, which are bi-halogen with smoked-finish covers and chrome trim to the rear light clusters.
Toyota iQ Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Toyota iQ 1.0 VVT-i|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||15.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||93 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||68.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 15/04/09)||£9,495|