The Toyota iQ is well equipped and there are options and packs available, including satellite navigation.
The Toyota iQ is well equipped and there are options and packs available, including satellite navigation. However, that is not what the car is about or why Toyota has dubbed it 'an engineering jewel'. The Toyota iQ has been an exercise in miniaturisation, resulting in six space-saving innovations, such as ultra-thin seat backs, a flat under-floor fuel tank and a new, compact heater and air conditioning unit, amongst other things that are also designed to save weight and space.
Both Toyota iQ versions are driven by a 1.0-litre petrol engine, although a 1.3-litre unit with stop/start technology will join the line-up soon. Elsewhere in Europe a 1.4 D-4D diesel engine is available but, at present, there are no plans for it to reach the UK. These are examples of the Toyota Optimal Drive concept, which is designed to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency, by way of engineering rather than simply downsizing.
The Toyota iQ's 1.0-litre VVT-I engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or Multidrive, a Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT), which was in the test car. The manual version is the more fuel efficient and cleaner of the two, thanks in part to the low rolling resistance tyres fitted to this model.
In either case, the power unit produces 68PS at 6,000rpm and 91Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. In both versions the top speed is 93mph but there the similarities end. The Multidrive Toyota iQ takes a leisurely 15.5 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill, which is just about a second slower than the manual. While fuel consumption figures for the test car are: 49.6 mpg (urban), 68.9mpg (extra-urban) and 60.1mpg for the combined, those for the manual are 57.7-, 72.4- and 65.7mpg respectively. The manual Toyota iQ emits 99g/km CO2 and the CVT version 110g/km.
Clearly, these are happy numbers in cash-strapped times but some people might be put off by the size of the engine. This shouldn't be the case, as the 995cc unit is very willing and Toyota's weight-saving measures have paid off.
As is the nature of CVT transmissions, the test car was a little sluggish to begin with, having to overcome the initial inertia. Around town, this is fine and once moving the engine and transmission combination is very willing and speedy, even with two people on board. Motorway speeds are no problem at all and, although the 'kick-down' is a little tardy, it arrives nonetheless and is both surprising and impressive for an engine of this size.
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|