Order books have just opened in the UK for Toyota’s new iQ, and it looks like we may see some here in NZ. Touted as a future icon for modern urban motoring, iQ matches some advanced engineering and design with good equipment specifications.
With carbon dioxide emissions starting at a just 99g/km and combined cycle fuel economy of 65.7mpg for the 1.0-litre VVT-i with manual transmission, iQ is a match for many of its eco-themed rivals.
Its diminutive design makes it a handy machine for around-town driving, but it can still show a little pace on the open highway.
At launch the iQ range offers a revised version of Toyota’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder VVT-i engine with a choice of five-speed manual transmission or Multidrive, the latest development of Toyota’s continuously variable transmission.
iQ is available in two grades, iQ and iQ2, both of which come with good standard specifications.
The entry-level iQ rides on 15-inch alloy wheels, with colour-keyed door mirrors and bumpers and heated electrically adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicator lamps.
Air conditioning keeps things cool inside, while the six-speaker sound system provides a radio, CD player and MP3/WMA file playing from disc. There is also an auxiliary socket for connection to personal MP3 players. Electric windows, remote central locking, dark tinted privacy glass in the rear window and leather trim for the steering wheel and gear knob are also all included, together with a tonneau cover for the rear luggage space.
Upgrading to iQ2 brings even more features. The alloys gain a high-gloss finish, fog lights are neatly integrated into the lower front bumper section and there are bi-halogen headlights with a smoke-tinted finish to their glass covers. Climate control air conditioning, smart entry and push-button start, automatic headlights and wipers and an auto-dimming rear view mirrors finish off the package.
Safety features are well considered on the iQ with crash protection provided by iQ’s multi-load path construction, which effectively absorbs and disperses impact forces away from the cabin, the car benefits from ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The quality of braking performance is matched by Stability Control (VSC+) with Traction Control (TRC).
Should the worst happen, occupants have 360-degree protection from an array of nine airbags strategically positioned around the cabin. These include front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger; curtain shield airbags to guard the head and upper body of all four occupants; a driver’s knee airbag; and an airbag built into the front of the passenger seat cushion.
In addition, iQ benefits from the world’s first rear window airbag, giving extra head protection to back seat passengers in a rear-end impact.