Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Business

The Daily Drivers car review: The Scion iQ

With a name that playfully tweaks a tiny rival, Scion's micro subcompact iQ will turn heads for its contemporary styling and its size — or the lack thereof. The two-door hatchback resembles a Pixar Cars character, but what about its character as a car?

Appearance: The iQ has large, wide-set headlights and a narrow black-plastic grille that looks as if it were drawn on; a slight bump of a nose with a large Scion badge completes the look. Our tester's Hot Lava paint is one of the nicer orange hues we've seen. It's bright and noticeable, and in a car this size you need to be seen. The hatch window dominates the rear of the abbreviated car, with curved wraparound glass that adds a contemporary look.

Performance: This is not a car made for highway driving. We had separate experiences, however; Peter felt safe enough in the car; Lyra did not. Either way, the iQ is a city car, not one made for long commutes. Around town, the 1.3-liter, 94-horsepower (!) four-cylinder with Continuously Variable Transmission offers adequate performance, but the engine and CVT are noisy, especially under anything resembling hard acceleration. You will feel every bump in the road. With hardly any visible rear bumper and its low stance, Lyra feels rear passengers might not fare too well if the car is rear-ended. There is one area in which the iQ is a big player: the parking lot. The 120.1-inch car can easily share a standard parking space with a scooter or motorcycle (yes, we tried it), and its turning radius is one of the smallest we've tested, outside of a child's tricycle.

Interior: The iQ feels roomy enough inside, with plenty of legroom and decent headroom up front, although Peter did feel the driver's seat sat too high for taller folks. Scion managed to squeeze in rear seats to make this a four-seater, but to carve out that space, there were compromises. For example, to give the rear passenger any semblance of legroom, the front passenger has to slide the seat far forward. So Scion (Toyota) eliminated the glove box for more space. In its place, you get a flimsy plastic drawer under the passenger seat, which is difficult to get to for the driver. You have to be a compact contortionist to get into the rear seats. Anyone other than a small child is not going to be comfortable. With the rear seat backs up, there's only a sliver of storage space. To fold the backs down, you have to remove the headrests first. Peter packed in a week's worth of groceries with the back down. For such a little car, there is a large — and somewhat cumbersome — center media touchscreen. And there is no secure place to put your electronic gadgets.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture Nice try: Scion tries to make the interior more interesting, especially with its modernist design in door handles.

Simplicity: The center console has dial controls; all others are on the nav screen.

Speedo: A turbinelike design.

Lyra Solochek Safety features: ABS, stability control, traction control and more. I just wish there was more protection in the back.

Hot Lava: Brilliant orange — to be noticed.

Parking: No problem.

The bottom line: If the world were a parking lot, then the Scion iQ would be its king. But alas, it's not. Its price can easily pass $16K, and there are plenty of larger small cars, including Toyota's own Yaris, that offer more for the price.









     
               
Comments
Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

TAMPA — Mortar & Pestle, a fledgling Seminole Heights eatery with a mom-and-pop pharmacy theme, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Seacoast Bank was listed as the creditor with the largest unsecured claim: $1.4 million.The restaurant...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Lucky’s Market is considering a move in to the old Albertsons box space in Clearwater, according to preliminary plans filed with the city. Lucky’s master broker, Rick Lewellyn, was listed on an agenda as discussing renovating the existing property wi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Developer proposes Sprouts Farmers Market for Land O’Lakes

Developer proposes Sprouts Farmers Market for Land O’Lakes

LAND O’LAKES – A Sarasota developer is proposing to turn a vacant Winn-Dixie store in central Pasco into a Sprouts Farmers Market or similar specialty grocer.Benderson Development filed preliminary plans Monday with Pasco County to redevelop the form...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Clearwater’s Clegg Insurance Group buys Advanced Insurance Brokerage

Clearwater’s Clegg Insurance Group buys Advanced Insurance Brokerage

CLEARWATER - Clegg Insurance Group of Clearwater announced on Wednesday it has bought Brandon-based Advanced Insurance Brokerage.The merger creates a firm with more than 2,000 customers and more than $10 million in annual premiums. Terms were not dis...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Citizens considers hiking homeowners insurance rates about 8 percent

Citizens considers hiking homeowners insurance rates about 8 percent

Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s is weighing another round of hefty rate hikes.Staffers with the state-run insurer of last resort have proposed raising the average rates for homeowners by 7.9 percent — just under the legislative cap of 10 percent ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay homes sales while prices keep rising

A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay homes sales while prices keep rising

Tampa Bay’s two largest counties showed anemic home sales in May as prices continued to rise due to a tight supply.In Pinellas, sales of single-family home plunged nearly 12 percent from the previous May, the second-worst showing in a year. Prices, t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pinellas County files suit against companies who built Public Safety Complex

Pinellas County files suit against companies who built Public Safety Complex

CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Public Safety Complex was built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, but officials now say the $81 million fortress has water leaks and cracked walls.The county filed a lawsuit this month against Harvard Jolly, the S...
Updated: 7 hours ago
CEOs are calling the separation of children and families at the border ‘inhumane’ and ‘tragic’

CEOs are calling the separation of children and families at the border ‘inhumane’ and ‘tragic’

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have spoken out about the Trump administration’s hard-line "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that has resulted in a sharp rise in children separated from their parents at the southern U.S. border. The president o...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Demolition looms for old Bromley office building at Midtown Tampa

Demolition looms for old Bromley office building at Midtown Tampa

TAMPA — Over the past month, demolition crews have gutted the old five-story Bromley office building at the future site of the $500 million Midtown Tampa project.On Sunday, the remaining skeleton of the building is scheduled to come down.The demoliti...
Updated: 8 hours ago