2012 Scion iQ vs. Its Competition

2012 Scion iQ
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The most direct rival to the 2012 Scion iQ is the 2012 Smart Fortwo.

While these two models have similar exterior dimensions, there's a lot of difference: The Smart has is rear-wheel drive, rear-engined, while the iQ is front-engine, front-wheel drive; the Fortwo's a two-seater, while the iQ can hold up to four.

And the iQ has a four-cylinder engine while the Fortwo has a three-banger.

If you're willing to spend a little more money—just $2,000 to $3,000 more than an iQ with an accessory or two, you could get a base-model Fiat 500 or Mini Cooper.

Both provide a lot more driving personality and feel (and look) more like 'real' cars.

And, on the other hand, take a look across the lot at the Toyota Yaris.

It's been redesigned for 2012, and while it's not all that much roomier from the inside, the Yaris is a better car on the highway.

2012 Scion iQ2012 Scion iQBrowse Used Listings2012 Toyota Yaris 5dr LB Auto LE (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota YarisBrowse Used Listings2012 MINI Cooper 2-door Coupe Side Exterior View2012 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings2012 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive2012 Smart fortwoBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.0
The appeal of the 2012 Scion iQ minicar is limited; but for parking-challenged urban dwellers, it's charming.
7.2
The 2012 Toyota Yaris is fuel-efficient in the city without hybrid hardware, and it has an nicely appointed interior that feels cheerful but not cheapskate; but its weak performance and highway refinement aren't up to current class standards.
8.6
In all of its guises the 2012 MINI Cooper is fun-to-drive, uniquely styled, and with three standard levels of performance, there's an option for everyone.
6.0
Still stylish and quirky, the 2012 Smart Fortwo can be a fun and useful car for tight urban spaces where its size and maneuverability is an asset; but for even occasional highway driving, nearly any other small car would be a better pick.
MSRP From   
$15,265$14,115$19,500$12,490
Gas Mileage   
36 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy30 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy34 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Engine   
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I3
EPA Class   
Mini CompactSubcompactMinicompactMinicompact
Style Name   
3-Door HB (SE)3-Door Liftback Manual L (SE)2-Door Coupe2-Door Coupe Pure
Drivetrain   
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
4542
Passenger Doors   
2N/AN/AN/A
Body Style   
3 Door Hatchback3 Door HatchbackCoupe2 Door Coupe
Transmission   
Continuously Variable RatioManualManualAutomatic w/Manual Shift