2014 Scion iQ vs. Its Competition

2014 Scion iQ
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

Most people instantly compare the 2014 Scion iQ to the Smart ForTwo; they look like they're both two-seaters, even though the Scion has a third seat for short distances, and can hold a child in its fourth seat.

But in reality, for large Americans, even the iQ is effectively a two-seater--as are the Fiat 500 and MINI Cooper.

Those two cars are style icons, however, with heritage and looks that produce emotional responses.

The Scion iQ is a more minimalist machine, in a very Asian or European vein--and it's a type of car that has never really taken off here.

It's more modern, more pleasant to drive, and handles better than the ancient Smart ForTwo.

Both minicars are rated at 36 or 37 mpg, but the Toyota Prius C--a subcompact five-door hatchback with far more space inside--is rated at 50 mpg, and starts at only $3,500 more than the Scion.

The MINI Cooper and Fiat 500 start at the same level as the Prius C, but bring their stylish charm and a "real car" driving feel.

Finally, there are economy cars--we picked the Toyota Yaris, from the Scion's parent company--that start around the same price as the iQ but offer four normal seats and far more cargo space, with gas mileage only a bit worse and far more pep and performance margin on the highway.

2014 Scion iQ2014 Scion iQBrowse Used Listings2014 Toyota Yaris2014 Toyota YarisBrowse Used Listings2014 Toyota Prius C2014 Toyota Prius CBrowse Used Listings2014 MINI Cooper2014 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings2014 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive2014 Smart fortwoBrowse Used Listings2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition2014 FIAT 500Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
6.8
The 2014 Scion iQ is perfect for city dwellers with really tough on-street parking; for everyone else, it's more of a statement about minimalism.
6.8
The 2014 Toyota Yaris is built for city commuting, but on highways it reveals some major weak spots.
6.8
The 2014 Toyota Prius C is the cheapest member of the Prius family, by roughly $5,000, but its gas mileage is the same 50 mpg as most other Priuses.
8.0
The 2014 MINI Cooper is a fun, smart, and practical way to get around, without giving up its sporty, quirky side.
6.0
The 2014 Smart ForTwo is now an old design, but it remains the easiest car to park in cities, and it's at its best in urban traffic; the electric model, new last year, is the nicest of the bunch, and now remarkably cheap.
7.0
If you're willing to go small, the 2014 Fiat 500 is one of the most stylish ways to do it—and the Abarth and Turbo add just the right 'edge' to the personality.
MSRP From     
$15,665$14,430$19,080$19,950$13,270$16,445
Gas Mileage     
36 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy30 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy53 MPG City / 46 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy34 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Gas/Electric I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3Premium Unleaded I-3Premium Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Minicompact CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsMinicompact CarsTwo-SeatersMinicompact Cars
Style Name     
3-Door HB (GS)3-Door Liftback Manual L (TMC/CBU Plant) (SE)5-Door HB One (Natl)2-Door Coupe2-Door Coupe Pure2-Door HB Pop
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
455424
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackLiftbackHatchbackHatchbackCoupeHatchback
Transmission     
CVT w/ODManual w/ODCVT w/ODManual w/ODAuto-Shift Manual w/ODManual w/OD