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.
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|2014 Scion iQBrowse Used Listings||2014 Toyota YarisBrowse Used Listings||2014 Toyota Prius CBrowse Used Listings||2014 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings||2014 smart fortwoBrowse Used Listings||2014 FIAT 500Browse Used Listings|
|36 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||30 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||53 MPG City / 46 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||34 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||28 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy|
|Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Gas/Electric I-4||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3||Premium Unleaded I-3||Premium Unleaded I-4|
|Minicompact Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Minicompact Cars||Two-Seaters||Minicompact Cars|
|3-Door HB (GS)||3-Door Liftback Manual L (TMC/CBU Plant) (SE)||5-Door HB One (Natl)||2-Door Coupe||2-Door Coupe Pure||2-Door HB Pop|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|CVT w/OD||Manual w/OD||CVT w/OD||Manual w/OD||Auto-Shift Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|