The 2014 Scion iQ has few changes to its features and equipment from previous years. And while it's often compared to the two-seat Smart ForTwo, the iQ has a base price several thousand dollars higher--making it almost a premium style statement rather than just cheap, minimalist wheels. It's not nearly as basic as entry-level models of more conventional subcompacts, and it has few features that shriek "low cost".
Every Scion iQ comes standard with air conditioning; power locks, mirrors, and windows; and Bluetooth pairing for music streaming. One example of an upmarket touch: Both door windows have one-touch up and down, something rarely found on small cars even if the driver's window will descend with a single button push.
But audio and connectivity features--sometimes known as "infotainment"--are the main focus of the feature list. The Scion iQ has more available Pioneer audio systems (three) than it has doors (two). The base six-speaker Pioneer stereo, at 160 Watts, comes standard with HD radio, a CD player that handles all disc formats, USB port with iPod connectivity, an auxiliary input jack, and two RCA inputs. For 2014, Scion has made a 6.1-inch touchscreen display standard.
To get the navigation system, you'll have to step up to the top-of-the-line audio system. The $1,200 BeSpoke Premium system includes not only a navigation system but more than 30,000 stations from streaming audio from Internet radio, podcasts, audio books, and other online content via the Aha platform. Its 7-inch display will handle iPod video input, as well as DVDs--and it's set up to display images transmitted by an aftermarket backup camera, although that feature isn't offered from the factory. (Frankly, a look over the driver's shoulder probably does just as well.)
Like the rest of the Scion range, dealer customization is a huge part of specifying the car. Accessories are numerous, from 16-inch alloy wheels to performance parts like lower springs and a sway bar. Then there are dozens of appearance and trim upgrades, pretty much ensuring that any buyer can have a combination of features and accessories on a Scion iQ that no other U.S. owner has specified.