2012 Scion iQ vs. Its Competition

2012 Scion iQ
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior 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 iQ
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2012 Toyota Yaris 5dr LB Auto LE (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota Yaris
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2012 MINI Cooper Clubman 2-door Coupe Angular Front Exterior View2012 MINI Cooper
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2012 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive2012 smart fortwo
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Quick Specs
The appeal of the 2012 Scion iQ minicar is limited; but for parking-challenged urban dwellers, it's charming.
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.
More capacity, more practicality, and just as much sport and style, the 2012 MINI Cooper Clubman strikes a balance between family and fun.
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   
Gas Mileage   
36 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy30 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy34 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I3
EPA Class   
Mini CompactSubcompactMinicompactMinicompact
Style Name   
3-Door HB (GS)3-Door Liftback Manual L (GS)2-Door Coupe2-Door Coupe Pure
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
Passenger Doors   
Body Style   
3 Door Hatchback3 Door HatchbackCoupe2 Door Coupe
Continuously Variable RatioManualManualAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Scion iQ vs. 2012 Toyota Yaris2012 Scion iQ vs. 2012 MINI Cooper2012 Scion iQ vs. 2012 smart fortwo