Toyota IQ

New Baby four-seater delivers big fun!

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Toyota brings low ownership costs without compromising build, safety or space. Lots of buyers are looking for an affordable, clean and cheap-to-run car – and the iQ meets all these requirements. It’s not the most thrilling to drive, but it’s arrived at an ideal time.

MEeet the smallest four-seater of them all! At only 2,985mm long, 1,680mm wide and 1,500mm tall, the Toyota iQ is a true little star, boasting twice as many seats as its Smart ForTwo rival.

Power is from the Aygo’s three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine or Toyota’s four-cylinder 1.4-litre D-4D turbodiesel, so the iQ promises to be as frugal and clean as it is small.

Driven through a five-speed manual gearbox, the 1.0-litre returns 65mpg and emits only 99g/km of CO2 – making it exempt from road tax in the UK.

The larger diesel engine isn’t exactly dirty, either. It produces a mere 104g/km of CO2, which means a £35-a-year tax bill and an even more impressive 71mpg. Inside, the iQ has some pretty garish touches, such as the triangular ‘floating’ dash and chunky-centred steering wheel. But it’s the way the interior space is used that really sells this car.

Toyota has shaved off as much baggage as possible in order to free up room on the inside. A flattened fuel tank is housed under the rear seats, while there’s also a redesigned differential, smaller dampers and a compact air-con unit.

Yet while the space on offer is spectacular considering the iQ’s size, adults won’t find the rear comfortable, and headroom is just as sparse.

The seats and dash are carved out to maximise room for the two people in the front. And safety-conscious drivers shouldn’t be put off by the iQ’s compact size, either, as Toyota has shoehorned in nine airbags. A five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating is likely.

Unsurprisingly, from behind the wheel, there aren’t many thrills, with steering that lacks feedback. Yet the 1.4-litre diesel pulls strongly from low revs. Thanks to 190Nm of torque (99Nm more than the petrol), it’s responsive and gutsy, too. Factor in decent refinement and for a budget small car, the iQ takes some beating.

Rival: Smart ForTwo cute and fun to own, the Smart has occupied its own sector in the market for some time. The new iQ could knock it off top spot.

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