Scion iQ Concept at 2009 New York Auto Show


  • Looks like: Japan’s Toyota iQ gets Scion-ized
  • Defining characteristics: Small size, ginormous LCD screen
  • Ridiculous features: Odd 3+1 seating setup
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Very likely

At 126.9 inches, the Scion iQ concept is more than 2 feet shorter than the smallest Scion, the xD, but believe it or not it’s 20 inches longer than the Smart ForTwo. That means this little city car might have the chops for sale in the U.S.

The iQ is already sold in Japan and other countries as a Toyota model, but the company feels it would do better in the U.S. as a Scion. Of course, it uses the word “if” when talking about this car ever going on sale stateside. We think it would do well among Scion’s demographic and among those looking to spend a little to get basic transportation. The only modifications done to this iQ were to the exterior by way of body kits from an aftermarket tuning house. Oh, and the Toyota badges were replaced with Scion emblems.

Powered by a 93-hp four-cylinder engine, we’d expect it to get significantly better mileage than the more powerful xD, which returns 27/33 mpg city/highway.

What does that 3+1 seating mean? Basically, there’s room for only one adult in the backseat behind the front passenger, and the other seat is big enough to hold a small child or cargo. If that doesn’t sound safe, Toyota adds nine airbags, including a rear-window airbag — the first of its kind. It also comes standard with stability control and antilock brakes.

Check out more photos below and let us know if you’d like to see the iQ on U.S. roads.



Both back seats are the same so shouldn't it really be a 2+2?


The idea is that the cabin is designed so the front seat passenger has their seat slid further forward so that a passenger can fit behind whereas the driver doesn't - hence less space behind them.

The pictures don't really make it very clear but the dash is scuplted on the passenger side to allow for extra kneeroom with the seat slid forward.


Another interesting comparison: the iQ is about a foot and a half shorter than the Mini Cooper.


Logical but still a bit of a stretch to classify it as a 3-person car.

I was gonna use the mini as a comparison but figured I'd stick to the ultra small Smart and the xD, which isn't exactly huge and in the same family.

You describe it properly. The driver isn't physically able to move up far enough for full use in the back seats. They're uniform in back I assume to keep costs low.


What 3+1? I only see 2+2 from the pictures.

BTW, the bumper might have to go up a little, otherwise it hits the speedbumps.
But the front looks like a cute face.


Awesome. Bring it to the US so I can buy one. Toyota or Scion... I want one!


This is another winner for Toyota. It will far exceed the mileage of the Honda Insight without the complexity and cost of Honda's mild hybrid system. It will leave American small cars in the dust.


4/2 Done right


and it looks far better than a Smart!


wow that is a tiny car. just does not seem safe to me, no matter how many airbags it has.


I am very excited about the IQ & have been following news about it. The Smart car was ruined for the US. Who on earth would want to put up with the low power of a Smart but get less than 40MPG? That's pathetic MPG. Let's just hope that Toyota/Scion doesn't ruin the IQ's US version & lower the 59MPG it is getting abroad. I would so rather have high MPG auto than waste megabucks on gas so I will have a false sense of "safety".

I want an IQ to drive back & forth to work during the week so I can keep the miles off my MINI Cooper. Put me on the waiting list!!

Troy S.

Remember how sucessful the Honda CR-X was? It too was very tiny and in other countries could be had with a back seat.


Bring the iQ here please!

Ken L.

Again, let me remind everyone what it would be like to be sitting in the backseat of this, and all other micro cars, in the event of a rear end collision where the iQ is rear ended. Just use your imagination and you’ll see the danger of sitting back there right against the rear hatch. Something to keep in mind.


Funky little ride. If I was in the market for something this size, I'd take it over a Smart which to me is the car for the 21st century Steve Urkel.


I wait to see a toned down version, please. If anything maybe it make Smart bring over there diseal version. Then that company would be really smart. Also get GM off its butt and get the Beat started.

Scion owner

I've been driving a Scion xA since 2004, and it is the best car I've ever owned. After five years and 65,000 miles, I have no complaints, no major repairs, and am still getting nearly 40mpg. This car replaced a 10-year-old Toyota Corolla that I put 166,000 miles on, so I expect to enjoy my Scion for awhile.

I am intrigued, however, that the iQ is reported to have a 12.5 ft turning radius. That is less than half the 32 ft required to U-turn my xA!

Richard S.

I was going to buy a Smart but got talked out of it by my wife as it was only a two seater. The IQ fits the bill, small, great gas mileage, seats 3+1 (got a grandkid that'll fit the small seat)and looks good doing it. I'll put a deposit down as soon as they let me. Bring it on Toyota, you can have my xD, I WANT it!


Depending upon how the Scion iQ handles, and IF they keep all of the airbags, I'd buy this car in a minute. The color is especially great giving this small vehicle extra visibility. I have, and love, a 2005 XB and was so very disappointed with the newer versions. Let's hope they don't damp this design down.


BRing the IQ to the U.S. please.....I have a 2006 MINI Cooper & really enjoy it-but in the past I've always owned Toyotas & been very pleased..I love the look of the IQ and will buy it in a minute!




Tame it down to the Toyota iQ level and bring it on over to the US. I really believe it can/will take off and become the "iPod" of cars!


Absolutely love it. Canceled my smart car reservation in hopes this is coming soon and comparably priced. When & how much?

Jeffrey Crouch

whens this go on sale !!!! I want one in black with chrome wheels and a sunroof

Sabrina Schwier

I bought an xD the month it came out absolutely love it! I used to say that I would never trade it in for anything but after going to the NY auto show on Saturday and seeing the iQ and speaking to the Scion reps about it .. I have changed my mind. Put me on the waiting list for the iQ whenever it comes to the US. The vehicle follows Scion's trend of awesome looking vehicles that are safe, affordable and have excellent gas mileage. The only thing I would be losing from the xD would be extra cargo space and some horsepower but the uniqueness of this vehicle more than makes up for it :)

Rick Quisenberry

I would like to see it in the states, but there are still lots of crazys that still think BIG

Joe Clancy

I would like to see it available in US, but still see it as a 2 seater and am still thankful for the rear airbag for driver protection in rear ender. Will be interested to see final styling, MPG and price point here prior to making full commitment.

I am ready to buy a New car with in 12 months and I prefered an Environmentally Friendly Car that has the capability of a normal or common cars with good Quality. I think iQ is the car I've been waiting for. After seeing this Very Nice Compact Car's Design, Features and overall look, I really Love it!, All I can Say now is, "When Will it be in the Market?" I hope Soon!

I want to see my Company Logo Around it!

Git it to me Soon Scion!!!



This is the perfect car for me! Great for parking and zipping around Seattle (parking can be really tight in Cap Hill). Much better than the smart in that I can have 2 adults and my daughter. I really hope Toyota\Scion brings over the TDI!!! I'll settle for an electric one though!! :)

WHEN is it going to be in the US?!?!?

andrew finter

what are they waiting for bring this car to the usa now!!!!!!! stop thinking do and with the 1000cc engine yesterday!!!!!!


I drive a suburban, have and like musle cars, but i like the looks of the iq. Maybe tweak it to 120 hp, should go like a rocket. Must weight nothing. Where can i get one ?


hey people! dont start trash talking the smart car. they are both good but... oh, screw it. i want the iq so freakin badly!!

p.s. i researched it and this car will only be availible in one color. Radioactive aka a yellowish green. but thats the last time i checked so who know, maybe they added colors.

Heather Griggs

This is the only car that I have ever seen that makes me want to sell my '69 Bug and scrap gold and hot wheels collectibles and anything else I might have of value so that I can have one. I want one yesterday, in that color, with the wheels and the widebody kit and everything. Sign me up!


I purchased a new toyota yaris for 2008 and love it. I would love to see the IQ available in the U.S. and would love to have one for my next car. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed

Such a cute car. Its so kawaii. I hope it comes out very soon.



Richard Stein

I test drove the Smart Car in San Antonio. I liked the car but not the reduced gas mileage for the US! I asked for my deposit back. I also didn't like the fact that it took Roger Penske to get it here to the US. Daimler-Benz wouldn't push their own car for the US...SIC.
I like the Toyota IQ alot more than the Smart for four reasons: better mpg(50+ we hope), front engine(more protection for front collisions), 3+1 seating, wider stance and lower(better lines). I also have owned 4 Toyotas and believe that dollar for dollar, it's the best car on the market.


Bring it as pictured. Give buyer the option of loading it with options (ie.. like the mini cooper). Had a Tc but traded it for a TSX (more luxury items, better drivetrain). I would have to get rid of my 88 MR2 SC and 93 MR2 turbo but it would be worth it :)

Robert S.

I love the look of this car and I would love to have one. The problem though is every time we see a concept car that everybody loves, when they actually make the production version, it looks way too boring and everyone gets disappointed! Scion needs to keep it looking as close to this car as possible. Although I wouldn't mind the the interior dash being a little more traditional.
Bring it on, Scion!


This model IQ is nearly the exact same length of my old 62 Mini Cooper...the original ten foot box. IF they put a manual trans in it, I fully expect that lots of performance parts/brakes/turbo/shocks/etc. will soon become available. IF this thing can handle, it will be a success just like the ORIGINAL Mini Coopers. My wife has been driving a first year Yaris hatchback for years now, and it has been absolutely trouble free. She even drove it clear across country once. It delivers close to 42 on the freeway, and I expect this little IQ will better that. Bring it!


I should add that I drive an 07 Mini Cooper S now. I'd still like one of these IQs to mess around with...performance bits and all that will make it a little monster!

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