2012 Scion iQ

  • 2012 Scion iQ Base Hatchback

    Base Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.3L I4
    • MSRP
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2012 Scion iQ Review

Reviewed by Automotive on

The Scion iQ fits a big car into a very small package. It’s designed to seat two people comfortably while the driver weaves in and out of traffic and parking in tight spots with ease. You can squeeze a couple of passengers into the rear of this hatchback, but that rear is better used for one or two small children or, ideally, for extra cargo space when needed.

The 2012 Scion iQ is reasonably priced, although perhaps not as reasonably as you’d expect for a car that’s sure not to win any road races. However, when you consider the luxurious interior and great fuel economy, you really are getting a lot of bang for your buck out of this feisty little hatchback. Unless you only use your car for trips to the grocery store and to your job across town, you probably won’t want this to be your only car, but if you’re trying to beat those urban environments that tend to make driving more of a nightmare than a pleasure, this is definitely a great car to do it in.

New For 2012

The 2012 Scion iQ is a brand new subcompact from Scion for 2012. Some of the exciting features of this new model include:

  • Great fuel economy
  • Superior maneuverability in urban environments
  • Appealing interior options


The 2012 Scion iQ has that compact, egg-reminiscent shape that is almost unavoidable in a car its size. Nonetheless, the iQ pulls it off and manages to show off its own singular sense of style in a very compact body. The Scion iQ features 16-inch steel wheels and comes in an exciting array of colors, including Black Currant, Black Sand, Hot Lava, Classic Silver, and Pacific Blue. Exterior options include a rear spoiler and 16-inch split eight-spoke alloy wheels.

Interior & Cargo

When you see the interior of the 2012 Scion iQ, you’ll probably wonder where all the space came from, as you’ll enjoy 37.7 inches of head room and 40.9 inches of legroom in the front. Things aren’t quite as bright for rear passengers, who get 35.9 inches of head room and only 28.6 inches of leg room. A split-folding rear seatback allows you to ramp up the cargo space when it’s just you and a friend in the car.

There are a ton of great luxury features inside the 2012 Scion iQ, including power everything, a leather tilt steering wheel with audio controls, and a four speaker sound system with HD radio, CD player, and USB port. You can upgrade to a premium sound system with satellite radio plus the Scion navigation system. Other appealing interior features include Bluetooth wireless data link and an optional interior light kit.

Naturally, you’re not buying this car for its storage capacity, and indeed, with all seats in place, you’re only getting 3.5 cubic feet of cargo space to store your necessities. However, with the rear seats folded down, you actually can open things up to a fairly impressive 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space.


Naturally, in a car of this size, safety can be a big concern, but the 2012 Scion iQ has it covered, receiving four out of five stars for overall crash protection in government crash testing. The important safety features start with front side airbags, front knee airbags, front side curtain airbags, front seat cushion airbags, and a rear airbag. It continues with stability and traction control, a four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System, ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes, emergency brake assist and electronic brake force distribution. A small child may be the only type of person comfortable behind the driver, so it’s fortunate that the Scion iQ has seen fit to include child seat anchors.

Driving Experience

The 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine linked to a Continuously Variable automatic Transmission doesn’t provide a lot of speed, but this front-wheel-drive car is so maneuverable, you won’t care. On the open road or the highway, the 2012 Scion iQ can’t compete, generating a paltry 94 horsepower and 89 lb-ft of torque, with a zero-to-60 mph ""sprint"" of 11.6 seconds. However, in the city, the Scion iQ shines, weaving in and out of heavy traffic with ease, turning on a dime, and of course, grabbing those coveted tiny parking spaces wherever they may appear. Also, the Scion is a sturdy little thing, and you generally don’t have to worry about being buffeted around by the wind (although a heavy crosswind might give you a bit of trouble), even at a higher speed. On top of that, you certainly won’t mind the fuel economy, a wallet-friendly 36/37 mpg city/highway.

Key Competitors For The 2012 Scion iQ

  • Ford Fiesta
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Mini Cooper

See the New 2015 iQ.

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