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2011 Scion iQ, 3 Plus One

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On: Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 9:25AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

2011 Scion iQ, 3 Plus One

The 2011 Scion iQ is a new subcompact car from Toyota's youth-oriented brand. The iQ is a front-wheel-drive hatchback that seats 4 passengers. Toyota calls it the world’s smallest 4-seater.

The iQ has a 90-horsepower 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that operates much like an automatic. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, front-side airbags, driver- and front-passenger-knee airbags, and a rear-window-curtain airbag. Standard features include a 50/50 split-folding rear seat back, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and digital-music-player plug-ins. Several audio systems are among the available features.

The 2011 Scion iQ will go on sale in early 2011. With its compact size, youthful appeal, and quirky looks, the 2011 Scion iQ is considered a vehicle with qualities opposite of gas guzzling SUVs. The New York Times described the iQ as "Cute as a square button, the iQ is a city-slicker micro car that, at 120 inches long, is barely a foot longer than the Smart Fortwo, the smallest car sold here."

The 2011 Scion iQ uses an innovative "3 + 1" seating arrangement that holds three adults and one child or pet.  The configuration makes it the smallest four-seat car in the world, according to Scion. The iQ has a long list of standard features including many standard safety features. Inside, the iQ has a well-laid out cabin. Like most Scions, the iQ is anticipated to be very customizable.

The 2011 Scion iQ is based on the Toyota iQ, a micro car that has been popular in Japan since 2008. Labeling the iQ with the Scion brand in the U.S., the company hopes to capture younger buyers. With its unconventional styling and features that attract the young buyer, such as a standard 6-speaker stereo, Scion may have just designed a top seller.

But the iQ isn't just about unique looks and features for young buyers. Reviewers are impressed with its standard safety features, which include 10 airbags—more than the number other small cars usually offer as options—stability control, and traction control. Plus, in contrast to other micro cars like the Smart Fortwo, the iQ can seat three adults and one child or pet, due to the unique configuration of the seats.

Though Scion showed off the production model at the 2010 New York Auto Show, they haven’t released all details on the 2011 Scion iQ. Combined fuel economy is expected to be well above 30 miles per gallon. All the details related to pricing and trim levels have not yet been announced, but it is expected that the iQ will start around $12,000.

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