You can see why it’s taken a car company with the resources of Toyota to come up with a car such as the Toyota iQ. Developing an all-new platform from scratch is a hideously expensive process for any normal car, but to design one with no prior reference point, packing as many innovations as you’ll find in the iQ, would have been beyond the means of many car companies, not least because the smaller the car, the smaller the profit margin so the more you have to make before you get your money back.
At the front, the A-pillars are notably thick for such a small and light car. Maybe they need to be that way for rollover protection, but they harm forward visibility. Smart 15in alloy wheels are standard on all iQs, but iQ2s like this one get a high-gloss finish. Even for a small city car, we were disappointed with the headlights. They might be fine on well lit urban streets, but out in the country they’re seriously underwhelming.
The iQ is special among all cars in including a rear curtain airbag. Then again, when you see how close rear-seat passengers sit to the rear screen, you can see why Toyota thought it necessary.
We’ve seen doorbins with a greater carrying capacity than the iQ’s boot. In fact, you should regard the iQ as not having a boot unless the rear seats are folded.
Rear headrests seriously restrict rearward vision for the driver and should be removed when not carrying passengers in the back. What’s more, the rear side window is not much more than a porthole. It helps over-the-shoulder visibility for the driver, but the view out for rear seat passengers is miserable.