Cars like the Toyota iQ don’t just happen. To be as clearly conceived, thoroughly developed and cleverly executed as it undoubtedly is will have soaked up terrifying amounts of time, money and brain power.
But as Toyota’s engineers and executives now soak up the plaudits it will earn and deserve, they will not question the value of that investment. No, the iQ is not a revolutionary product. In fact, it’s rather conservative today compared with a 10-year-old Smart. But, excess width aside, it is supremely fit for its purpose, which is all you can ask of any car. Most impressive is the fact that despite being an urban specialist, it doesn’t struggle beyond the city limits.
There is plenty to like, not least its cruising ability that is way beyond that of rival superminis, let alone a Smart. The view from the driver’s seat is that of a rather posh small hatchback – thanks in no small part to the car’s width, but also due to the quality of the materials inside the iQ.
The car’s cleverness extends to the packaging, with space for three adults an easy proposition. Whether a fourth passenger can be taken depends entirely on the position of the driver’s seat, but it’s best not to count on it. Nor should you count on taking any luggage – boot space is minimal to say the least.
It would be a shame, then, if Toyota’s rather bullish pricing policy denied the iQ full access to the wide audience its conspicuous talents otherwise so richly deserve.