• JDM Engine Option 1: 0L VVT- i I3 or 1.3L Dual -VVT- i Petrol I4
  • JDM Engine Option 2: 1.4L D-4D Diesel L4
  • Fuel Consumption: 4 L / 100 km
  • Curb Weight: 860 kg
  • Size: L 2,985 mm x W 1,680 mm x H 1500 mm

The Good

The IQ is a statement to what Japan can do when it comes to small things, excluding the legendary BMW Isetta of course. This trend of small cars is actually quite normal in Japan, even though it’s not actually a trend, but more of a necessity. Believe it or not ,kei cars are actually a bit smaller in width than the IQ. This is because the car was designed more for the European market where the cities are not that congested…yet.

In 2008, the little IQ received the tittle of Car of the Year in Japan and it’s easy to see why. Aside for being small, the interior space is very comfortable for 2 people. You get a lot of head room and leg room, while the options list is very large.

Along with this you get, of course, a very small selection of Toyota engines, the most powerful being the 1.3 L Dual VVT-I, with 98 bhp. However, our recommendation would be the D-4D Diesel engine, with either the manual or the auto transmission. This being a city car, your priority is going to be fuel consumption. Regarding this topic, the IQ does it very well, sipping just 4 liters of diesel every 100 km.

Safety isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind when you see the IQ, but during the NCAP testing in 2009, this little bug managed to score 5 out of 5 stars. It comes loaded with airbags, ABS, ESP, Stability Control and many more.

Parking is another strong point. Because the car is like a cube you won’t have trouble parking the car in the city. The ride comfort is very smooth, while the steering lacks feel, but honestly for a small city car that is probably the last thing you worry about.

The Bad

The price of the IQ is actually very high when new. But it does decrease very rapidly on the second hand market. It’s a bit prettier than most of the kei style cars, but not by very much. There is virtually no space in the back. You can take maximum (and we do mean maximum) a small handbag. We guess it’s OK for some lightweight groceries, but get anything more than that you would have to put in on the front seat. We are really disappointed that Toyota didn’t manage to figure this one out when the Smart, another very small car, has way more space for luggage.

The automatic transmission is an updated version of the CVT and we saw that it has improved, but we still can’t recommend it. Go for the manual, you will thank us.

Even though it’s mostly bullet proof when it comes to the transmission, engine and electrics, you do have to take in consideration that when it will break the repair bills will be quite expensive. We are looking at you, second hand buyers.


The Toyota IQ is a very smart city car that that we would love to have. It’s ideal for the daily commute, built to last, provides comfort and ride quality and with a 5 star NCAP safety rating, it’s a very safe bug.

What others say

www.topgear.com: “Despite its innovative approach, Toyota’s iQ doesn’t live up to the hype. Well, not quite.”

www.whatcar.com: “The Toyota iQ looks funky, fits in tight parking spots and is nimble in town. It’s well equipped, cheap to run, and emissions are low, too.”