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*Updated: U.S. Prices Start At $15,995*
*Updated: Canadian Prices Start At $16,670*
*Updated: Official EPA Mileage Is 37 MPG*

The Good Car Guy complained vociferously when Toyota announced Scion was coming to Canada in September of this year. Initially, plans were revealed for dealers to be concentrated in highly populated urban areas: just Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. This is, Toyota and Scion said, where the target market resides. Except, The Good Car Guy is a tremendously active part of the target market (driving a long-term smart fortwo for GCBC) and the GCBC Towers isn’t in Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver but in Halifax; a populated urban area.

Well, Scion’s website,, now has a FAQ section which speaks of “more cities across Canada planned in the very near future”. That’s good news. Though not at all excited by the megablah Scion xD and despite disappointment in the changes manifested in the second-generation Scion xB, the Scion tC is pretty cool and the 2011 Scion iQ is an ingenious amalgam of ideas; executed to perfection or not.

New details have emerged regarding the 2011 Scion iQ, details which should make Mercedes-Benz Canada, and Roger Penske in the USA, a little bit nervous about the smart fortwo’s continued viability. Even with the Scion iQ’s relative obesity (approximately 150-300 pounds heavier than a smart fortwo depending on spec), its 1.3L engine will provide an additional 20 horsepower, 90 bhp in total, says Scion. More bad news for the smart car can be found when comparing fuel efficiency. Scion says the iQ will deliver similar, or even better, mileage than Daimler’s smart fortwo. Toyota Canada has said the Scion iQ should be rated just over 5L/100km. Smart’s are given ratings by Natural Resources Canada of 4.8L/100km on the highway, 5.9L/100km in the city.’s long-term smart fortwo averages 6.4L/100km, 36.7 mpg on the U.S. scale. Incidentially, 36mpg is how the EPA rates the smart fortwo’s average fuel economy. Expect the Scion iQ to have a slightly better city rating than the smart fortwo (a 33 mpg car) helped by slightly easier acceleration and lower-revving. On the highway, don’t count on the Scion iQ being much higher than 41mpg, same as the smart fortwo. Let’s forecast 35/42 for a combined figure of 37 mpg.

Here’s the kicker. The Scion iQ offers way more space in the rear, two seats if you like or a cargo shelf if you don’t require them. The only obvious difference with the Scion iQ we’ll be offered, when contrasted with the Toyota iQ in Europe, is the Scion’s increased length. There’s nearly four extra inches tacked on to the bumpers. Wheelbase, width, and height dimensions remain the same. 

Read on after the jump for more specifics on the 2011 Scion iQ’s, including prospective pricing and likely mpg ratings.

What about price? In the UK, Toyota has priced the iQ between £9,995 and £12,995. The Toyota Yaris, admittedly a slightly different car Across The Pond, starts at £10,245 and goes to £14,080. Fortwos, by the way, begin at a lower dollar point than the iQ but rise higher. In the United States, a Toyota Yaris is priced from $12,605. The least expensive Scion is the xD at $15,570. It’s improbable that Toyota USA would think the iQ has enough unique cred to be considered an upmarket small car and thus be priced in around the xD and the $16,520 Scion xB. Considering the smart fortwo’s base price in the States is under $12,000, the iQ can’t go too much higher than that or much up on the Yaris, either. One would have to assume the Canadian dollar base price would be under or just over $15K.

The 2011 Scion iQ will become renowned for its fleet of passive safety features. There are ten airbags in total, including a rear curtain to protect the noggins of rear seat passengers in such close proximity to the rear window, knee airbags for both the driver and front passenger, and a driver’s seat cushion airbag. Don’t get the impression the Scion iQ is lacking in active safety measures. ABS, EBD, traction control, brake assist, and stability control will be standard equipment. 

Unless fuel prices rise rapidly, there aren’t a lot of customers in North America who would be willing to consider a Scion iQ when a Toyota Yaris or Scion xB are either less expensive or similarly priced. Smart’s sales struggles can be summed up not by the quality or rightness of the product but by the competition: normal cars at the same price. Fuel prices are too low and insurance costs too consistent for North American consumers to start taking “running costs” seriously. 

If the 2011 Scion iQ is priced aggressively, Toyota could have on its hands the modern Volkswagen Beetle. One way or another, the ball has been dropped on the smart fortwo’s side of the court. What will Mercedes-Benz bring forth? And will the Volkswagen up! come out to play? 

Toyota USA’s Scion website once said (as of October 10/2010) the Scion iQ will be launched in “Spring 2011”; another part of the same page said, “early 2011”. listed “Spring 2011” and “2011” as launch dates for the iQ in Canada. Autoblog heard from Scion that the launch month would be March of 2011. Now in mid-January, the U.S. Scion website simply says, “2011”. Scion’s Canadian outfit offers up the same info.

Scion tweeted The Good Car Guy on January 14th saying, “The iQ is launching this summer. Final EPA numbers should be out sometime before then,” and added that the launch “was moved to space out the launches a bit and launch during prime season for that segment.” John Voelcker of GreenCarReports then worked on the story on January 21st leading to this updated story that would’ve likely gone unchanged were it not for increased iQ launch publicity.

Related From
Official Canadian Scion iQ Fuel Economy Figures
Four Adults Inside The Toyota iQ
Top 5 Safety Facts From The Toyota iQ
The Aston Martin Cygnet Is A Toyota iQ
Full Scion iQ Gallery

  1. I'm excited about the modification possibilities.. This car would make an AWESOME weekend race track car. and if it's priced around $12,000US then anyone could afford to race these things.

    Imagine ripping out all the useless "safety" crap and interior, install a roll cage and tune the engine to put out a bit more HP and you would have a fun car to rip up the track.

  2. The Scion brand was created to appeal to the youth market, and this car is aimed primarily at practical adults who want a fuel-efficient daily driver for as little as possible.

  3. I must drive many miles daily to earn a living. I have no choice as an insurance adjuster. I plan on buying the Scion IQ as soon as I finish test driving one. When you drive hundreds of miles weekly, and in some cases well over a thousand, you would be an idiot not to squeeze every last bit of mileage out of a vehicle since that impacts your bottom line.



  4. In conversation with franchised Scion sales personnel, the general belief was that the iQ wouldn't be arriving until "at least the fall," and the amount of information they've received on the car is scant.

  5. I cant believe no info has been released. Are they going to release it the same day the car goes on sale? I might have to buy the 2012 Hyundai accent.

  6. The iQ intrigues me. I wish fuel economy were better, the car were cheaper, and I'm very curious to know what performance it offers.

    I do know that I don't want an 18 year old Honda Civic, even if it still does average 56 mpg, so that's not an option. Whatever I choose will be from options available at that time.

    I definitely will consider things like the new Hyundai, the Yaris and so on; I understand the perception that they are "more" car, but, when I want or need "more car", I'll use my hugely-capable, and hugely-sized, and much-loved, Honda Odyssey.

    As others have stated, space in my garage, in my driveway and some of the places we drive to is at a premium; the size of the thing is an advantage, not a disadvantage, although not an advantage that I want to pay incrementally for.

    I'm really looking forward to reports on performance and 'refinement'; everything i've read about the Smart, it's a pretty crude slug of a car; come up with an economical, fun-to-drive go-kart of a runabout, and I'm probalby sold.

  7. It's infuriating that Scion dealerships are telling us that they have NO information on the IQ. If it's really going to be released to the US market soon, we need brochures, statistics, dates, etc

  8. Talked to Scion directly and the car will be here this summer. The car will be built in the Takaoka Plant in Toyota City. Not affected by the tsunami.

  9. you could park just about anywhere and that's a priceless luxury in busy cities. The fuel economy should be better than it is though. I think the backseats are a joke – may as well get the cargo shelves to qualify for SF bay area carpool lanes (needs 3 people or more unless in a two seater). Hope it's comfortable to drive – I want one!

  10. No Thanks

    Much bigger 5 seater cars like Fiesta, Cruze & Elantra gives 40 MPG.

    This is a 2 + 2 car which means either have 4 passengers with No Cargo or 2 passengers with Some Cargo (2nd seat folded down).

    However this car can be sold to Rental companies where many people can rent it if only 1 or 2 passengers will travel. The big difference between the Fiesta and IQ is that for 14K u get a vehicle with Automatic, whereas in Fiesta u have to spend 18K.


  11. Scion IQ buyers are an MPG conscious group. Wouldn't this be a good new vehicle platform to offer as an option to the U.S. market the wonderful Toyota turbodiesel D-4D or a smaller variant? It is already offered in many european countries. If Mahindra, VW, the high-end $60K Mercedes, Audi, & BMW's, and the venerable 15MPG Chrysler Ram 2500 can do it, certainly Toyota can figure it out how to operate a diesel vehicle in the USA too. Unless the real plan is to NOT allow any highway MPG competition with the $28,000/45MPG Prius from an $18,000/60MPG TDI IQ…or $20,000 D-4D Yaris. I guess locking folks into a 15 year maintenance contract on their hybrid is too irrisistable to pass up.

  12. I was hoping this car would get around 50MPG highway. Why would I get this instead of say a Ford Fiesta or a Toyota Yaris which have slightly worse gas mileage but are a lot more useful and cost around the same?

  13. @anonymous A Toyota iQ without the required safety and emissions gear would be many, many pounds lighter. So the equivalent car has certainly grown in girth, rarely is the opposite true. (For exceptions see Jaguar XJ, Mazda 2 as recent examples.) An example, the Honda Accord has gained about 400 pounds in the last ten years, with some dimensional increases, too. Weight gains were true in the comparison between '99 Accord and '89 Accord, as well.

  14. (Re: It's amazing how often you see the above comment posted on car boards.)

    "When Joe has a problem so 'often', Joe is usually the problem."

  15. "My 1991 CRX gets 44 mpg, and I'm supposed to be impressed with this?"

    It's amazing how often you see the above comment posted on car boards.

    All cars have become heavier due to required safety and emissions gear and by consumer demand for more features and sound insulation.

    Your 1991 CRX is a noisy, collapsible death trap compared to modern cars.

    You are comparing apples to oranges.

  16. My 1991 CRX gets 44 mpg, and I'm supposed to be impressed with this? If anyone has told me, when I bought my '91 used (in 1994) that, 16 years later, 2-seaters would not ROUTINELY be getting 80 mpg, I'd have said they were crazy. 2010, and we're supposed to ooo and ahh at 41 mpg/highway??? *Who do they think they are kidding???*

  17. David, 60 mpg in the UK is an Imperial measurement. It equals about 50 mpg in U.S. gallons. Then take into account the fact that Euro testing bears little resemblance to actual fuel economy, whereas the EPA's now does, and you have most of your explanation. Also, 60-65 for the iQ in the UK is based on highway ratings. The iQ's highway rating, not its average rating, should be easily in the 40s as judged by the EPA, too.

  18. Mercedes should be scared. I'm a Smart believer and 'leaser' and would seriously consider switching to an iQ.

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