Toyota iQ Review

The Toyota iQ is unique, the smallest car in the Toyota range yet still able to comfortably seat four passengers – a testament to the ingenuity of Toyota’s engineers and designers. It’s powered by a choice of two award-winning petrol engines – the 1.0-litre VVT-i or 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i – and either manual or Multidrive automatic transmissions. Combined fuel economy is as high as 64.3mpg and insurance groups are low across the range, so running costs are tiny.

On the road, the Toyota iQ makes the most of its compact, wheel-at-each-corner design, being nimble around town, great fun on the open road, and reassuringly stable at motorway speeds. Key to the iQ’s balance of performance and superb economy are its compact petrol engines, particularly the award-winning 1.0-litre VVT-i engine  fitted to iQ and iQ2 models (available with five-speed manual or Multidrive continuously variable automatic transmission) which was redesigned and repackaged to fit the iQ’s diminutive size. The larger 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i engine used in iQ3 models has greater power and torque for even better performance, hitting 60mph in less than 12 seconds. Lastly, the iQ’s specially-designed suspension contributes to a comfortable ride and responsive handling, and a tight turning circle assisted by electric power steering means it can negotiate the tightest city streets.

Compact and comfortable – the iQ rewrites the rulebook once again, with class-leading levels of interior quietness and revolutionary design to maximise space for passengers. The cabin has an ultra-modern design with an asymmetric dashboard which contributes to the interior’s spacious feel, further demonstrated in the iQ’s ability to seat four passengers (including three adults) thanks to an ultra-slim seat design (leather optionally available on iQ2 and iQ3). That space doesn’t come at the expense of equipment either  – you’ll still find usual creature comforts like air-conditioning and a six-speaker CD stereo system too.

Flexibility is the key to the iQ’s practicality, allowing the best possible use of space. For everyday driving, you’ve got storage bins in the front and rear, as well as cup- and bottle-holders for when you grab a drink on the run. The iQ’s flexibility is further demonstrated in the rear, where you find another storage compartment beneath the 50/50 split/fold rear seats and can even fold the seats down to create 242 litres of luggage space.

Even though it’s less than three metres long, the iQ is remarkably strong, and scored a maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety test. There are nine airbags protecting passengers, including one across the rear window to protect occupants in the event of a rear collision. Of course, it’s better if you never have to test the iQ’s strength, which is why Toyota has fitted all iQ models with traction and stability control, as well as an advanced anti-lock system to help keep you out of trouble.

Toyota’s tiny car comes with tiny running costs, as all iQ models are economical and environmentally-friendly. The 1.0-litre VVT-i used in iQ and iQ2 models achieves 64.2mpg (five-speed manual) or 58.9mpg (Multidrive automatic transmission) on a combined test cycle, with the more powerful iQ3 models getting 54.3mpg from the 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i engine on the same test, irrespective of gearbox choice (six-speed manual or Multidrive automatic). Because of the low CO2 emissions from both engines, all three iQ models are exempt from road tax too. And dealer visits are few and far between as service intervals are set at every 10,000 miles or once each year.

Toyota’s commitment to quality and reliability delivers peace of mind for iQ owners. A comprehensive five-year/100,000 mile mechanical warranty and three-year, unlimited mileage paint warranty mean you can enjoy worry-free motoring. And it’s all underpinned by a 12-year, unlimited mileage anti-corrosion perforation warranty, so even an approved used iQ should provide worry-free motoring.

The iQ is offered in three trim levels – iQ, iQ2 and iQ3 – with a choice of either manual or automatic transmissions for each trim level. The entry-level iQ, powered by the 1.0-litre engine with five-speed manual gearbox, costs £11,100 on the road, with the higher iQ2 model priced at £12,100 with the same engine and gearbox. iQ3 uses the 1.33-litre engine with a six-speed manual gearbox, and costs £13,100 on the road. All models can be ordered with an optional Multidrive automatic transmission, which adds £1000 to the price, and further styling, interior and decal design packages are also available as cost options.

To configure an iQ and arrange a test drive, visit the designated section of the Toyota website.

*Prices correct at time of publication

By Andrew Biddle


    1. Hi Richard
      Thanks for your post about the iQ.
      Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we will amend our blog post to reflect this and avoid any future misunderstanding. Currently, the iQ has no VED charge at first registration however a VED charge of £20 per year is applicable thereafter for the automatic version as it emits 110 g/km of CO2.
      Hope this helps.

  1. My iQ2 1.0L automatic is sensational in every respect apart from: (1) Fuel consumption. 35 mpg around town with correct tyre pressures and a single person driving sedately is not great IMO for a car claiming much more, (2) lack of automatic door locking (safety) and poor accessory provision. Whilst I’m not into gadgets, the console for the optional satnav should be made standard so a retro fit is easier and affordable. Either that, or make it easier to mount phone and satnavs as extras. Also, the round coffee cup holder could be a larger square allowing for a series of optional inserts – including drinks holder.

    Other than that, and a few minor niggles you find with every car, this little beast is exceptional. As someone who has always driven large executive German and French cars, this is the one car in 20 years that has excited me behind the wheel! It is such a unique and different experience that I’d recommend anyone considering a small car to take the Toyota iQ on a test drive.

    If Toyota ever bring an eV version to UK and Europe, I shall seriously consider it. Superb

    1. Hi Ian
      Thanks for your post.
      We do appreciate the feedback regarding your ownership experience of your Toyota iQ. This is extremely useful for our product team who are responsible for the specification of the iQ here in the UK. It is great to learn of your overall pleasure in driving the iQ but take on board your concerns on interior spec as well as the MPG you are achieving.
      No news on an EV iQ at this stage but stay tuned to our Blog for the latest news.

      1. Unfortunately, the latest fill-up has shown this to have now gone down to 27mpg. Shockingly bad for a car of this ilk and a worse performer than my Citroen C5. The car is only 18 months old, has had the scheduled servicing done and is rarely driven fully laden or to any appreciable excess. There’s either something wrong, or the figures from Toyota are just too optimistic.

        Wouldn’t have bought the car had I known.

        Sorry guys 🙁

      2. Hi Ian
        Thanks for your post.
        Sorry to read the detail regarding your MPG. If you are concerned about any aspect of your vehicle performance then you can contact your local dealer with your concerns who can check your car for you.
        Please let us know how you get on.

  2. I own a Landcruiser but my wife’s IQ is the most fun car we have owned for many years, great size with comfort and returning almost a 50mpg driving local and it’s an auto. Build quality is excellent, and you can park it almost anywhere. Let’s see more PR on this little beauty.

  3. Hi Derek. Thanks for your comment. We’re really happy to hear about little and large! We’ve taken your feedback on board and will tell the content team to get writing!

  4. Please can we have the iq back !! Everyone is looking for them you can get second hand they sell so quick

    1. Hi Jon,

      Thanks for your interest and request. iQ was discontinued due to low customer demand, and with the customer trends and demand for Crossover and SUV type vehicles, we’re not sure how popular this would be.

      Never say never though!


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