A city runabout à la smart

A city runabout à la Smart – even for the family

A city runabout à la Smart – even for the family

Toyota launches the iQ, the smallest four-seater in the world. The only thing the car lacks for perfection is a power socket.

A city runabout à la smart

Hiroki Nakajima's achievement is a small automotive miracle. Nakajima is a Toyota engineer, or more precisely: chief developer of the iQ. He can accommodate four people in his 3-meter runabout (exactly 2.985 meters). In the ideal case, when husband and wife get very close to each other, there can even be four adults.

And so it goes. Tested last week at the first European driving presentation of the iQ – without negative effects on back and joints. Although the driver has to move the seat back almost as far as it will go in order to find his optimum position behind the leather steering wheel with its good grip, the car is still a bit of a challenge. In this case, the person sitting behind him simply turns his legs slightly to the right, places his feet on a kind of shoe mat on the wide center console – and he's ready to go. Even if it's hardly non-stop over 388 kilometers. On the passenger side, everything works the same way as on any other two-door car. And because the iQ, like the Smart, is tall, it's easier to sit in the back seat than in many mid-size coupes. Because the front seat can be moved by up to 29 centimeters.

The iQ is exactly 29 centimeters longer than the Smart. What one visually hardly perceives, but in a practical sense can be used all the better. Because the four seats are only one of Hiroki Nakajima's tricks. The other: With the rear seats folded down, the result is a completely flat load floor with a volume of almost 250 liters. This makes the iQ, when used as a two-seater like the Smart, almost a mini van. In any case, however, it is a car that is well suited for travel.

Nimble in the city, nippy in the countryside

Naturally: The smallest four-seater in the world shows its strengths primarily in the city. With a turning circle of only 7.8 meters it even beats the Smart. And even if it can't park crosswise like its big, small counterpart: In Milan, the iQ could be maneuvered into any space, no matter how small.

Even on the uphill freeway, the speed limit of 130 km/h in Italy is easily met. Overtaking, however, must – far ahead-. Also looking back – to be well planned.

In February, the iQ will be launched on the Swiss market, initially with two engine versions. The basis is the one-liter three-cylinder engine from the Yaris, which has been slightly throttled down for its use in the smart Toyota and produces 68 hp. With four adults on board, it's a bit tight on power, but the engine excels with a consumption of 4.3 liters and a CO2 of only 99 g/km. The 1.4-liter diesel with 90 hp and a respectable torque of 190 newton meters has an almost sporty feel to it. The appropriate driving is moreover spontaneously acknowledged by the chassis. Mostly positive – unless cross joints in the road accumulate. The iQ does not appreciate them at all.

Otherwise, the 1.0-liter iQ at a base price of 21?500 francs hardly to cut down. Especially not in terms of safety. In addition to all the usual assistance systems, nine airbags are on board as standard, including side head airbags for all four occupants, seat cushion airbags to prevent slipping under the seatbelts, and – as a world premiere – a rear airbag that provides additional protection for the rear passengers.

Without a doubt: Chief developer Nakajima has fulfilled the mission to build the world's first four-seater 3-meter car, which is also convincing in terms of quality and economy, 100 percent from Toyota's point of view. However, if the Japanese claim to be launching just the right car at just the right time, they've still made a thinking error. Namely, Hiroki Nakajima to commit to building a forward-looking electric version as well. An iQ with zero grams of emissions.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: