What is it?

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Last week’s photo showed the 2012 Scion iQ, a two-door hatchback for Toyota’s small-car division. For a better photo and information, read this week’s road test.

What is it?  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
What is it?

Chosen randomly from the correct entries was Valerie Longtin, of Martinez. She wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle.

Several more vehicles were guessed, but other readers correctly identifying the vehicle were:

AUGUSTA: Michael Mann said: “I saw one up at the dealership the other day when I took my Toyota in.”

Also: Carolyn Ogles

CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “OK, I admit it, I (don’t) get the microcar mind-set. There are just too many larger, more comfortable, safer cars out there that can be had for just a little more money and with only a 2-3 mpg sacrifice in overall combined mileage.

“Not quite 15 inches longer that a Smart Fortwo, the iQ is billed as “The World’s Smallest Four Seater.” A four-seater, really? Go look at one of these. The back-seat passengers, even an infant seat, are only about a foot from the rear bumper of this thing! Nearly every other car on the road is bigger.

“The most common in-town accidents are rear-end collisions. I don’t care how many front-crash star ratings this thing has, plow the most popular pickup, a Ford F-150, into the back end of this even at a mere 15 mph and I bet it will be at least a foot shorter than that Fortwo!

“The iQ is also billed as ‘The most fuel efficient car under $20,000.’ The only advantage I see here is that there is only a single mpg between the highway and city ratings, which gives it a combined 37 mpg.

“Don’t check your IQ at the dealership door. Do the math. Even if you get that mileage, which is unlikely for most drivers, at 12,000 miles annually, there is only about 3 tanks of gas difference between 37 mpg and 34 mpg. There are plenty of better choices out there that will give a realistic 34 mpg combined. I would not recommend this car even to the bully who dogged me through all of junior and high school!”

CUMMING, GA.: Chris Rhodes wrote: “This little shoebox appears to be aimed squarely at competitors such as the poor-selling Smart Fortwo and other microcars designed to appeal to consumers residing in large urban areas where parking spaces are at a premium and anything larger than a bread box is considered to be a ‘large’ car. This market niche appears to be a rather small slice of the overall new car market, but the iQ seems to be at least a peg or two better than its opponents. Indeed, it might just be the tallest midget in the circus.

“Unique interior packaging, for example, allows for the placement of an actual rear seat … a feature not available in some micros. Driving dynamics also appear to be better, in large part because of a newly available 1.3-liter direct-injected four-cylinder gas engine mated to a CV transaxle. This powerplant produces less than 100 horsepower, but these ponies are hitched to a chassis that weighs in at less than 2,200 pounds. When combined with a footprint that pushes the wheels out to the corners of the car, this drivetrain provides a relatively sporty and stable ride.”

EVANS: Jerry Paul

MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski wrote: “This sporty little mini car is so cool, it’s garnered a encore performance in the contest, having made its original appearance in late October 2011.”

Jeff Miller wrote: “Let’s look at its negative features, shall we? 0 to 60 in 11.8 seconds (in that time, a beam of light would circumnavigate the equator 88.139 times), it only has a 1.3-liter (85.4-cubic-inch) four-cylinder, and it almost does a 100 mph.

“Let’s look at it’s positive features. It weighs only 2,127 pounds, it has 11 air bags (that’s 11 more than the amount I have in any car I own) and it starts at $15,995. I think it’s time for the Scion iQ – and its chief competition – the Smart Fortwo, to duke it out on Battle of the Supercars. Can you say ‘ratings bonanza’?

NO CITY LISTED: Arnold Wilde said: “I just saw it in the Consumer Reports.

NEXT WEEK’S CONTEST

Can you tell us the make and model of this 2012 vehicle? If you know what it is, e-mail glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com or call (706) 823-3419.

Tell us your name and telephone number and the city you live in. It helps if you spell your name so we can include your response with everybody else’s.

You have until noon Wednesday to respond. A winner will be chosen randomly. If you win, let us know when you would like to pick up your prize.


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