Scion planned to introduce its new iQ micro-subcompact in the U.S. early this year, but the earthquake and tsunami in Japan thwarted the original launch date. With recovery and supply processes making progress, Scion announced this morning that the wait is almost over: the 2012 iQ will arrive in West Coast dealerships this October, and in other regions by early next year.
As previously leaked, pricing will begin at $15,995, including the $730 destination charge. That puts the iQ solidly against bite-sized premium fuel sippers like the Fiat 500 and Smart ForTwo, rather than entry-level economy cars.
But Scion isn’t shying away from those comparisons. “Scion prides itself on being an innovative brand with a lineup of iconic vehicles that set automotive trends,” said Jack Hollis, vice president of Scion. “The iQ is the fourth vehicle in the family, and it will define the premium micro-subcompact segment as the choice for new urbanites who want clever transportation without a sacrifice in style or new features.”
The 2012 Scion iQ resembles a smaller, more muscular Scion xD. Powered by an ultra-low emission 94 horsepower 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine, Scion says the iQ should get an EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating of 37 mpg.
Banking on “premium” interior features to set it apart from the Fiat 500 and Smart Coupe’s, the iQ is equipped with a quirky 3+1-style seating which offsets front passengers from the driver’s seat, and includes a small storage space behind the driver that can double as an extra seat. Elsewhere inside, the Scion iQ includes leather-trimmed steering wheel, standard Pioneer audio system with Bluetooth, iPod, and Pandora functionality, an available touch screen navigation system, and 11 factory airbags.