Toyota is a company that doesn’t get much wrong. Everything Toyota touches seems to succeed in the long run. Now the company has set its sight on the supermini segment in Europe.
Just like Hyundai’s recently unveiled i20, Toyota’s iQ (what’s with the iNames?!) is designed just for European consumers. The 2009 Toyota iQ is considerably smaller than a Yaris but marginally bigger than a Smart, measuring just 117.5 inches in length, 66.1 inches in width and 59 inches in height.
It has the face of a bulldog, which kind of gives it a cute-but-not-girly demeanor. Also, its packaging is extremely clever with most test drivers gushing about ample room and the feeling of security within the cabin. The iQ will be available with either a 1.0-liter, inline-3 with a five-speed manual transmission or a turbocharged 1.4-liter, inline-4 diesel with a six-speed manual. In mid-2009, a 1.3-liter, inline-4 with variable valve timing will become available, and it will feature either the six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 1.0-liter should produce about 70 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 69 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. Doesn’t seem like much, but then it only weighs about 1,900 pounds, so there’s not a lot of girth to carry around.
The iQ should firmly establish Toyota in this fierce European market. Whether or not it will become a best-seller remains to be seen. No doubt about it though, all the ingredients are there.