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Thursday, April 02, 2009
Toyota iQ Test Drive

We Put The Toyota iQ 1.0 L Multidrive Though Its Paces

CAP MARTIN, FRANCE - On a rainy day last week at 2009 EVER Monaco , the, annual ecological vehicle exhibition that runs in the Principality of Monaco, we were fortunate to be able to test drive the new 2009 Toyota iQ for the first time. European sales of the new Toyota iQ started earlier this year and the iQ has been extremely well received by the world's automotive journalists. The new iQ has set engineering standards for micro component design and Toyota's engineers have created compact internal controls like the heating/air conditioning system, and efficient drivetrain components like the transmission and transaxle design, and the placement of front suspension components to increase passenger cabin space.

We tested a 1.0 L VVT-i gasoline multidrive automatic Toyota iQ with the iQ2 option package at EVER 2009, and drove it both briskly and in ECO mode. The automatic multidrive transmission shifts smoothly and it has both a sport mode and eco mode in the gated shift selector in "Drive". With the automatic multidrive transmission option, the iQ is slightly less efficient than the 5-speed manual model, and slightly slower in acceleration. The automatic transmission affects mainly the iQ's consumption in the city, which rises to 5.7 L/100km (41.27 U.S. MPG / 49.56 Imp MPG). The multidrive automatic transmission is not available on the D-4D diesel model.

Inside the Toyota iQ's cabin, the interior is very well finished and high quality materials are used. Both of the iQ's trim packages iQ base and iQ2 come with air conditioning, with iQ2 upgrading the climate control system from manual to automatic digital. Also the iQ2 package gets upgraded interior trim and an excellent GPS navigation system. We found the navigation system to be accurate to within 3 metres (aprox. 10 feet) of the true location and the map detail is excellent. The Toyota iQ comes with a 6-speaker AM/FM CD sound system with MP3/ iPod jack as standard equipment for both trim levels (iQ and iQ2). The iQ2's sound system and the quality was very good and it delivers house music, rock and roll, and heavy metal music without distortion.

Toyota advertises the iQ as a 3+1 car - 3 adults plus 1 child, and we found that there was excellent space for two passengers in the front and that the feeling was of being in a much bigger car for the front passengers. In our opinion, the iQ is excellent car for a two-person couple or for two with the occasional child and adult, and is ideal as a transition car for a family unit for their first child in the first few years. The iQ is in its element in the city and for two people on a long distance trip. To us, the iQ has a feel that it is built to last, and buyers should benefit from excellent resale values on this car. Its not a sports car - it is the new breed of ultra efficiency in world motoring.

Focusing on the powertrain, the Toyota iQ joins smart's fortwo car as a member of the ultra-efficiency club of gasoline (petrol) and diesel powered cars. With the 5-speed manual transmission and the 1.0 litre inline 3-cylinder VVT-i gasoline engine, the iQ achieves a combined fuel consumption of 4.3 L/100 km (54.7 U.S. MPG / 65.69 Imp MPG) on the EEC test, and 4.9 L/100 km (48.0 U.S. MPG / 57.65 MPG) in the city, and 3.9 L/100 km (60.31 U.S. MPG / 72.43 Imp MPG) in pure highway driving conditions. CO2 output on the iQ in the 1.0 L 5-speed manual configuration is a respectable 99g/100 km, which allows it to qualify for tax credits or purchase incentives from some countries as a low emissions vehicle.

The most efficient iQ is the diesel powered 6-speed manual 1.4 litre D-4D and it is also the most powerful iQ powerplant. The Toyota 1.4 L D-4D iQ engine achieves a fuel consumption of up to 3.5 L/100 km (67.2 U.S. MPG / 80.71 Imp MPG) in pure highway driving conditions, with a combined 4.0 L/100 km (58.8 U.S. MPG / 70.62 Imp MPG) on the EEC test, and 103 g/km of CO2 output emissions. The D-4D diesel accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 11.8 seconds, and the 1.0 L gasoline 5-speed does it in 14.7 seconds.

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