Smart ForTwo vs. Scion iQ: The tiny car business is growing

 

By Posted 26 May 2013, 09:14

Sub-compact cars afford luxuries their larger counterparts don’t, such as the ability to squeeze into tiny parking spaces and higher gas mileage – which results in lower fuel costs and less of an impact on the environment. While you may think these benefits only come with tiny Smart ForTwo cars that are less than 9 feet long, Scion has introduced the iQ, a 10 feet-long four-seater hatchback.

Smart-ForTwo-vs.-Scion-iQ

Also See: Smart Car tipping is no epidemic

Smart ForTwo – Smart ForTwo cars are little two-seaters that come in gas (and soon, electric) models that are priced between $12,490-$28,000. ConsumerReports.org reports while it is easy to park, the car is slow to get up to speed and has jerky handling and clumsy gear changes. U.S. News & World Report echoes that sentiment, calling the Smart ForTwo’s performance unrefined. Still, the Smart ForTwo delivers on fuel efficiency, at 39 mpg, though it does require premium fuel.

They may be small, but the Smart ForTwo offers myriad personalization opportunities. Owners may even customize their car wraps themselves or purchase one of the pre-designed wraps offered. Be mindful that car features such as air conditioning and radio, too, must be purchased as add-ons in basic models. Safety features are standard – each comes with eight standard size airbags.

Cars at the Smart Center Dallas start at $99 per month for a lease.

Scion iQ – The Scion iQ has fewer personalization options than the ForTwo, with fewer than 10 colors to choose from. It does have those two extra passengers seats, though, but ConsumerReports.org reports they may be too small to enjoy sitting in comfortably. The slightly larger vehicle gets 34 mpg, though ConsumerReports.org warns the car is darty, slow, uncomfortable and noisy. It currently ranks 35 out of 43 for affordable small cars based on 15 published reviews and test drives, according to U.S. News & World Report, which also reports it has sharp steering and is ideal for city life.

The Scion iQ also doesn’t skimp on safety – the car comes with 11 airbags. There is only one model of the Scion iQ, with a stereo and air conditioning included, and it starts at $15,495 at Toyota dealers in DFW.

Things to Remember About Small Cars – Small cars are ideal for city dwellers who are mostly driving short distances at slower-than-highway speeds. Though they may be driven on highways, they have significantly weaker acceleration than larger models. They are ideal for those who usually need to take only one or two passengers along for the ride and for those who need to park into small spots. They don’t guzzle gas like SUVs, and they’re among the least expensive new vehicles for purchase.

Scion-iQ