Five-Point Inspection: 2012 Scion iQ

Five-Point Inspection: 2012 Scion iQ

Sophisticated Little Engine and CVT Work Well

A dual overhead cam four-cylinder with variable valve timing, an aluminum block and head paired with a CVT make for a surprisingly peppy driving experience.

With a teensy 2,127-lb curb weight, the car’s 94 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque actually feel reasonable. You won’t be smoking any tires, but passing a pickup truck on a country two lane will put a goofy grin on your face.

Paired with a CVT, the engine is happy in most driving conditions — even the highway where at 70 mph it hums around 3000 rpm.

The two offer a driving experience that bests the Smart ForTwo by feeling like a car instead of a golf cart. It’s just too bad that it carries a ludicrous $16,020 starting price that the recently-released Chevrolet Spark spanks with an actually-appropriate $12,245 MSRP.