By Dave Stall
There are a lot of folks who have not jumped on the “electric car” bandwagon, yet they still want a small car to commute in or make it their daily driver. I have been in both vehicles and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Before I go any farther I want to talk a little about safety. I know once you see a car this small you automatically think it is a death trap. That is not true, any car or truck you drive could be a death trap! The manufacture could not build a car in the US that did not meet strict safety rules and regulations. So let’s move on and compare these little cuties!
2013 Scion iQ
The press event I attended was interesting; one to two hour drives with a maximum mile range for each drive was no more than 10 miles! Talk about traffic, but the Scion did just fine, in fact because of its size parking was a snap and traffic maneuvering was actually a joy. (The Smart has similar characteristics) The 2013 Scion iQ start out at $16,250 plus tax and license, you get 36 miles per gallon in the city and 37 miles per gallon on the freeway using unleaded fuel.
The iQ is a technically a four passenger vehicle, in fact the front passenger seat slides much father forward so the back seat occupant will have amply leg room, not so much behind the driver unless he or she is under 5 foot 6 inches? Under the hood you will find a peppy little 1.3L engine that produces 94 hp at 6,000 rpm and Torque at 89 lb.-ft. at 4,400 rpm. Backed by a CVT-I transmission that shifts well on city street as well as the freeway. Wheelbase is 78.7 inches long and the tire size is 16-inch. You can load up your iQ with all the latest’s features. Another feature worth mentioning is Scion Service Boost Includes: Normal factory-recommended maintenance services up to 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first and complimentary 24-Hour Roadside Assistance for up to 2 years from the date of purchase. Now let’s look at the Smart Foretwo.
2013 Smart Fortwo
The correct name for this car is Smart, not “Smart Car”, not saying it is not a smart car its name is just not a “Smart Car”. Smart was one of the first micro small cars to show up on our shores since the European invasion back in the late 60’s. The Smart starts out at $12,490 plus tax and license. The 2013 Smart Fortwo is powered by a three cylinder inline engine that produces 70 horsepower at 5800 rpm and a torque rating of 68-pound foot of torque at 4500 rpm and a fuel mileage reading of 34 city and 38 highway but you will have to put 91 octane premium fuel to get those numbers. The Smart come with one transmission, a five speed automated automatic transmission, no other transmission is available but you can build your Smart with a lot of extras and features.
Wheel base is 73.5 inches which is a little shorter than the iQ but the Smart has a total length of 106.1 versus the iQ of 120.1 inches which still makes Smart a little shorter but interior space numbers for the iQ has an passenger volume of 73.8 versus the Smart which has 45.4 inches of passenger volume. Headroom is close, Smart 39.7 and the Scion has 37.7. There are a lot of comparisons you need to look at before pulling the trigger, plus you need to take them both out for a nice long road test. The base warranty is 48 months or 50,000 miles whichever comes first.
Which would you own? I think I would have to opt for the iQ. I like the transmission better than the Smart and I am not a fan of Premium fuel unless I have 400 horsepower!