By on October 10, 2008

Motor Trend has a hot hand right now with the investigative journalism. After stunning the world by announcing that the new Corvette wouldn’t be mid-engined (gasp!) the MT boyz have more hot, fresh news to blow your mind. Specifically, that they hear rumors that the Toyota iQ could be sold stateside as a Scion. What, you mean the iQ city car won’t be sold next to the cheaper, larger, faster Yaris on Toyota’s showroom floor? We’re shocked, shocked we say. The US iQ will be revealed at the LA Auto Show in November, at which point we will know if it’s to be a Scion or a ‘yota. Not that there’s half as much drama as MT lets on. In addition to the difficulties in positioning the iQ vis-a-vis the Yaris, there’s also the concern that it could steal some thunder from the new Prius, set to be unveiled early next year in Detroit. Yes, it would be priced similarly to the xD, but the size an door-count differences make cannibalism less of an issue than if the iQ were branded as a Toyota. Besides, Scion desperately needs a sales boost right about now. Then again, the iQ could also fit well with a rumored dedicated Prius brand… except that it will be expensive and efficient enough without a hybrid powertrain. And so Toyota begins to reap the bitter harvest of multiple brands, an early symptom of what ToMoCo Prez Watanabe calls “Big Company Syndrome.”

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19 Comments on “Toyota iQ to become Scion iQ...”

  • avatar

    Dear Toyota,

    I would like to express my extreme disappointment at your decision not to market Scion in Canada. As you well know, Canadian buying patterns and demographics particularly suit the vehicles Scion offers: no doubt you noticed the quadrupling of sales of the Echo when the hatchback was brought over, or that Honda sells every Element it can build, or that grey-market xB imports flourish.

    All I am able to surmise is that your refusal to offer Scion in Canada is being done to maintain the artificially high price and low feature content for your Canadian vehicles vis a vis the American market.

    Failing to bring the iQ to Canada is, effectively, handing market leadership in this space to your more agile competitors. In addition, it’s an effective demonstration of how you, collectively, don’t even engage the Canadian customer in foreplay, let alone bother to buy him/her flowers and take it out for dinner beforehand.


    Someone who wasn’t about to pay thirty thousand for a grey-market xB, let alone twenty-five for a Corolla or Matrix with stability control.

  • avatar

    Should we really treat Scion as a brand? I have yet to see a dealer that keeps a seperate scion showroom.

    If they really wanted to push the Scion thing, they should get some of the dealers to open up funky urban show rooms in old buildings in downtown areas like Lodo in Denver, or midtown Houston.

    As it is, I think treating Scion like its a brand is really an error.

  • avatar

    What with everyone in the country broke and fuel costs on a long-term ascension, I have a feeling Toyota’s gonna sell a bazillion of these little turds.

    Given the death-and-taxes nature of that 1.5L engine, we’re likely gonna see these suckers toodling around long after all the wheel covers have been curbed to oblivion, side mirrors are dangling by power cords, and AutoZone DOT-spec red tape has mended broken tail lamps.

    On the upside, they’ll make good explosive targets in some new XBOX game.

  • avatar

    Any real ideas on pricing? 90% of my driving involves commuting in stop-n-go traffic, 22 miles each way. Wouldn’t need much more than this to get that job done. Still, I’m “new car adverse” especially when it comes to depreciation and for what this scooter will cost, I’m sure I could find a dozen suitable alternatives in the three to five-year old vehicle market…

  • avatar

    Scion won’t get any sales boost from that POS. Damn that thing’s ugly. Who would’ve thought they could make a car uglier than the Yaris.

  • avatar

    It needs a 1.0 liter engine (or smaller); otherwise it’s not going to be much more fuel-efficient than a typical subcompact.

  • avatar

    I love when people assume that Scion won’t sell cars because they’re ugly. Have you ever seen sales figure for the 1st-gen xB? Or are you just assuming that nobody would buy one because you wouldn’t buy one?

    Used gen 1 xB’s with 40K on them routinely go for as much used as they did brand-new. Literally. Dollar for dollar. Hideously ugly cars sell great, provided they have the utility to back it up.

    LC: my scion dealer has a seperate showroom, sales team, and (coming soon) its own distinct service building. What exactly are you looking for?

  • avatar

    I think it’s a good idea to bring the iQ to Scion.

    In America it’s a bit too small and quirky for the Toyota brand (as long as you have to share the road with so many large SUVs and pickup trucks).

    So this way at least it will be available in the US.

  • avatar

    Are they freaking kidding? They need a drivers car, not this. Then again, Toyota hasn’t made anything fun since they discontinued the MKIV Supra in 1998. (MR2 Spyder fan in the back, sit down.)

  • avatar

    I’m so glad that the IQ is coming to the US. I lust for a car of such diminutive dimensions. My only concern is that the engine will be weak. Anyone heard what kind of engine this thing will have? I want to go small, but I don’t want to go slow.

  • avatar

    The exterior is actually a pretty good work out of such a small car. I kinda like it. some of the details of the interior look like they were borrowed from 80’s GM spec. That crisp edged knee banger that greets the driver as they get in should be worked on!

  • avatar

    @ pars

    Are you complaining? Down here we get the honor (???) of buying a base Corolla for 35 000 US dollars. Yes 35 THOUSAND (working on a conservative 2 reais to 1 dollar ratio, before the current panic it was like 1,3 and last week the markets ballooned it up to 2.4). Me never, unlike you, if I’m gonna spend that kind of money on a compact (here in Brazil executive level car) I’m buying European and getting the most for my buck. Check out the recently released Fiat Linea, beautiful in a very classical way. And loaded with all the goodies I’d have to spend 45 ThOUSAND US dollars to pry an equivalent one from Toyota’s greedy fingers. Due to such greed I wish they’d go away aince here all they sell is the aforementioned Corolla at those ridiculous prices and have been generally responsible for pulling up and up and away prices in this market. For a very fugly car I might add. That puts one o sleep, too.

    Back on subject, FORD, BRING THE KA TO THE US ALREADY!!! Kill this design monstruosity with your much more beautiful, much more fun to drive, just as reliable and frugal KA. C’mon, you know you can!

  • avatar

    Ugly… but not smart car ugly!

  • avatar

    Wow, this thing is ugly. From the side it is 70% door and 30% hand-me-the-chainsaw. What it needs is a contrived name that sounds like a private body part. Since “Yaris” is already taken, how about “Prostrum”?

  • avatar

    This reminds of the recent article on the ‘net recently that said research shows that poeple tend to like angry looking cars.
    The IQ looks pretty pissed off to me.
    If this thing gets marketed in the USA, and Toyo fails to bring in the four seat Aygo, it would appear to me they are not thinking right.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I like this car, but if they slap a Scion badge on it, I’ll hate it.

    I can’t stand Scion.

  • avatar
    coconut lime

    wow, this is one cool car, i really hope toyota will bring it to canada. i’ll take this over a smart fortwo.

    for those who wanted scion to come to canada. it’s bring scion over in 2010.

  • avatar

    Being a Scion driver already, I think this little thing is SWEET! It might be ugly, but I bet it’s like a little race car.

    Our local Toyota dearer also has a separate showroom for Scions, and a very very intelligent sales representative. I think Scions are wonderful. They’re affordable, and they don’t depreciate. The 4-cylinder we drive has so much pep. Look into one. They’re pretty great.

    In response to landcrusher (who posted back in October and probably won’t read this!), why is Scion any different than other branching done by auto companies? Aren’t Ford & Mercury practically the same? (I’m not educated in this, so if I’m wrong, it’s okay to point and laugh)

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