September 4, 2012
2012 Scion iQ Five Axis Design. Click image to enlarge
Whenever a car is lowered, and the tire’s sidewalls shrink, and it can only be expected that the ride will suffer; the iQ is no exception. The ride borderlines on jarring and is not for anyone who thinks sports cars like the FR-S, MX-5, or Genesis Coupe are too stiff. The iQ now clunks and thumps over bumps. Maybe this was enough to make the Bluetooth system skip (It’s not a record player. –Ed.) as the audio streaming from my phone kept cutting out and the phone would disconnect the second a call came in.
While discussing the negatives, the kit also adds some weight to the iQ’s standard 960 kg. This heft, added to a wider, more resistant tire tread, combined to hurt fuel economy to the tune of 7.8 L/100 km average during our week with the iQ. That is worse than the 7.5 L/100 km I achieved last winter in a stock iQ and far off of the official Natural Resources Canada ratings of 5.5 L/100 km city and 4.6 L/100 km highway.
The rest of the car is still the same ‘old’ iQ. It still has the same 1.3L 4-cylinder engine producing 94 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque. It still only comes equipped with a continuously variable transmission, albeit one of the best out there that will simulate three gear changes from a dead stop to 100 km/h. And, it is still so simple, intuitive, and easy to drive. My wife found it no problem to operate and was comfortable behind the wheel in minutes. She wasn’t, however, a fan of the harsh ride.
I am hoping that the Five Axis Design may add a stage-two upgrade down the road. I would suggest an air intake and mild exhaust to boost power north of 100 hp, and then maybe put in some proper sport seats to replace the current uncomfortable, floppy, unsupportive ones. Regardless, as it stands now, I am still very impressed with this package and quite enjoyed driving this car. Those with an iQ looking for a little flash and fun should give the kit a look.
Pricing: 2012 Scion iQ
Base price: $16,760
Options: $3,428.79 (5-piece iQ kit unpainted and not installed – MSRP: $1214.51; SF:6 gunmetal 18×7.5 inch wheels – MSRP $303.57 per wheel; Tein High Tech Springs – MSRP: ~$300; Five Axis Design kit: $700 (plus tax; incl. painting and installation))
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $21,678.79