CC Capsule: The Micro-Van And The Mini-Van

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Interesting pairings of cars always catch my attention. The title “micro-van” isn’t really accurate, but it’s pretty obvious why that came it mind; it does look a bit like a radically shortened and chopped mini-van. The Scion iQ (Toyota iQ in the rest of the world) is not exactly a common sight, but there are a couple around town that I’ve noticed. I don’t know what Toyota’s expectation for it were in the NA market, but it’s probably not meeting them. Let’s go find out…

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Having just checked Toyota’s sales stats, it’s certainly not meeting them, given that its sales in 2013 so far are running 56% down from the same period last year, and averaging less than 500 per month. That puts it almost in Honda CR-Z and Insight territory. And the Smart’s too. A little dudlet? But an intelligent one?

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Japan wasn’t the iQ’s target, since it doesn’t qualify for kei status. Undoubtedly, Toyota had Europe in its visor when it designed the iQ; a smarter Smart. And that it is, given its ability to tuck one and a half persons into its rear seating area. That can come in pretty handy, every once in a while. But in the US, who really cares about having such a short car? Especially when it cost two grand more than a Yaris. Who said intelligence comes cheap?