In spite of the gigantic windscreen and doors, the over the shoulder side view is very poor. The thick B-pillar and rear ‘porthole’ windshield make angled junctions a bit tricky.
We sampled both the manual 1.4-litre diesel & the 1.3 petrol which has a CVT gearbox - the petrol variation is arriving in the British isles next year - & both machines brought the iQ reasonable big-car performance. The 1.33 and CVT was a remarkable arrangement giving incredibly muscular performance, even when going up slopes.
The CVT gearbox is very clean changing and there is barely any of the brief lag and uncomfortable engine braking which often continues to upsets the Smart’s onward progress. Never the less, when in ‘eco’ mode, the gearbox moves into highest gear very quickly, leaving the motor on the stage of labouring at urban speeds.
The iQ is 2985 millimeters from bumper to bumper & sits on a specialized front-engined chassis. Supporting the iQ concept was the repositioning of the front wheels to make sure they are stationed ahead of the engine, realized by using a differential postioned in front of the engine’s crankshaft.
Toyota says this approach allowed it to trim the normal distance from the tip of the front bumper to the gase pedal by 120 millimeters giving spare floor space that's made its way directly into the cabin.