2012 Scion iQ Starts at $15,265


When it goes on sale this October, the Scion iQ will not only be the smallest four-seater on the market, it will be one of the most affordable. Starting at $15,265 before $730 in destination charges, the iQ is one of the least expensive cars with an automatic transmission besides the 2012 Nissan Versa sedan ($12,760) and the 2011 Smart ForTwo ($12,490).

The iQ’s continuously variable automatic transmission is teamed to a 94-horsepower engine and gets an impressive 36/37 mpg city/highway and 37 mpg combined, which beats the ForTwo’s 36 mpg combined figure on premium gas and the Versa’s 33 mpg combined figure. That’s also the combined figure for the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent with automatics.

The iQ comes well equipped with standard air conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, Bluetooth for phone and streaming audio, USB input, four-speaker Pioneer stereo, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, 11 airbags, stability control, 16-inch steel wh1eels, folding side mirrors and trip computer.

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Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David