Scion 2012 iQ… Surprisingly Charming

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Although the iQ won’t be available in the Midwest until early next spring, reviews already rolling in speak positively over Scion’s new micro-subcompact car.  The iQ has been compared favorably to the Smart car, suggesting it may see more success than its microcar competitor.


Reviewers have called the iQ surprisingly charming and cited that the front seats are comfortable and provide a decent amount of space.  As a micro-subcompact, of course it will be small, and it’s not intended for those requiring a vast amount of cargo space.  Rather, it’s marketed towards urban buyers, and for that market, the iQ ought to hit the spot.


The iQ is ten feet long, which might sound pretty sizable.  However, compared to the Toyota Camry, which is six feet longer, the iQ starts to look like what it is.  It is one foot longer than the Smart Fortwo.


In general, reviewers are saying the iQ has everything on the Smart Fortwo.  Although intended mainly for city driving, the iQ performs better than the Smart Fortwo on the highway and feels more stable than its competitor.


It’s important to remember, though, that the iQ is still a small car, and will feel more in its element in the city than on the highway.  City drivers will find it nimble and comfortable, and that it handles a little like a sports car.


In case you’ve missed the stats in the past, here’s a quick run down: the iQ has a 1.3L, four-cylinder engine that gets 94hp and 89 lb-ft of torque.  It gets 36mpg in the city and 37mpg on the highway, making its combined fuel efficiency 37mpg, which, according to Scion, is the highest for all non-hybrid cars.

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2012 Buick Regal GS: Not Your Grandmother’s Car

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Buick may have a reputation for being for older drivers, but the editors over at Automobile Magazine will disagree.  The editors recently tested and reviewed the 2012 Buick Regal GS, and the impressions were overall positive.  The 2012 Regal GS is based on the European Opel Insignia.

Overall, the editors seemed to be in agreement over the Regal’s improved performance.  Many expressed that traditionally, they thought of the Buick as their “grandmother’s car,” or a car for older people, and were surprised by the new GS.  Kelly Murphy, Creative Director, said it “looked so nice, with its carbon metallic paint glistening in the sun.”


The general consensus seemed to be that the Regal was the best Buick any of them had ever driven.  The steering was sharper, quick, accurate, light and direct.  It drives more like a European car, which is not surprising considering the Regal GS’s roots.  David Zenlea, Assistant Editor, found that the Regal GS had less turbo lag in the 2.0L 4-cyilinder engine, and liked the handling, saying that it had “some of the sharpest steering I’ve ever experience in a front-wheel-drive car.”


Of the exterior, Amy Skogstrom was a fan of the styling and the Regal’s unique character.  On the inside, the seats are well bolstered and very comfortable – what you would expect with a Buick.


The Buick Regal GS starts at $35,310, although the reviewers tested the $38,350 model.  It comes with a 2.0L DOHC turbocharged and intercooled I-4 engine with six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive.  It gets a fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.  Features include variable effort power steering, interactive Drive Control System, front four-piston Brembo brakes, a USB port with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, tilt-and-telescoping steering, and more.


Despite rave reviews, there was also a worry lacing the review.  A few editors voiced concerns that even though the Buick Regal GS is a good car, it won’t succeed in the US due to poor marketing.  Writes Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor, “GM’s true test isn’t if it can build a high-performance Buick – it’s if it can sell it.”

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