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A Day With An Iq


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Yesterday my partner dropped her 58 plate Aygo Blue into our local dealer for a number of rattles and squeaks to be silenced! Whilst it was there we had asked to borrow an iQ to test drive for the day and the keys for a rather fetching white, iQ2 automatic, were given to us. The iQ has interested us both since we first learned of the concept and this was an ideal opportunity to put one through it's paces and see how it would fare in real-life usage rather than just a quick test drive. The Aygo is our second and is a superb car. Whilst it is a manual my A Class is automatic and Sandie thoroughly enjoys driving that, hence our request for an iQ automatic. Before we even so much as opened the door of the iQ it had a tough brief as I am 6' 4" tall and have had reconstructive graft surgery to both my knees in the last 18 months. Car comfort is vital for me and I can usually tell within seconds of getting into a car as to whether I will be able to drive it comfortably or not. Fellow tall people will probably agree with me that just because a car is small it doesn't necessarily mean the front seat legroom will be small as well. My A Class has equal front leg room to the Volvo S80 it replaced and the Aygo will easily put many larger cars to shame.

So, with Sandie ensconced in the drivers seat I got into the passenger seat. The previous user was obviously a lot smaller than me as the seat was far forward but I was very pleased to see that it would go back far enough to enable pretty good room for my long legs. The first thing I noticed was the low headroom, with my head brushing the headlining. Angle the backrest back a tad and that was sorted. I also noted that the curve of the headlining meant my head was very close to it when getting in and out, solely due to my height. And with that we were off, and Sandie was grinning from ear to ear immediately. The iQ sounded great, with the same raspy note that the Aygo makes. The first thing we both commented on was the huge amount of shoulder room in the car and the fact that we did not feel that we were in a small car. Even glancing over our shoulders and looking at the luggage space behind us, we still didn't feel like we were in a small car. Rear seat passengers whilst we were in the front would not really be an option. A child could sit behind Sandie but absolutely nobody would be able to sit behind me. We both agreed that the iQ felt very perky and the automatic gearbox suited the car well and made it effortless to drive. We have alweays loved the exterior of an iQ from just about every angle but we did have some reservations about the interior. Whilst the controls were very intuitive and felt solidly put together we were very disappointed with the quality of some of the interior trim. The area around the door handles and the huge, flat, area, in front of the centre console looked, and felt, like sprayed balsa wood and we felt this was the worst aspect of the whole car and not fitting with the quality of the rest of the product. We were also alarmed to note how easily it scratched and the inside of our demonstrator, which only had 3000 miles on the clock, was looking quite shabby. We take great pride in our cars and this kind of easy damage would be upsetting.

We got the iQ home, had a thorough look around it and then took off for the day to try it out properly. I was now driving and found getting a comfortable driving position was remarkably easy. The only issue I had was with the low roof lining. With the seat set as I would normally drive my head was planted firmly on the ceiling. If I angled the seat back I found myself stretching a little bit to reach the steering wheel. I eventually settled on a position where my head just touched the ceiling and my reach was just a little more than usual. This was quite acceptable and caused me no problems at all during the day. Due to my knees I can tell within seconds if a car is going to be comfortable or not. The iQ passed with flying colours. For absolute perfection I would have liked the drivers seat to go back another inch and the steering wheel to have reach adjustment as well as rake. If you're under 6' 4" with an inside leg shorter than 34" you will be amazed at how comfortably you will fit into an iQ. I loved the automatic gearbox, the chunky, quality, feel of the steering wheel, the exterior looks especially and the sheer feel good factor of the car. The iQ turns heads wherever it goes and the turning circle is simply remarkable.

Rather cheekily we called in at a Smart dealer whilst we had the iQ to check out the opposition! We were staggered at how ancient the Smart felt, how small it felt overall and how cheap it felt inside. Without hesitation we would pay the extra to own an iQ instead of a Smart. We eventually headed home via the motorway, my regular commuting route, and, again, I was staggered at how accomplished the iQ felt. At no time did we feel vulnerable in it or that it was severely lacking in power - it wasn't.

All good things must come to an end and we took 'our' iQ back to the dealer to collect our, now, rattle-free Aygo. Sandie felt very sad at handing the keys back as she had thoroughly enjoyed her day of being an iQ owner. We jumped into the Aygo and immediately settled back into Aygo ownership. The boot of the Aygo now seemed huge and the accessibility to the rear seats a breeze compared to the three door iQ.

So, would we buy an iQ? No, we wouldn't. That isn't because we didn't like the iQ, we, both, absolutely loved it. Quite simply the versatility of both the Aygo and the A Class is more suitable for our lifestyles at present and we cannot ignore that. If we wanted a car simply to drive for the pleasure of getting into a car and just driving it, relishing the attention it commanded, enjoying how utterly different it looked to absolutely everything else on the road we would buy an iQ - without hesitation. And if you have an iQ we are very envious of the fun you are undoubtedly having in your car. And if you have a white iQ2 with an automatic gearbox, we are even more envious.

This is my first post here, albeit I have been a lurker for a very long time. Hopefully the above will be useful to somebody at sometime as indeed many posts in both this and the Aygo forum have been for me.



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We were staggered at how ancient the Smart felt, how small it felt overall and how cheap it felt inside. Without hesitation we would pay the extra to own an iQ instead of a Smart.

+1. Having owned 5 smarts we too were impressed with the iQ over the smart and put our money into a white, automatic iQ2.

I must say our interior is holding up quite well over the 3800 miles we've done. We're not especially careful with it, passengers are always letting the seatbelt go and I do wince when the buckle hits the side. The only thing I do to the interior is give it a good coating of the aerospace 303 stuff - not sure if this is actually protecting it but it does give a nice finish to the (admittedly cheap) plastic.

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...........and the sniffy gits @ mercedes <_<

I've never understood that thing about Merc dealers. :huh:

Why is that a bloke who sells Mercs thinks himself better than a bloke who sells Toyotas?

They both have the same job, both earn the same money...........strange...... :unsure:

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