autojaponica

Toyota IQ

In Toyota on October 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm

With Much Fanfare earlier this week, Toyota launched their much awaited 1.4 million yen 2 door IQ city car in Japan to go on sale next month.

The IQ would seemingly have all the attributes to make it a big seller in its home market.  First of all its tiny with an equally small 1000cc engine, both features highly regarded by the Japanese consumer.  It also carries the revered name of the most domestically respected brand.  

All of these little strings add to the IQ’S petite bow and should ensure a steady stream of orders.

Japan may however present the biggest challenge to the rather dynamic IQ`s global sales onslaught and that challenge will be the omnipresent Kei car. 

Toyota doesn`t presently dabble in this market directly but it does very heavily with its Daihatsu brand.

For historical, social, enviromental and economic reasons, Japan has long had a class of automobile which must conform to engine capacity (660cc) and size (very small) restrictions.  The benefit in owning one of these dimunitive machines is a big reduction in insurance, road tax and naturally they can be very cheap to buy new.

Toyota`s IQ doesn’t fit this criteria except in size but one without the other is meaningless. 

The range of Kei cars is vast and covers a huge range of styles.  Mostly city cars but also vans, 2 seater sports and even mini 4×4’s.  Nearly all of them come with 4 doors as standard and are supremely spacious given their dimensions.

For less yen than Toyota`s smallest, a newly revised and very cool looking Suzuki Wagon R Stingray can be had with 4 doors, 64 ps against the IQ’s 68ps and able to achieve a rather gratifying 21.5km per litre compared to a slightly better 23km per litre for the IQ.

In my mind the Suzuki would represent a alot more car for the money especially as it starts nearly 200,000 yen cheaper at 1.25 million yen.

The great Japanse public will soon make their preferences clear.

Toyota IQ

Toyota IQ

Suzuki Stingray

Suzuki Stingray

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