Since we already concluded that a Continuous Variable Transmission is positively not suited for a driver with a heavy right foot, from both performance and fuel economy point of views, we didn't expect any "Open Road" praises from it either. Well, contrary to what we were guessing, the CVT is actually very well suited for casual cruising.
We first noticed this after observing that after you no longer accelerate the rpm settle to the minimum possible for the car to keep moving. For example, at a steady speed of 60 kilometers per hour (37 mph), the rev counter shows a little over 1000 rpm, while the instant fuel consumption remains at a steady and most of all astonishing 2.4 liters per 100 kilometers (US 98 mpg). At a decent cruising speed of let's say 100 km/h (62 mph), the fuel consumption rises to about 4.5-4.8 liters per 100 kilometers (US 49-52.3 mpg).
Sure, all this fuel consumption-related good news will probably go completely unnoticed after you'll get obliterated by an oncoming thirty tonne truck when you try to pass someone at any speed higher than 70 km/h (40 mph). There is simply not enough torque/power or transmission assistance in order for you to "slingshot" past another vehicle.
The zero to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) time is a snail-competing 15.2 seconds, which feels even slower in reality "thanks" to the same dreadful Continuous Variable Transmission and the fact that even in this petite shape, the car is slightly underpowered.
The overall stability and comfort is almost exactly the same as that in a much larger car though. For example, even though the iQ's wheelbase is about as large a a normal car's front or rear track, we didn't experience any smart fortwo-like seesaw movements. On the whole, if we were to neglect the total lack of performance, the iQ would actually feel like a normal-sized car on the open road. Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
OK, now my two neurons are really confused. There's a tiny car which makes you smart and another one which gives you IQ? Which one should I choose, they both sound like they would do wonders for my self esteem? Some people told me I have a low IQ, while others have called me stupid. Hmm, this could only mean I should change my car with one of these two...
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →