Toyota IQ

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Toyota IQ

When the IQ first appeared at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show as a concept car, two quirks made it really stand out.

Firstly, its unconventional cabin layout seated three adults, plus one child or some shopping bags. Secondly it was less than three metres long, which is smaller than the original Mini.

Now it is in Geneva as a production reality and the quirky features remain very much part of the plan.

It is expected to go on sale in the UK in early 2009, with power provided by a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel. The sizes of these units have not been confirmed, but Toyota hopes all three will emit under 100g/km of carbon dioxide.

Just because its small, it doesnt mean it will lack features, though. Standard kit will include sat-nav, 16-inch alloy wheels, air-con and several space-saving tricks including a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

The car has also been designed with safety in mind, and Toyota says it expects it to score five stars in Euro NCAP tests for adult protection.

There's no official word on prices, but the emissions-saving technology means that it will probably cost more than the Yaris, at about 8500.