Consumer Reports is panning the tiny Toyota-built Scion iQ subcompact car in its latest round of auto reviews.
The magazine said it found the Scion to be "slow, uncomfortable and noisy, among other drawbacks. With a road test score of 29, it joins the ranks of the lowest-scoring cars Consumer Reports has tested in recent years."
"While the iQ's fuel economy is good within its class, it requires drivers to endure a lot of trade-offs just to save at the pump. Its $16,205 sticker price is no bargain either," said David Champion, who heads the Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center.
The magazine did say that the iQ is easy to park and gets an average of 34 miles a gallon in a mix of city and highway driving.
Consumer Reports has generally given poor reviews to small subcompact cars. It noted that the Scion iQ is slightly bigger than the Smart ForTwo, which the magazine observed is also among its lowest-scoring cars. It also has given poor reviews to small-car rivals the Toyota Yaris, Fiat 500 and Nissan Versa.
Among small subcompacts, Consumer Reports likes the Honda Fit best.
Consumer Reports also did a face-off between two popular sport sedans: The BMW 3 series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The BMW 328i beat the Mercedes C250 by only one point in CR's road test: 86 to 85.
"The 328i is quicker, handles better and is more fun to drive, although its steering is less communicative than in the previous model. And CR recorded an impressive 28 mpg overall, easily the best fuel economy in the class. But the C250 is quieter and provides a more refined powertrain and simpler controls. Each car provides taut, agile handling, with little body lean and high cornering limits," the magazine said.
Both are improved over the previous models Consumer Reports tested, but they still score below the Infiniti G37 in this category, according to the magazine.