Consumer Reports has bashed the new Scion iQ, a small, some would say "mini" car introduced this year through the Toyota sales channel, a definite reversal for the Japanese automaker that has traditionally been a darling of the magazine.

The magazine's vehicle testers ranked the car comparably to the smart fortwo, one of the most consistently criticized vehicles on the market today, according to CR and most automotive enthusiast magazines and websites. Consumer Reports deemed the iQcar "amazingly small", reflecting both its most positive and negative qualities that earned it its place as the second-lowest scoring car in the magazine's review history.

Consumer Reports delivered a shocking evaluation calling the iQ "toy-like" and recommending a more "civilized" vehicle. Both sides of the car are taken up almost entirely by the doors, and trunk space has been substituted with a foldable rear seat. Also noted by the reviewers is the ill-placed headrests on the rear seats, which limit rear vision via the mirrors. A lack of modern sound deadening material prompted CR to describe its road test as "nervous, busy, and choppy."

Cars as small as the IQ set up expectations that they ill have astronomical fuel economy. But the IQ's combined 34 mpg disappoints in this category, as does the smart fortwo and Fiat 500. As with its two rivals, the best attribute of the iQ is the ease with which it slips into small parking spaces. That makes these mini cars more popular in congested cities of Europe than they are likely to ever be in the U.S.

Priced at over $16,000 dollars, CR concluded its pretty rough review by advising readers look elsewhere for more value, as well as quality. "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, Sr. Director of Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center. Champion noted that Scion's own xD and the Honda Fit would be better choices.

Hatchbacks are incredibly handy vehicles, and often appeal to those who like the utility of an SUV or crossover, but want a cheaper sticker price and better fuel economy. Take a quick look at a gallery of five better choices for high-value and fun-to-drive hatchback cars.

View Gallery: The Top Five Smartest And Dumbest Hatchbacks