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2010 Scion xD: Not Cute Or Cool, But Efficient And Reliable


2010 Scion xD

2010 Scion xD

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Starting at $15,570 when equipped with the standard five speed manual transmission and 1.8 liter 128 horsepower 4-cylinder engine, the 2010 Scion xD is frankly just totally overpriced. Before the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and even Toyota Yaris came out, the Scion xA seemed very inexpensive to buyers. But unfortunately for Scion and Toyota the small car game is tougher than ever and entry-level shoppers have more choices.

A lot of pretty sweet cars and pretty sweet deals have come out since the second generation Scion xD launched in the small car universe and evidence of that is easily found in the shrinking sales of this once “golden” Toyota subsidiary. Granted, all xD models come with power everything, air conditioning, an iPod connection, reclining rear seat and even a six-speaker 172 CD-audio system. But why not throw in alloy wheels (plastic wheel covers make cars look tacky) and floormats with the base price?

Besides pricing for the xD, there is another issue with this most basic of Scion hatchbacks. Well, more like a few issues. First off the xD is just a fly-in-your-face, blatant form of ugly and does not so much have a hood as a forlornly attached metal beak. Without fail every angle of the xD comes across as somehow awkward to such a degree that you may find yourself standing in its malformed presence afraid to utter a word.

The 2010 Scion xD doesn’t look like a stylish new car you bought to impress your friends but instead it looks like an alien freak that zoomed in from another dimension via a “Dr. Who”-like wormhole. Then, to add insult to injury, the xD features an interior that not only feels cheap but also has really poor ergonomic switch placement. On a Toyota!

And Toyota thought they had it bad with that unintended acceleration recall. Scion may never be able to re-capture its young, hipster cache it had when it first launced the Xa and Xb models, mainly because the xD looks like the kind of car an 84-year old single, retired junior high school librarian would buy. And that, unfortunately, will never be cool by any stretch of the imagination.

The fact of the matter is that Toyota has lost track of what made it such a great car company. Yes, it first launched small, economical cars in this country—it wasn’t gold plated Lexus sedans and V-8-powered monster trucks. If Toyota spent a little more time investing in that old Toyota “magic” in regard to small cars, there is no way the line-up of Scion models won’t be hot sellers once more.

For instance, it wouldn’t hurt if the next xD maintained its excellent 27 mile-per-gallon city/33 mpg highway EPA rating. Just don’t make the styling so “out there” that even alien life forms (otherwise known as “Star Trek” fans) shun it.

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Comments (5)
  1. These times you'll defenitely need a good reliable car, which is cheap efficient and not costly to maintain. You can buy any car in America, Called "Japaneese car."
     
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  2. What about a young, hip, public librarian? That's me and I drive this ugly mini-beast. It's been a good car for me though---very efficient, inexpensive to maintain, and a good deal of fun around town. I just wish the manual transmission wasn't such a struggle.
     
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  3. I think for the non-conformists teens and those who like cost-effective cars, the xD is also "cool and cute" as well as efficient and reliable. I own a 2009 Scion xD and it definitely surpasses the MPG EPA rating. Trust me, I speed everywhere and I still maintain about 36 MPG. I agree, the car is inexpensive to maintain and it's a lot of fun to drive (especially since I drive from the Bay Area to San Diego 2 times a year). The xD is much better than the xA since it's not too small, yet it still maintains the compact car status. Oh and I think this car is extremely cute, particularly because of it's "chunky" demeanor.
     
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  4. I have a 2009 xD, and have put about 40,000 miles on it. The fit and finish is not up to VW or Mazda standards, but it better than many other cars out there. The ride is a little harsh, but the car feels pretty solid on the road. I tow a trailer regularly, which Toyota does not recommend in the US, but does approve on the European version. It tows very well and I still average over 36 MPG. I have gotten as high as 41 MPG. My MPG numbers are calculated at the pump, not taken from the somewhat optimistic dash display. I agree with Mr. Hamel that the car should come with alloy wheels and floor mats. I added these on at the dealership. I also thing that the short shift kit should be standard. The 5-speed is too sloppy without it.
     
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  5. I do not think that this little compact is THAT ugly. I like the boxy-ness and overall feel that the xB is too boxy while the xA is too small. The xD feels like a happy medium.
     
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