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.