Shopping for a new Scion xD? MSRP: $15,920 - $16,720
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5-Door HB ManualRegular Unleaded I-4, 1.8 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 15,124||$ 15,920|
5-Door HB AutomaticRegular Unleaded I-4, 1.8 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 15,884||$ 16,720|
Now in its seventh year, the Scion xD has stayed the same while newer subcompacts have improved by leaps and bounds. In 2007, there was no Ford Fiesta, the Honda Fit was in its previous generation, and the unloved Chevrolet Aveo did little to thrill buyers of the smallest cars. Against that competition, Scion's five-door hatchback aimed at buyers with tight budgets who wanted a healthy dose of style--along with a lavish set of features and accessories--in a smaller package.
Now it faces new and far more stylish competition from the Fiesta, not to mention the well-received Chevy Sonic, a Toyota Yaris that was new in 2012, an all-new Nissan Versa Note just this year, and the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio--all of them fresher than the Scion xD. So while it shares components underneath with the older Yaris, the market has moved on while the Scion xD has stayed put.
For 2014, the only upgrades are a standard 6.1-inch touchscreen display audio system as standard, an available BeSpoke premium audio system, and a handful of new two-tone paint options.
The xD's menacing, bulldog-like front end leads into a squared-up stance that ends in a roofline extended with a spoiler on top of the tailgate. The shape has worn well, considering how long it's been around, but it's hardly fluid or swoopy. But the butch stance isn't backed up by the powertrain, a 1.8-liter engine putting out just 128 horsepower through a five-speed manual gearbox or an ancient four-speed automatic. It's relatively perky in urban cut-and-thrust driving, but on the highway the engine is turning at far higher speeds than the more relaxed competitors with five- and six-speed automatic transmissions. You don't make it up in gas mileage, either, with a combined rating of just 29 mpg either either transmission (27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway).
The sit-up-and-beg profile provides a lot of interior volume, but the inside is grimmer now than many of its competitors. The front seats--while supportive--have very short bottom cushions. Drivers of even average height may find them uncomfortable on longer trips, and tall drivers surely will. The back seat doesn't have a huge amount of room, but unusually for the class, it slides 6 inches back and forth--meaning you can trade off cargo space for legroom when needed. The seat back also reclines up to 10 degrees, splits 60/40, and folds down to increase the cargo hold from minimal to a very usable volume. The xD also gets points for having multiple bins, trays, and cubbies for storage of odds, ends, mobile phones, sunglasses, and everything else you find yourself stashing in the car.
The standard equipment list is less impressive now than it was seven years ago, but includes air conditioning, a Pioneer sound system that includes a USB port, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth pairing, and HD radio. While the steering wheel tilts up and down, however, it doesn't telescope--which can make it hard to find a comfortable driving position.
Like every Scion, the list of more than 40 dealer-installed accessories is long and varied, meaning every xD can be customized to the buyer's taste. The bulk of them are cosmetic enhancements, but the Toyota Racing Division (TRD) is well represented by performance upgrades as well--from tuned exhaust systems to bigger brakes, shorter springs to quick-shift kits.
Showing its age in the area of safety, the Scion xD was one of the last new cars in the U.S. to be fitted with electronic stability control as a standard feature--only in 2012, when it became mandatory. It has the usual array of safety features--anti-lock brakes, a tire-pressure warning system, and active front headrests. It has front and front-side airbags, along with full-width side-curtain bags. The NHTSA has never crash-tested the Scion xD, but the IIHS rates the xD as "Good" (its highest rating) for moderate-overlap front crash, side impact, and roof crush tests. It has not been rated in the new IIHS small-overlap front crash test.
- Good interior space
- Strong value for money
- Base model well equipped
- Lots of personalization options
- Sturdier, tougher style
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- Aging, unchanged shape
- Unimpressive gas mileage
- Rear-seat headroom is tight
- Short front seat cushion
- Minimal rear cargo space