More curb weight and a less frisky demeanor (compared to the xA) mark the road behavior of the 2008 Scion xD.
“The xD's new 2ZR-FE 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is Toyota's first application of dual variable valve timing in a compact car,” remarks Automobile, who find the newly developed engine “more frugal and sophisticated.” Reviewers appreciate its improved power, with Car and Driver posting a “7.9-second 0-to-60 time,” a big improvement over the xA’s mill. The engine develops 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, but this is mitigated somewhat by “a car nearly 300-pounds heavier,” comments Kelley Blue Book, “so the difference isn't very noticeable.” The New York Times proclaims the “engine feels perky and frenetic.”
The 1.8 may be paired with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. “Like the xB, the 5-speed is crisp,” notes Road & Track. “Those who want ample acceleration from stop lights and on freeway on- and-off ramps,” warns Kelley Blue Book, might want to eschew the optional four speed automatic, which ConsumerGuide finds “can be slow to downshift.”
“We just wish Toyota would remember that cars can be fun,” laments Car and Driver when discussing the xD’s general verve and chassis dynamics. “The steering, for example, is more isolated, lacking feel to the point of numbness,” they continue, and Automobile warns, “Above 65 mph, the suspension is floaty.” ConsumerGuide notes the “somewhat floppy suspension tuning.” Still, if driven appropriately, Road & Track finds “it’s a nimble car with a strong emphasis on daily usability.”
“Fuel economy with both the manual and automatic transmissions is similar to the Nissan Versa and slightly poorer than that of the Honda Fit,” points out Kelley Blue Book. The EPA rates the Scion xD at 27/33 mpg with the manual transmission, and 26/32 mpg with the automatic.