2013 Scion xD Styling

7.0
Styling

Without falling too far behind the curve, the Scion xD has been static while a raft of new subcompacts have made styling a strong selling point--everything from the new Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio, to the Ford Fiesta, to the Fiat 500.

The xD's still a smart-looking hatchback, regardless, with good answers to those newer vehicles. It's always looked a little aggressive and tough--something to do with its ride height, and the range of big-wheel options that peak at 18-inchers that barely tuck into its wheel wells. The bulldog-like, blunt front end sets it all up well, and the tailgate's spoiler reads like an athletic shoe. The net is that the squared-off stance gives the xD some small-scale menace, the opposite of all those competitors that swoop their way toward svelte, European good looks.

The bulldog stance works better on the Scion xD's sheetmetal than in its, er, durable-looking interior.
Just as the exterior is somewhat blunt and upright, so is the interior. The gauge cluster resembles a clock face, and it's mounted on the steering column and moves as the wheel tilts. The chunky instrument panel is almost like the designs used in some SUVs--an extremely upright wall of hard plastic--while the rest of the interior trims are rather ordinary but a rather incongruous mix of matte and glossy.

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