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.