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2014 Scion xD Comfort & Quality

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On Comfort & Quality

In terms of quality and comfort, the 2014 Scion xD simply fails to deliver on its bluff styling. There's a lot of space inside, but the driver and passengers are likely to find that the seats aren't all that comfortable. They're also likely to suffer from a lot of noise, as the cabin's just not that quiet.

For short distances, the front seats are fine. But for longer journeys, or taller drivers, their somewhat thin padding on short bottom cushions lacks the necessary support. Like other Scions, the steering wheel tilts but doesn't telescope--making it hard for some drivers to adjust the controls properly. Even some of the smallest cars offer telescoping steering wheels now--though some, including the Fiat 500, still don't--but regrettably, short seat cushions seem to be a common affliction in the class.

Refinement isn't a strength of the 2014 Scion xD; neither is front-seat comfort or rear-seat headroom.

Unusually, the back seat is actually a more pleasant place to spend time. It's hardly cavernous, but the seat slides back and forth up to 6 inches, letting passengers maximize either rear legroom or cargo volume in the load bay. The rear seatback also reclines about 10 degrees (as well as folding 60/40), so most adults should be able to find a comfortable seat for those longer journeys.

Cargo space is limited with the seat up, but when the rear seat is folded down, it creates quite a usable space--one advantage to the xD's boxy hatchback shape. The Scion also gets points for having lots of trays, bins, and cubbies front and rear for stowage of ... well, stuff. On the other hand, while you're accumulating stuff for that long journey, you'll endure quite a lot of wind noise. The Scion xD is now definitely behind the curve in its sound deadening (or lack of it).

Because Scion is built by Toyota--and the xD is now in its seventh year--the interior materials are predictably dated. There's lots of hard plastic, more than in most of the car's competitors. On the hand hand, also because it's built by Toyota, the assembly quality is first-rate and the xD feels solid and durable.

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