By Vernon Danker on
2006 Scion xA 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
As my first new car in 15 years, the Scion xA is impressive in many ways for a compact. Its handling is very nice, its ride is comfortable, and its controls are easy to use. One feature that takes getting used to is the pod of gauges. It is distracting at first, and takes your eyes off the road. The stereo is exceptional for a compact, and it is ready for the MP3s. Its noise level is good below 60 mph; above that slightly annoying. The styling attracts attention, in a positive way; it is reminiscent of the Mini Cooper. Its pricing is also a strong selling point. There is no haggling, very little in add on charges, and options can be added later. Cruise control, e.g., is $350 if added later; $425 if financed.
The handling is immediately noticeable. It is agile, very responsive, and handles moderate road roughness well. Other quirky little features, like the illuminated storage under the radio, add to its appeal. The standard features are, well, above standard.
More power is the greatest need and the noise level above 55 takes getting used to. It isn't so bad to be annoying, there is just too much engine noise at high speed. The mirror control is difficult to get used to, and could be in a more accessible location. An armrest as a standard feature would be nice.