Since its debut, the Scion brand has won over many young buyers thanks to its trendy image and Toyota-backed reputation. However, one of its debut models, the entry-level xA, was pretty much a dud. Looking and feeling too much like a typical economy car, it was neither hip nor cool, and seemed out of place in the Scion lineup. Hoping to improve its fortunes, Scion replaced the xA with the more appealing xD.
The xD has some typical Scion advantages, including a lengthy list of standard equipment and an abundance of dealer-installed extras -- especially the audio options. But in terms of fuel economy, driving excitement, versatility and even style, the xD has been outclassed by newer subcompacts. It still remains an OK choice, but overall we think you'll find other top competitors to be more appealing.
Current Scion xD
The Scion xD is a four-door subcompact hatchback that comes in one trim level. The sole engine offering is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with variable valve timing that produces 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a standard five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic.
The generous standard features list includes full power accessories, remote keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, antilock brakes (with brake assist), stability control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Since the Scion xD caters to the youth market, it also comes with a six-speaker Pioneer sound system with iPod/USB connectivity and a subwoofer RCA output.
While there are no factory options outside of transmission choice, there are plenty of dealer-installed options that allow plenty of customization via larger wheels and tires, quick-shift kits, bigger brakes, lowering springs, an exhaust system, a carbon-fiber engine cover, a navigation system and an overhead console.
On the road, the Scion xD's 128-hp engine provides fairly quick acceleration for this class. The xD also feels more substantial than one might expect, a result of the car's high beltline and heavier curb weight. However, fuel economy is only mediocre, and the interior is let down by odd center-mounted gauges, a steering wheel that doesn't telescope (taller drivers might be uncomfortable) and a competitive lack of cargo space.
Used Scion xD
The current-generation Scion xD debuted for 2008. Stability control was optional until 2010, so used shoppers would be wise to note if an individual xD is so equipped. Although essentially unchanged over the next few years, the xD has received various audio system upgrades and, for 2012, standard Bluetooth phone and streaming audio.
Read the most recent 2013 Scion xD review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Scion xD page.