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 acceptable 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 audio connectivity, 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 sound system with iPod/USB connectivity and a touchscreen interface. In lieu of factory options are plenty of dealer-installed options such as larger wheels and tires, quick-shift kits, bigger brakes, lowering springs, an exhaust system and a carbon-fiber engine cover. There are also a navigation system and a premium sound system.
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 for this segment, and the interior is let down by odd center-mounted gauges, a non-telescoping steering wheel (which can make taller drivers uncomfortable) and a relatively meager amount 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. For 2012, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio connectivity became standard, while the following year brought a minor styling refresh. There were also various audio system upgrades made through the years (specifically in regards to radio control), but otherwise the xD has been mostly unchanged.