Full 2014 Scion xD Review
What's New for 2014
For 2014, the Scion xD's standard audio system includes a 6.1-inch touchscreen display.
Some small hatchbacks promise stellar fuel economy. Others offer outstanding utility. And there are even a few that cater to less sensible desires by promising sporty handling. The 2014 Scion xD doesn't distinguish itself in any of these areas, but that's no reason to write it off. If you're looking for an affordable hatchback with an impressive stock audio system and plenty of personalization possibilities, the xD just might be worth a look.
Unquestionably, Scion builds cars for buyers who love their tunes, and in this respect, the xD doesn't disappoint: The standard audio system includes a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface and USB/iPod integration, and that's unusual for a car in this humble price bracket. You can also select an optional upgraded system that offers navigation and smartphone audio app integration. Other customization options abound, making it possible for the young and the young at heart to create an xD that's individual and unique.
For the more practical-minded, there's a backseat that reclines to foster second-row comfort and slides fore and aft to accommodate the needs of passengers or cargo. There's also a 128-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine that delivers brisk acceleration relative to others in this class. Additionally, the Scion xD's ride quality both on the freeway and on surface streets is smooth and agreeable, and parent company Toyota's sterling reputation for reliability doesn't hurt a bit.
But don't sign on the dotted line just yet. The small hatchback segment is more competitive than ever, and the 2014 xD faces stiff rivalry from a number of more talented contenders. If you desire more engaging handling and better fuel economy, you'd be better served by the 2014 Chevy Sonic or 2014 Ford Fiesta. For superior utility, there's the 2014 Honda Fit, with its nifty folding rear seat and impressive cargo capacity. The Kia Rio and Kia Soul are also worth investigating. Within this strong pool of candidates, the 2014 Scion xD is best suited for price-conscious shoppers who want a car that's easy to customize.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Scion xD four-door hatchback is available in a single trim level. Standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker CD sound system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display and an iPod/USB interface.
Instead of factory options, you can choose from a trailer load of dealer-installed accessories for your xD, including a rear spoiler, remote engine starter, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a cargo cover, a center armrest, a navigation system, a premium sound system, satellite radio, carbon-fiber trim and a host of TRD performance parts.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering the 2014 Scion xD is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 128 hp and 125 pound-feet of torque. Buyers may choose either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
In Edmunds testing, a manual-equipped xD accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, making it considerably quicker than most competitors, with only the turbocharged Sonic nipping at its heels. Fuel economy is below average, however, at an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined (27 city/33 highway) with either transmission.
Standard safety features on the 2014 Scion xD include antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front active head restraints.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the xD was deemed "Good" (the highest score) in moderate-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
In Edmunds braking testing, the xD stopped from 60 mph in a respectable 123 feet.
Interior Design and Special Features
The xD's minimalist interior features shades of dark gray with lots of matte-finish metallic trim. Entertainment and climate controls are arranged logically on the center stack and flow down to a nesting space for phones and iPods (with a USB port close by). The optional BeSpoke audio system, which also includes navigation, is designed to run an iPhone app that consolidates Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Internet radio.
We can't say we're fans of the xD's odd instrument panel, which is divided into three partitions with a disorienting speedometer/tachometer sharing the same circular gauge. As the speedo needle spins clockwise, the tach needle climbs toward it from the opposite hemisphere.
The seating position is very upright, and taller drivers might have trouble getting comfortable due to limited legroom and a steering column that tilts but doesn't telescope. Headroom is generous, though, and rear passengers will enjoy ample space thanks to a reclining seatback and fore/aft-adjustable bench. Unfortunately, the xD stiffs you on cargo space. Its 35.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity (with the rear seats folded) falls short of what you'll get in most rivals; the Honda Fit, for example, offers 57.3 cubes.
The 2014 Scion xD's 1.8-liter engine offers uncommon punch for this segment and is the highlight of the driving experience. The outdated four-speed automatic does it no favors in the performance department, though, so we'd recommend going with the manual transmission if you can. On city streets and freeways alike, the xD offers satisfactory ride comfort. However, compared with the Chevy Sonic and Ford Fiesta hatchbacks, the Scion xD simply isn't very engaging to drive. Its steering isn't especially crisp or communicative, and its handling abilities are merely average.