The Scion xD is a modest little hatchback but it’s very well-executed. I like its looks. I used it to run errands around town on the day before Thanksgiving, and I was thrilled with its in-town visibility and the ease with which I slid into a tight parking space at the always-crowded Ann Arbor Farmers Market. The ergonomics and utility of the interior are impressive. Very good steering feel, accurate and quick. I didn’t even mind the automatic transmission, even though the 1.8-liter four-cylinder makes a modest 128 hp.
For $16,565, it’s a lot of car and also not a lot of car. The carpeting is thin and cheap, and the interior lighting isn’t much. But stability control, ABS, lots of air bags, and a nine-speaker stereo are standard, plus A/C and cruise control. For this price, I shouldn’t be complaining.
– Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
I’ve always viewed the xD (and its xA forebear) as the frumpy sibling of the box-chic xB, but this little hatchback is an attractive package, especially when compared to the Toyota Yaris five-door. Both are built from the same platform and drive similarly, but the xD gets an extra 0.3 liter of displacement, and, accordingly, an additional 22 horsepower underhood.
That isn’t a gigantic jump in power, but it’s enough to transform a vehicle’s personality. The Yaris feels a bit sluggish, but the xD’s 1.8-liter, even when mated with the four-speed automatic, is surprisingly lively. Brisk acceleration, coupled with decent chassis tuning and impressive steering weight, help lend this subcompact a sporty feel.
Both cars include a long list of standard equipment, but the xD trumps the Toyota here, too; power windows and locks, cruise control, an impressive Pioneer audio system, and a USB audio input. This, coupled with the extra power underhood, makes the Scion worth the $750 premium over a comparable Yaris.
– Evan McCausland, Associate Web Editor
2011 Scion xD
Base price (with destination): $16,565
Price as tested: $16,565
1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine
4-speed automatic transmission
Front disc, rear drum brakes with ABS
Electric power steering
Vehicle stability control
Tire pressure monitoring system
Remote keyless entry
Pioneer 160-watt AM/FM/CD with 6 speakers
Auxiliary and USB port with iPod connectivity
Tilt steering wheel with audio controls
60/40 split rear seat
Options on this vehicle:
Key options not on vehicle:
Navigation system — $1999
XM satellite radio — $449
Bluetooth connectivity — $299
Auto-dimming rearview mirror — $229
Fuel economy: (city/hwy/combined)
27 / 33 / 29 mpg
Size: 1.8L DOHC I-4
Horsepower: 128 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 125 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Curb weight: 2665 lb
Wheels/tires: 16-inch steel wheels with covers
195/60R16 Bridgestone Turanza EL400 all-season tires