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