If you’ve taken note of any Scion xD print or television ads, you no doubt notice that the ads highlight mostly anime-esque, bass thumping, club hopping hipsters with spiky hair zipping about a variety of mostly non-specific urban settings. Absent are these Gen-Y’ers (or is Z now?) loading in a pile of groceries or a coupld of kids, saving money at the pump or generally enjoying a higher level of comfort and amenities than would be expected by the cheap price tag. However, putting aside the youthful style, the Scion xD is a much more mature vehicle than it looks.
Sure, the design inside and out of the xD is a bit overboard. The ad people call it the “Little Deviant” for crying out loud. But is it any less appealing aesthetically than any other econoboxes? Even with an $800 price increase for the 2009 model, the $15,320 base price manual transmission xD stacks up well against the entry priced Honda Fit, Mazda3 or Volkswagen Rabbit. It should be noted, that despite the high-tech image the bottom-priced xD comes with just a few amenities beyond standard iPod connectivity that includes 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel and a six-speaker Pioneer stereo with single-CD/MP3 player and an optional navigation system. Instead Scion offers an extensive list of options and add-ons to further appeal to the tuner crowd who want to personalize the xD to their own personal taste. Mechanically, the xD uses a 1.8-liter four cylinder engine that produces 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque taking the car from 0 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. Most importantly, fuel economy is 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the five-speed manual and 26/32/28 mpg with the four-speed automatic.
To purge the image of the previous xA model that the xD replaces and further distance it from the budget-level Yaris, the xD’s exterior styling has a boxy style and aggressive features that are in line with the other Scion models and give the xD an easily recognizable look. The 2009 Scion xD comes loaded with an assortment of standard safety features including antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front active head restraints. Though many are critical of the interior’s minor quirks, such as the speedometer and tachometer rotating towards each other rather than in the same direction, the xD mostly benefits from Toyota’s reputation for functional and well-built interior designs. The upside to the boxy appearance is the car’s interior space which offers even 6 plus foot-sized passengers enough headroom up front and an adequate amount of room in the back seats. Although not quite as large as other compact hatches, the xD provides enough cargo room (35.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded) for the customers Scion is targeting.