2008 Scion xD
The 2008 Scion xD
replaces the now defunct xA
compact five-door. Little of the xA’s understated styling is left with the xD taking on a more aggressive and unique stance both inside and out. The xD plays the entry-level compact game well, incorporating typical five-door compact car fuel economy with everyday ease of use. Yet, for such a small car, the xD drives and feels like a heavier compact sedan and, with an impressive array of standard features, it’s hard to feel short-changed.
What's to Like
The xD offers unique, hip styling and comes with convenient features such as a Pioneer stereo with an iPod connection. Scion offers nearly limitless combinations of customization options.
What's Not to Like
Rear legroom is at a minimum and the rear seats are placed very close to the hatch, making it difficult to carry cargo and several passengers simultaneously. The build quality too is somewhat lacking when compared to a few other models in its range.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
The first thing you will probably notice from the driver’s seat is the placement of the dash and seats. For a small car, the xD maintains a relatively high driving position, which gives the interior a spacious atmosphere. The xD uses the same 1.8-liter unit as the Toyota Corolla
which has to be revved to get power, but once up to speed it maintains enough oomph to cruise comfortably at city and highway speeds. The electronic steering takes some getting used to at lower speeds, but weights up nicely as the pace increases.
Engine and Drivetrain
The Scion xD is powered by a 1.8-liter, 16 valve DOHC inline four which manages 128 hp at 6,000 rpm and 125 ft-lb of torque at 4,400 rpm. The engine drives the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, which is available as an $800 option.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
Being a Scion, customization is the name of the game. The complete options list is quite long, but anything from a rear spoiler to remote engine start or satnav is available. In the realm of safety, the xD comes standard with driver and front passenger seat mounted side airbags as well as front and rear side curtain airbags in addition to four-wheel ABS, which easily slows down the 2,600 lb car. Vehicle stability control is available as a $650 option.
Key Technology Evaluation
The standard xD features a slick, red-backlit 6-speaker, 160-watt Pioneer audio system with steering wheel mounted controls and includes both an auxiliary audio input as well as an iPod-specific input. A Pioneer Premium Audio System can be added for an additional $389 and adds a sound processor as well as aftermarket amplifier support.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
With only 1.8 liters of engine, the LEV-II xD isn’t overly thirsty. The five-speed manual manages to return 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, while fuel economy in the auto comes out marginally lower at 26 mpg city / 32 mpg highway.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
The xD has a particularly interesting instrument panel which manages to utilize one large circle to contain both the speedometer and tachometer. The speedo runs clockwise from about the seven o’clock to two o’clock positions while the tach runs counterclockwise between the same area. The thermostat is operated by use of three very intuitive dials on the center console, and an in-dash navigation system is available for $1,950. All of it very design school-inspired.
The xD essentially shares its exterior styling with last year’s xA, only it’s been given a beefy shot of automotive adrenaline. It maintains the xA’s overall profile, but large, deep air dams and vents have been added for an overall more aggressive appearance.
Market Segment and Pricing
The xD’s base price of $15,170 puts it above the similar Honda Fit, Nissan Versa
and Dodge Caliber
, but it can be argued that with the Scion you get more car. It comes with an impressive array of standard options and, thanks to its high roofline, feels like a more substantial car from behind the wheel.
What We Think
The xD is a worthy replacement for the xA. It has improved on the previous formula where it should, with enhanced build quality and spot-on Scion styling. While it might have limited cargo space compared to the competition, it comes out ahead in just about every other category. A good cross shop in the small wagon category.