A successor to the forgettable Scion xA, the xD also struggles to distinguish itself from the increasingly impressive competition in the subcompact hatchback segment. Mediocre fuel economy and limited cargo space limit its appeal, although a spunky engine, a reputation for reliability a relatively high level of refinement should resonate with certain buyers.
All-new back in 2008, the xD soldiers on into the latest model year with only minor cosmetic changes in addition to new seat-mounted driver and front passenger airbags.
Perhaps the xD's strongest point is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that boasts an unusual amount of muscle by the standards of the class. Though 128 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque doesn't sound like much, it's enough for the Scion to complete highway merges and passing maneuvers with authority.
Sending that power to the front wheels is the buyer's choice of a five-speed manual or an antiquated four-speed automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway regardless of gearbox, putting the xD behind most rivals in terms of efficiency.
Inside, notable aspects of the xD include inexpensive but sturdy materials and an unusual instrumentation layout that combines the speedometer and tachometer into a single, slightly confusing circular space. For the latest model year, the speedo gains a new white face, and the trim around the air conditioning dials and cupholders has been revised.
Wind and road noise is relatively muted in the xD, and the structure feels sturdy over pavement imperfections.
The rear seats were designed for comfort and utility and can slide forward and back up to six inches for additional leg room and cargo area. In addition, they can recline ten degrees and be adjusted into five different positions. Trunk space is limited to 10.5 cubic feet, although the 60/40 fold flat rear seats can be lowered to accommodate larger items.
As with all other Scions, the xD is a monospec affair: customers simply choose gearbox type and exterior color. A wide variety of dealer-installed options are available, however, with highlights including a navigation system, a high-end sound system with a touchscreen interface, a sport steering wheel and keyless entry.
Standard features include air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and streaming audio, and a six-speaker Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo system with iPod/USB connectivity and a subwoofer RCA output.
New exterior features for the new model year include smoked headlight housings and an optional two-tone paint scheme.
The xD comes standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
Scion's subcompact xD hatchback competes with the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and family member Toyota Yaris Hatchback, as well as the Fiat 500, Kia Rio 5-Door and Hyundai Accent Hatchback.