By KBB.com Editors
Scion has, in its fairly short history, always striven to be the purveyor of uber-cool in the automotive world, looking to create true trend-setter and lifestyle-focused vehicles. What many overlook is that Scion builds products that are applicable to a wide audience of both young and old alike, as truly practical and affordable modes of transportation that don't loudly scream "budget." The 2009 Scion xD, with its aggressive short, squat stance, four doors and convenient hatchback, is a nice addition to the Scion family line-up. Although it delivers slightly less interior and cargo room than to old xA it replaced last year, the xD offers a bigger engine with 25 additional horsepower.You'll Like This Car If...
If you want a four-door hatchback that has a solid ride, bold styling and comes with nearly everything you could or would want, look no further than the 2009 Scion xD. Easy customization at the local Scion dealership is a convenient bonus.You May Not Like This Car If...
The distinctive exterior and mono-spec interior styling might not suit everyone's tastes, and if gas consumption is a concern, the Honda Fit may be a better choice. If you tend to carry a lot of stuff, the xD's rather meager rear cargo area may not meet your needs unless you fold down the second-row seats.What's New for 2009
No major changes for 2009.Driving It Driving Impressions
With its short, squat stance the 2009 Scion xD is capable of handling curves and dips in the road with ease, although rough road surfaces will make the ride slightly less comfortable. The 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, engineered with Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) technology, delivers 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, nearly the same as the Versa and well above what is offered in the Honda Fit. This new engine is also a marked improvement over the powertrain in the defunct xA, offering more horsepower and torque, albeit on a heavier car. As with many small cars on the market, steep hills will not really showcase the engine's power. Those who want ample acceleration from stop lights and on freeway on- and off-ramps may be happier with the standard five-speed manual transmission than the optional four-speed automatic.Favorite Features
Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) Screen
This optional screen built into the audio faceplate on the dash allows you to display personal "skins" to further customize the interior of the car. Skins can be created and downloaded on a special site created by Pioneer just for Scion owners.
Flexible Rear-Seat Configurations
All three seats in the rear of the car can move independently of one another and fold in a 60/40 fashion, allowing you to arrange them to suit any travel or cargo need.
Seating is customizable with rear 60/40 fold-flat seats that can be reclined, moved forward, back, or into the floor to create more space. The dash is simple and easy to navigate with a circular radar screen-like consolidated speedometer and tachometer right in front of the driver. The xD has plenty of storage for odds and ends up front, including an upper and lower glovebox on the passenger's side and a change box and storage tray on the driver's side of the car. Satellite radio, auxiliary MP3 jacks that will fit any player – including iPod – and an available audio faceplate that can display images and short movie or video clips are all within easy reach.Exterior
Sitting wide and low, the 2009 Scion xD shares some of its bold exterior styling with other new Scions, namely the grille, multi-reflector halogen headlamps and turn signals with lights that illuminate in the sideview mirrors when each signal is activated. The vehicle also comes with 16-inch wheels and the choice of three different wheel-cover designs. In the rear, a long, narrow window with a rear wiper and small spoiler sits high above the bumper and chrome exhaust tip.Notable Standard Equipment
Like any Scion, the xD comes with a wide array of equipment. Noteworthy amenities include keyless entry, power locks/windows/mirrors with driver's side one-touch auto-down, a tire pressure monitoring system, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel with audio controls and four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA). To get its occupants safely to their destination, the xD is equipped with six airbags and active headrests in the front row that push the occupants back into their seats in the event of an accident. A Pioneer 160-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with iPod compatability and six speakers provides the soundtrack for any road trip.Notable Optional Equipment
Since the 2009 Scion xD comes with numerous features as standard equipment, available options consist mostly of items that are geared toward customizing the car, like illuminated door sill enhancements, sport pedals, a carbon fiber engine cover and 18-inch wheels and alloy wheel covers. A few more everyday options exist, such as a cargo cover and mat, floor mats, a navigation system and an auto-dimming mirror. A Pioneer Premium audio system, subwoofer, and XM Satellite Radio are also available for those who want their ride to be heard as well as seen.Under the Hood
The xD's 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with dual Variable Valve Timing offers 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy with both the manual and automatic transmissions is similar to the Nissan Versa and slightly poorer than that of the Honda Fit, which has significantly less horsepower. If you're looking for the best possible mileage, stick with the manual transmission to get the most bang for your buck.
1.8-liter in-line 4
128 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
125 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 (manual), 26/32 (automatic)
With only one trim offered, Scion buyers can get an xD with a manual transmission for just over $15,000, while an automatic transmission will bump up the price an additional $800. The similar Honda Fit or Nissan Versa hatchback start at about $15,200 and $14,500 respectively, but offer fewer features as standard equipment and do not even offer a navigation system as an option. Before going to the Scion dealership near you, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Prices for the xD, as they will give you an idea of what to expect at your local no-haggle Scion dealership. Over time, the xD is expected to retain a resale value similar to the Honda Fit and higher than the Nissan Versa.