By KBB.com Editors
Talk with people accustomed to driving large vehicles and the one thing they claim to despise about small cars is, well, how small they feel; fear of being run over by larger traffic is probably a close second. To make its 2011 xD more appealing to anxious Americans, Scion has created a car that features an aggressive short, squat stance, but that also feels a bit taller than the average economy car. Thanks in part to its tall doors, large wheels and narrow side glass, the xD looks almost like a little SUV. First and foremost, however, the xD is a cool economy car, as popular with younger drivers who like to customize their rides as it is with urban commuters who require inexpensive, efficient and reliable transportation.
If you're in the market for a four-door hatchback that offers good fuel economy, has a sporty feel and comes loaded with just about everything you'd add anyway, check out the 2011 Scion xD. An accessories catalog as thick as War and Peace allows for nearly-infinite customization.
Those looking for maximum cargo and passenger space might be happier with the larger Scion xB. If you seek to own the most fuel-efficient subcompact on the block, you might be happier driving the Honda Fit.
Changes to the 2011 Scion xD are mostly cosmetic. The xD receives a revised grille and rear spoiler, as well as the addition of titanium silver accents to the instrument panel cluster and speedometer. Enhancements to the xD's shocks and springs help to improve the car's ride and handling.
Driving Impressions The 2011 Scion xD is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, engineered with Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) technology. Although it delivers only 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet...of torque, the car's light weight and efficient automatic transmission allow it to zip around in city traffic without complaint. Unfortunately, the xD is no different than most economy cars and will strain to tackle steep hills or overtake slower moving traffic. 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. With its short, squat stance the 2011 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.
Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) Screen
This groovy 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
The 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.
The mono-spec interior theme, clad mostly in black, seems a bit drab for such a hip car, but the design is efficient and functional. The xD's front seats don't offer much in the way of lower back or thigh support, but The 60/40 fold-flat rear seats are highly flexible and can be reclined, moved backward or forward and even folded into the floor to create more space. A circular radar screen-like speedometer with integrated tachometer is properly placed in front of the driver (as opposed to the center-mounted cluster in the xB), while large controls for the ventilation and audio are within easy reach. Storage space is plentiful aboard the xD, including twin upper and lower gloveboxes, door and console cup holders and even a coin box. Satellite radio, auxiliary MP3 jacks that will fit any player – including iPod – and a choice of Pioneer or Alpine audio systems round out the xD's entertainment choices.Exterior
The 2011 Scion xD shares the same type of bold grille, multi-reflector halogen headlamps and integrated side-view mirror turn signals found on all Scion vehicles. But, unlike the boxy xB, the xD has a sleeker stance that relates it more to the sporty tC Coupe. The xD's hatchback design incorporates a long but narrow rear window completed by a rear defroster and wiper/washer. The xD offers a choice of three 16-inch wheel covers, as well as 16- and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Release Series 3.0 features unique xPresso brown paint, body kit and carbon-fiber exterior trim pieces.
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 compatibility and six speakers provides the soundtrack for any road trip.
Since the 2011 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 alloy wheels. A few more everyday options exist, such as a cargo cover and mat, floor mats and an auto-dimming mirror. More significant options include an Alpine Premium audio system with navigation, subwoofer and XM Satellite Radio, Scion navigation radio with Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, hook-ups for a backup camera and Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control.
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.
1.8-liter in-line 4
128 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
125 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33
By Megs (OR) on Monday, June 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Interior space, handling, power, very fun to drive"
Cons: "Leather & Sunroof were not an option on '09"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car brand new with only 23 miles on it. I love it! Greatest little car. I have driven it in every version of weather that we get in Oregon (rain, hail, sleet, extreme wind, snow, ice, over 100 degrees, etc.) and I have never felt unsafe. The tire spacing lends to stability and easy, responsive handling. And while the engine may only be a 4-cylinder it is powerful. I easily climb the mountain passes, on cruise control, while running the AC, without any issues. I have never had a problem accelerating getting into or out of traffic. This car has not had a single major mechanical issue! Granted, I'm a stickler about oil changes every 3,000 miles. There are several features I love, one of which is that the back seats fold down to being perfectly flat. That was one of the main selling points for me. Another feature I love is that there are LOTS of cup holders! Gotta love Toyota for that! Even the back seat has a cup holder on each side. Another fabulous feature is the headroom in this compact car! The square-ish interior allows for more space that larger vehicles that have rounded roof lines. I have had very tall (6'5") friends ride comfortably in the front seat with no complaints. My last favorite thing about my Scion is that it can fit in nearly any parking space. I joke that I can parallel park in a motorcycle space. Overall, I highly recommend this car to drivers of all ages. It would be a safe option for a younger driver but also a great for someone in outside sales who does a lot of living out of their vehicle. My mom loves when she gets to drive my car around and she's in her 60's and owns a luxury SUV. So be sure to add the Scion xD to the test drive list before you decide on any of its small car competitors!"
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By derek77d (IL) on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, look,"
Cons: "poor fuel economy, noisy engine, poor ride comfort"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"The average MPG is 24. The car is very bumpy and noisy. It looks nice in and out but its lemon. I would not recommend it. The warranty service is very poor. I will never buy Scion neither Toyota again.."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By simo (FL) on Sunday, March 31, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "very nice to drive"
Cons: "noisy engine"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Fun car to drive,great gas milage,except to cheap quality,it looks like they made them not to last,and I noticed that the engine is kind of loud!! But the car is good enough to attract others,(I usually get comments...) and save money overall!"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Sammi (CA) on Monday, March 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price, sporty, customizable, and horsepower"
Cons: "noisy on highway, non-standard center armrest"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I recently started working for a car dealership so I have plenty of resouces at my disposal for researching cars. My mom has the original version of the xD when it came out in 2008 (which she LOVES), so I am familiar with the car. My orginal choice of car was out of my price range in the end, so I had to look for cheaper options. I saw the xD sitting on our lot and decided to look more into it. I liked the price, it had everythign I needed, and I know they are good quality because of my mom's experince. So I got it and I do not regret my choice at all. For being a compact car, it has plenty of horsepower and it handles nicely. They are easily customizble (both from the manufacture and post-market). The only things I do not like is that the center armrest is not standard (to be honest that bothers my boyfriend more than me and I am the one who drives it more) and that it is a bit noisier than I expected on the highway. And the dealership my mom bought hers from is already begging her to sell it back and get a new one because there is a demand for them used. So great potential resell value."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By cook583 (MD) on Tuesday, February 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,300overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "cheap to fill at the pump"
Cons: "no arm rest, buttons in odd places"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I wouldn't recommend this vehicle,I have owned this vehicle for less then a year (July 2012),you will find the arm rest on the door is very uncomfortable an is not proportioned properly, the steering wheel needs to have a telescope feature other wise you'll be reaching for the steering wheel (tall or short persons),it doesn't ride very smooth,arm rest doesn't come standard,seats are not comfy for long rides,(re-sale/trade in value is very poor)"
4 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By mellymel (GA) on Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I owned and sold this car
Reason: needed bigger car - My approximate mileage is 40,000
Pros: "great price and easy to customize"
Cons: "not a lot of trunk space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"this was the first car I bought on my own and i loved it! it has been reliable and fun to drive. THe interior is cute and functional with two glove boxes. the only reason I got rid of mine was that I had two children and there isnt enough room for two car seats. but this would be perfect for a teen, single person or a couple without kids in car seats"
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful