By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 3/30/2011
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
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.What's Significant About This Car?
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 It 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.Favorite Features
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.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 compatibility and six speakers provides the soundtrack for any road trip.Notable Optional Equipment
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.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.
1.8-liter in-line 4
128 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
125 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33
With only one trim offered, Scion buyers can get an xD with a manual transmission for just over $15,700, while an automatic transmission will bump up the price an additional $800. The Nissan Versa and Ford Fiesta start for considerably less, but don't have the same standard equipment content, while the Honda Fit is closer in price but doesn't offer features like the Alpine audio system or 18-inch wheels. Before going to the Scion dealership near you, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Price for the xD, as it will give you an idea of what to expect at your local no-haggle Scion dealership. Over time, the 2011 Scion xD is expected to retain a resale value similar to the Honda Fit and higher than the Nissan Versa.