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2012 Scion xD

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2012 Scion xD Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 3/1/2012


In an attempt to give younger customers everything they want and nothing they don't, the 2012 Scion xD aims to further simplify the car shopping experience with additional standard equipment on top of the availability of nearly three dozen dealer-installed options. The Scion xD offers impressive passenger and cargo carrying capabilities for its size thanks to its hatchback design and versatile seating configurations. And while newer competitors like the Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 are more fun to drive and offer better fuel economy, the Scion xD possesses unique advantages over its competitors like Toyota's reputation for reliability and Scion's celebrated no-haggle pricing.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are on the hunt for a 5-door hatchback with an array of customizable accessories, loads of cargo space, a strong reputation for reliability, and a generous offering of standard equipment, the 2012 Scion xD will deliver.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you are looking for a subcompact hatchback with class-leading fuel economy, you might be happier with the Chevrolet Sonic or Ford Fiesta. Additionally, if your budget cannot exceed the $15K mark, the Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent are worthy alternatives.

What's New for 2012

Scion adds a new Pioneer audio system with HD Radio and Bluetooth to the 2012 xD. In addition, a new Release Series 4.0 model is available for 2012 with Blizzard Pearl paint, gunmetal-finished 16-inch alloy wheels and exterior-color-matched interior trim.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The 2012 Scion xD is powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder powerplant, engineered with Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) technology. Although it delivers only 128 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque, the engine's broad powerband allows 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 a better sense of acceleration from stoplights and on freeway on- and off-ramps will be happier with the standard 5-speed manual transmission than the optional 4-speed automatic. With its short, squat stance the 2012 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 Display
This brilliant audio system display features customizable backgrounds as well as a personalized welcome screen. Scion owners can create and download their own backgrounds on an exclusive website developed by Pioneer electronics.

Convenient Storage
Despite its compact dimensions, the xD features a profusion of storage cubbies, boxes, trays and hidden compartments for your mobile life.

Vehicle Details Interior   photo

The Scion xD's interior is most notable for its spaciousness rather than expressive design. The xD's tall ceiling nullifies headroom concerns, and the sliding and reclining rear seat serves up considerable legroom – even for passengers over six feet tall. Spacious for its category, the xD cabin is complemented by a dual glove box, cell phone storage tray and a concealed compartment located below the rear cargo floor. The dash layout is plain and a bit drab, but the controls are large and easy to use. And though hard plastics are common at this price point, most of the xD's surfaces are low-gloss and deeply textured.

Exterior   photo

From its bulldog snout to its smoothly blended sheetmetal, the Scion xD certainly stands out among the crowd of traditional compacts. Engineered with versatility in mind, the 2012 xD features a cargo-friendly, utilitarian profile design to optimize interior volume. The xD offers a choice of three 16-inch wheels covers, 18-inch alloy wheels and a multitude of exterior adornments to make your xD truly unique. The limited-edition Release Series 4.0 takes personal expression to a new level with its Blizzard Pearl paint, color-matched interior trim and unique soft-touch seating surfaces.

Notable Standard Equipment

Like all Scion vehicles, the xD comes with a wide array of standard equipment. Noteworthy amenities include keyless entry, a multi-information display with various vehicle-related data, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, and a 160-watt Pioneer sound system with iPod compatibility, six speakers and Bluetooth. To help ensure its occupants arrive safely at their destination, the 2012 xD is equipped with six airbags, active front headrests to help prevent whiplash injuries, and the Star Safety System's collection of accident-avoiding electronic aids.

Notable Optional Equipment

Since the 2012 Scion xD offers a host of equipment as standard fare, available options consist mainly of items 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 a new Pioneer Premium audio system with a full-color 5.8-inch touch screen, iTunes Tagging and Pandora Internet radio. Similarly, Scion offers an available navigation system with a larger 7-inch display, DVD player and backup-camera hook-up.

Under the Hood

The 2012 xD's 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine delivers 128 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. The xD's singular engine choice can be matched to either a 5-speed manual or a less efficient – and antiquated – 4-speed automatic gearbox. Furthermore, the Scion xD's outdated drivetrain relegates it to the lower tier of the segment in terms of fuel efficiency.

2012 Scion xD
1.8-liter inline-4
128 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
125 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 mpg

Pricing Notes

With only one trim offered, Scion buyers can pick up a 2012 xD with a manual transmission for just over $16,000, while an automatic transmission will bump up the price an additional $800. The Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Ford Fiesta start for considerably less, but don't offer the same measure of standard content. The Honda Fit is closer in price but doesn't offer standard Bluetooth connectivity or 18-inch alloy wheels. Before visiting a Scion dealership, be sure to check out kbb.com's Fair Purchase Price, as it will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay at your local no-haggle Scion dealership. Over time, the 2012 Scion xD's 5-year resale value is expected to be lower than the Honda Fit, but higher than the Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio.

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