2010 Scion xD Review


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2010 Scion xD

SEE ALSO: Scion Specs, Prices and Comparisons

THE AUTO PAGE
By
JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS

Model:2010 Scion xD
Engine:1.8-liter DOHC I-4
Horsepower/Torque:128 hp @ 6,000 rpm/125 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission:4-speed automatic
Wheelbase:96.9 in.
Length/Width/Height:154.7 x 67.9 x 60.0 in.
Tires:P195/60R16
Cargo volume:10.5/35.7 cu. ft. (rear seat up/down)
Fuel economy: 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway/29.7 mpg test
Fuel capacity:11.1 gal.
Sticker:$16,559 (includes $670 delivery, processing and handling fee plus $289 in options.)

The Bottom Line: The xD is a cozy little four-door with very good fuel economy – at a price. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is buzzy and the car itself has an overall tinniness that detracts somewhat, but as a local commuter car, it’s great.

Toyota obviously considered the demographic when they decided to product the Scion xD. In fact, the entire Scion line shows a trend toward a youth-oriented market. It doesn’t matter that a lot of Scions are bought by “older” people who definitely don’t fit the demographic, the cars are still aimed at a younger audience.

In the xD, for example, certain features that I would normally appreciate, such as an instrument panel that’s easy to read and an audio system that’s not only relatively uncomplicated, but it’s also intuitive, so that even with my age-addled mind I can figure it out.

Well, the xD has a unique combined speedometer/tachometer that is unlike any other I have seen. It’s hard to read at first, because you would normally expect two round dials, rather than one that’s separated artistically. I did figure it out after a while, but since the tachometer isn’t that important with an automatic transmission, I don’t think I referred to it that often. The speedometer is white-on-black, while the tach is orange-on-black.

The sound system was another issue. I thought it was confusing, and the simple solution is to lock in favorite stations, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that, even after a week. The radio had good range (I could pull in far-away stations) and good sound once I found a station I liked.

Under the hood is a 1.8-liter DOHC inline four that develops 128 horsepower. This isn’t a lot of power, but in a car that weighs only 2,665 pounds, it’s enough. I thought the engine was noisier than usual for a four, which is usually a noisy engine anyway. On acceleration it was worse, but in normal driving it wasn’t objectionable, just nosier than I’m used to. But, considering the demographic, the youth of today doesn’t mind noisy engines or exhausts. Come to think of it, I didn’t mind it either when I was that age.

The automatic was “gated,” meaning that you had to wiggle it around through a maze-like structure. Sure, Ferrari uses something like this in their cars, but it’s unusual in a small car.

With the small engine and the automatic, hill-climbing makes the combination work a little harder.

I also felt that the car itself exuded a tinniness that detracted from it. This was shown in the doors when you slammed them and in an overall lightness. With seat belts and air bags all over the place, there’s no sense of impending doom when you’ rein the xD, though.

The xD has the requisite pair of cupholders in front. One of them had an insert to hold a cell phone or iPod and you could charge either one of these while they’re sitting there since there is a hole in the bottom to feed the wires through. The insert also functions as a change holder.

There’s no arm rest where the center console normally resides, and there’s no center console. The glove box is also small, as are the door pockets. The front seats are reasonably comfortable.

In the rear, the floor is relatively flat, but the seat is still only wide enough for two passengers. When you lower the rear seat backs, the floor is flat and the cargo area more than triples.

The Scion xD is a small car that would serve ideally as a commuter. Even though we took it on a longer trip, it’s not the type of car a senior citizen would prefer for long trips. If you’re younger, though, it wouldn’t be bad at all.

2009 The Auto Page Syndicate

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