While the 2011 Scion xD has a unique, boxy exterior, as affordable small cars go these days, average fuel economy of 27 city and 33 highway just isn't all that impressive, nor is an MSRP range of $15,110 to $17,705. Designed with a younger, more hip audience in mind, the xD offers good power and handles well, but that's not enough to elevate it in a genre with stiffer, cheaper, more efficient competition -- namely the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.
If your purchase is motivated solely on appearance and you want a box outside the box, the Scion xD may be for you. It is dependable on a day in day out basis. There's only one trim, but lots of customization options. The engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 128 hp paired to a manual transmission. The upgrade to an automatic runs roughly $800.
Inside, Scion opted for a lot of hard plastic, in fact, too much hard plastic. The end result is a cabin that looks cheap, although the instrument panel is modern-looking and fun. The seats aren't comfortable, especially for taller drivers and passengers. The rear seats tilt forward and backward, but that feature doesn't seem to help the overall poor comfort level.
Standard features include keyless entry, power windows and locks, tilt steering with audio controls, a Pioneer audio system with auxiliary audio jacks, USB, and iPod connectivity. Add, $1,999 for navigation; $449 for premium audio; and $449 for satellite radio. A sport steering wheel will set you back $279, and the handsfree BLU Logic system is $299.
Onboard safety systems include vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, driver and passenger seat-mounted side airbags, front and rear side curtain bags, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The 2010 xD earned four stars from the federal government on front and rollover crash tests, and five in side driver and rear passenger tests.
So, what's there to say about the Scion xD? It's one of those funky little cars aimed at a highly specific driver niche. It will hold 10.5 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats up and 35.7 with them down, so it's small in comparison to similar hatchbacks of its kind. There are definitely better buys out there. If you decide to go with an xD and you're being honest with yourself, your choice will probably be motivated by looks. Before you make that move, do yourself a favor and drive the competition.