Scion, which is a marque of Toyota, has unabashedly gone after the young driver market. As a result, it never produces a single model for very long. The Scion xA is a case in point. The front-wheel drive, subcompact hatchback was only produced for the North American market for three short years. With its 1.5-liter inline-4 engine, the xA was never designed for exceptional driving prowess; two transmissions, a four-speed automatic and a five-speed automatic, were available. With its backseat folded down, the xA had 32.8 cubic feet of storage space.
Because Scion vehicles are manufactured by Toyota, they are designed in Japan. That is also the case with the xA, which was assembled in Toyota City, Japan. Its small engine only produced 103 horsepower; needless to say, it was not designed to handle towing of any kind. One area in which the Scion xA really shined, though, was fuel economy. Automatic transmission models got 31 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the freeway; manual transmission models boasted a fuel economy rating of 32/38. Thanks to that fact, and its low MSRP, the xA was popular with cost-conscious consumers of all ages.
The 2004 xA was the first model that was produced. It featured a hip, edgy look that was designed to appeal to young drivers. The fact that it could also be customized with dozens of different dealer-installed accessories also helped to bolster its coolness quotient. Only a single generation of the xA was produced; a mild refresh took place for its last model year in 2006, which included a slightly different interior, among other things. Each year, a couple of limited edition Release Series were produced; the last one, the RS 3.0, was available in Stingray Metallic Light Blue.
There is no question that the Scion xA was an economy car. However, its interior didn't necessarily scream that. Neat touches like faux aluminum bolstered the appearance of its interior. A fairly roomy backseat also enhanced its appeal. The only factory option was a side airbag package. Dealer-installed extras included ambient lighting for the foot well, a roof rack and alloy wheels. xA owners could tweak the design of their vehicles to get the look that was right for them.
Not surprisingly, the Scion xA was mostly singled out for its sleek design and exceptional value. Motor Trend, for one, highlighted the hatchback for those precise reasons on more than one occasion. In 2005, Edmunds noted the car's good handling and wide range of standard equipment. Consumer's Guide also pointed out the xA's exceptional workmanship. For its value and high-quality design, then, it's obvious why the short-lived Scion xA won over so many drivers during its run
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