Toyota made a strong play for the young driver market when it developed the Scion xD. The four-door hatchback, which is only available in front-wheel drive, boasts exceptionally unique styling both inside and out. Its 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is surprisingly powerful, giving the xD an edge on the competition. Despite its very affordable price tag, the Scion xD is bursting with crowd-pleasing features. Cargo capacity is decidedly skimpy, at a mere 35.7 cubic feet, but most drivers will gladly overlook that for the xD's bold presence and sleek design.
There are more fuel-efficient cars in the subcompact hatchback segment; the xD's fuel economy rating of 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the freeway and 29 mpg combined isn't outstanding. Considering that its engine gets 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, however, the fuel economy rating is a little more understandable. The Scion xD was designed in Japan, where Toyota is headquartered; it is only manufactured at the Toyota plant in Aichi, Japan. Drivers who need towing capability should look elsewhere; the xD is not designed for it.
The 2007 Chicago Auto Show is where the Scion xD made its initial debut. Its sleekly-designed exterior and trendy interior garnered it plenty of attention. That was especially true in light of the fact that the xD was built to replace the lackluster xA, which left drivers cold. Since its debut, the xD has scored major points for managing to walk a fine line between affordability and coolness. Each year, exclusive limited edition models are released; each dealer usually only gets one or two, so they are hot commodities. The latest, Release Series 3.0, is only available in xPRESSO Brown.
Other than the special Release Series models, the Scion xD only comes in a base, standard trim. Luckily, the base model is chock full of popular features like cruise control, a six-speaker Pioneer sound system, full-power accessories, and air conditioning. There are no available options, per se; a bounty of dealer upgrades is available, however. Popular upgrades include illuminated door sills, a navigation system, and Bluetooth connectivity. Most drivers are happy enough with the base model, though, especially given its low MSRP.
Considering its unique appearance, it is surprising that the Scion xD has earned as many major awards as it has; its outward appearance tends to be rather polarizing. In 2009, Consumer Reports listed it as one of its most reliable new automobiles; worry-free ownership is a part of the xD's major allure for certain drivers. In 2010, Intellichoice gave the Scion xD the SmartChoice Retained Value award. Intellichoice also gave the 2011 xD the Best Deal of the Month award at one point, a fact that highlights this car's cost-effective reputation.
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