This week we’re looking at the 2008 ‘Preproduction’ Scion xD 5-door subcompact Wagon that replaces the xA. It should be available in showrooms early this fall and is worth looking at. It is a big improvement over the prior xA and others that were flat ‘ugly’. If I were a mother I wouldn’t claim it as my child – know what I mean – drop it at the dog shelter and forget to reclaim it. But finally, with the ‘08 release of the xD, it begins to look like a normal child.
Friend Merkel, my automotive engineer friend, notes that a new wave of interest in “Green” sensitive cars are becoming popular even in super rich communities where top of the line Mercedes, Lexus, BMW and the like were standard fare for those folks.
One has to wonder if it isn’t the new approach to flaunting wealth since they can have any car they want to drive but are becoming more conscious of waste in general that contributes to Global Warming. Me – I don’t believe in that global warming pitch from the likes of Al Gore. I think they have other agenda’s and aren’t really honest. I believe that because there are just as many scientists that insist our contribution to atmospheric problems is so miniscule as to be laughable. Stephen E. Blewett, Phd from Cal Tech, and Stanford undergrad work wrote “The Ozone Myth” that made sense to me.
Anyway I hope those Prius buyers in Palos Verdes and other upscale communities don’t believe my views and continue to buy “Green” in record numbers. Hey, what could it hurt and it would likely make us less dependent on Middle East oil. That will allow those OPEC countries to sell to China with its voracious appetite for oil at this singular time in history.
Parts – n/a
Assembly – Japan
Class: – Subcompact Cars
Cars: – Scion tC, xB and xD.
The new 2008 finally sports a bit more horsepower at 128 versus 103 from the previous 4-cylinder. But you do sacrifice a few miles per gallon in a time when 10% decrease compounded with a rising cost of fuel becomes more significant to many. However you’ll need to consider part of the drop results from new government EPA mileage calculations.
Make no mistake however this rides nice but is not for the guy or gal who loves to drive and place a lot of value on performance. This is a basic commuter and it does that just fine. You just won’t expect to get all excited to get out and ‘drive’.
The xD looks new and improved but it also sits on a new platform this year – the Camry. Thus it is heavier, has a larger engine and adds more safety features.
Fit and Finish:
Well, this is a $15,000 car so you wouldn’t expect Lexus or Toyota brand high end price and quality. But you would expect better than average assembly that is consistent with the brand generally – and you wouldn’t be disappointed.
Affordable is a terrible word because it tells you it isn’t expensive or to others that it is cheap without the ‘tramp stamp’. But it is targeted at the youthful driver in style and affordability.
Conveniences and comfort:
Quite good frankly for the price but the real good stuff like traction control and Vehicle Stability Control are optional.
If you want more fuel economy and about the same space and power consider another Toyota product. The Yaris S is worthy of comparison even if lower priced.
Scion xD $15,350, VW Rabbit $15-17,000, Ford Focus $14-17,000, Chevrolet Aveo5 $10-13,000, Honda Fit $14-16,000, Dodge Caliber $14-20,000, Toyota Yaris $11-14,000, Hyundai Accent $10-14,000, Nissan Versa $13-15,000, Suzuki SX4 $15-16,000, Kia Rio5 $13,750.
Improved design that is a real face lift, good fuel economy, 25 more horsepower than prior year and it’s a Toyota product which will influence a lot of people.
Sun visors don’t extend, low horsepower will strain on the hills, …for Scion is the fact there is a lot of great competition and therefore it will make your purchase decision more difficult.
1.8 liter 128 horsepower inline 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed auto trans, front wheel drive, air conditioning, cruise control, front air bags, front side airbags with front and rear side curtain airbags, front bucket seats, 60/40 split folding reclining rear seat, intermittent wiper, 4-wheel ABS Electronic Brake Distribution brake system with brake assist, halogen headlights, audio system with CD, iPod compatibility, six speakers, power door locks, outside mirrors with turn signal, power windows with one touch driver side, rear window defogger, rear wiper, remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel with audio controls, tire pressure monitor system. Optional: VSC – Vehicle Stability Control and Traction control.
$2.85/ Gal avg. August ‘07
for more information.
26 City and 32 Highway MPG