2009 Scion xD Review
The Scion xD is a small, efficient, relatively inexpensive four-door hatchback with style. The xD has a boxy roofline and a bulbous hood. The xD is designed for easy personalization, and Scion offers dozens of dealer-installed parts, starting with an array of custom wheels.
Full Review 2009
The Scion xD is a roomy little car, with lots of
headroom and comfortable space for four medium-size adults. The rear seat is
particularly handy: It reclines, slides fore and aft to maximize passenger or
cargo room, or quickly folds totally flat, creating an excellent cargo space
measuring a maximum 35.7 cubic feet.
On paper, the Scion xD has the right stuff. Its short overhangs front and rear give it a sporty appearance suggesting agile handling. The xD is rated at 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. The xD is EPA-rated at 27/33 mpg City/Highway with the manual transmission.
We recommend the five-speed manual transmission, because the weakest link in the xD package is the optional automatic. It's a conventional four-speed and, with the XD's free-revving engine, it feels like it needs more gears.
The xD comes well equipped, with air conditioning, a high-watt Pioneer stereo and a full complement of power accessories.
The xD sets the class benchmark for safety equipment. Front, side and curtain-style airbags are standard, as is a sophisticated anti-lock brake system. The xD is available with optional electronic stability control, which isn't even offered on most cars in its class.
The 2009 Scion xD comes with a 1.8-liter
four-cylinder engine and a choice of five-speed manual ($14,650) or four-speed
automatic ($15,450) transmission.
Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel with audio controls, first-aid kit, a 60/40 reclining, sliding and flat-folding rear seat, 16-inch steel wheels and a 160-watt, six-speaker Pioneer sound system wired for MP3, iPod and satellite radio.
Vehicle Stability Control ($650) is optional, and more than 40 dealer-installed accessories developed by Scion are available, including a plug-and-play navigation system ($1,950), Sirius or XM satellite radio ($449), a remote starter ($529), 16-inch alloy wheels ($795), and a cargo cover ($259). Speed and style parts are available from TRD (Toyota Racing Development). And aftermarket suppliers are supporting the Scion xD with a wide range of products, ranging from an supercharger to carbon-fiber body trim.
Safety features include dual-stage front airbags, front passenger side-impact airbags and curtain-style head protection airbags front and rear. A tire-pressure monitor is standard. Active safety features include anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist. VSC electronic stability control with traction control is optional.
The Scion xD is a bit shorter and wider than the redesigned 2009 Honda Fit, its most obvious competitor. The xD is only half an inch longer than the old Scion xA, on a wheelbase that's 3.5 inches longer. The xD roofline is boxed in at the rear corner with a wide C-pillar (like the xB). A sharp set of wheels goes a long way toward bringing the xD alive, and that's part of Scion's personalization platform. We've seen xDs with the six-spoke, 18-inch polished alloy wheels available from Scion dealerships, and they totally change the bulky looks of the car. 2009 Car of the Year
Interior Styling and Features
From the functional perspective, the xD interior works well. Materials used inside the xD are generally good for a car in this price range. The gas gauge is a bright, easy-to-read LED to the left of the steering column, and the xD comes standard with a multi-information display that allows the driver to toggle between the odometer, trip meters, instant fuel economy, average fuel economy, distance-to-empty and average vehicle speed.
The rear seat is quite roomy when rear-passenger space is maximized. The rear seat easily slides forward or backward six inches, adding space for either cargo behind the seatback or passengers in front of it. With the rear seat moved full forward, there's enough legroom for a 12-year old; with the rear seat moved back, there's room for medium-sized adults. Head room is expansive, and with the front seat set for a 5-foot, 10-inch driver, there was enough rear legroom for a 5-foot, 9-inch rear passenger. Moreover, the rear seatback reclines 10 degrees, which remains a rarity in all cars. The rear seat folds totally flat, opening 35.7 cubic feet of space behind the front seats. A cargo blind to cover whatever is behind the seats is available from Scion dealers.
There's a 5.3-liter upper glovebox and 5.7-liter lower glove box. We found the air conditioning works well. The xD is not the quietest small car around, and it's one of the noisier Toyota products we've tested.
First Drive 2009
The Scion brand is supposed to be different by
design, but it's still a product of Toyota, and on the road the Scion xD tends
to reveal its Toyota roots. The xD's suspension is neither too soft nor too firm
and responsive. The xD is comfortable, without wallowing in a way that makes the
driver think the car is floating around underneath. The xD's torsion-beam rear
axle simply can't keep the rear tires planted as firmly as a fully independent
The 1.8-liter engine in the xD makes 128 horsepower and acceleration performance with the five-speed manual transmission is more than adequate. With the manual transmission, the xD can hold its own with the fuel-swilling, big-engined carnivores that populate the urban jungle.
In stop-and-go freeway traffic, the xD's throttle response can be abrupt. The xD has a four-speed automatic, where many small cars now offer five-speeds or continuously variable transmissions. Fuel economy for the Scion xD is an EPA-rated 26/32 mpg City/Highway with the automatic, 27/33 mpg with the manual transmission. A Nissan Versa gets 26/31 with a manual, according to the EPA, while a Honda Fit manual matches the xD at 27/33.
Conclusions 2009 xD
The Scion xD is fuel-efficient and practical, with a roomy cabin. Edmunds.com praises xD for Good fuel economy, nice highway manners for a small car, Scion's dealer-installed customizing features. It's stylish and is designed for easy personalization. It comes standard with a full complement of safety features, except for electronic stability control, which is the only factory option.