Scion, Toyota's youth-marketed division, will see its fourth birthday in 2007. Appropriately, the brand has embarked on a hatchback switcheroo this year, redesigning its two entry-level cars. The funky xB goes upmarket, while the xA becomes the xD. It's an entry-level car meant to compete with the Honda Fit and other small hatchbacks, but thanks to an upgraded engine and more safety features, it isn't as basic as its predecessor.
Scion will eventually make 40-plus accessories available for the xD.
The xD is slightly less rounded than the xA, taking cues like a boxy grille and vertical bumper portals from the redesigned xB. Upscale touches include body-colored door trimmings and side mirrors with integrated turn signals. The headlights look similar to those on Toyota's RAV4.
Sixteen-inch wheels are standard. Three available wheel cover designs are shared with the xB.
The five-passenger interior includes a 60/40-split folding backseat that can recline 10 degrees and adjust 6 inches forward and back. A storage well sits below the cargo floor. Other places to stash things include a dual-compartment glove box and a tray below the steering wheel. On the dashboard, a single gauge integrates the tachometer and speedometer.
The xD's standard Pioneer stereo includes an auxiliary jack for MP3 players. It displays track listings, and drivers can adjust the volume or skip ahead using steering-wheel controls. An optional stereo upgrade includes a faceplate capable of displaying pictures and short video clips.
Standard features include remote keyless entry, air conditioning, and power windows, locks and mirrors.
Under the Hood
A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is standard. With its 128 horsepower, it offers a much-needed boost over the xA's 103-hp, 1.5-liter engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a four-speed automatic is optional.
Antilock brakes are standard, but they use a disc/drum setup, not the stronger four-wheel-disc type. Six standard airbags include side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows. Traction control and an electronic stability system — uncommon in this segment — are combined as a stand-alone option.