The Scion xD was a five-door hatchback subcompact car produced from 2007 to 2014, sold as 2008 to 2014 model years.
Design and Introduction
As part of Toyota's youth-focused subsidiary, the Scion xD was a pragmatic car that did its best to provide a utilitarian option that was value focused while also being relatively stylish and fun. It was built on the Toyota B platform, shared with the Toyota Its as it was known in the Japanese domestic market and also sold as the Toyota Urban Cruiser in European and Latin American markets. The Scion xD was the name used exclusively in the United States and Canada. The Scion xD was introduced during the brand's redesign of the popular xB boxy multi-purpose vehicle, providing customers another option in the similar segment of compact five-door hatchback styles. The xD was a less dramatically designed car in comparison to the xB, with a more typical tall hatchback shape that wasn't so common in the US but was seen in other global markets regularly. To appease younger buyers in North America, it was targeted to be a value-focused vehicle that still came well-equipped.
Scion xD Engine and Performance
Under the hood, the Scion xD used a 1.8L 2ZR-FE inline-4 engine producing 128 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. It was front-wheel drive and used a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. One major benefit of the Scion xD, like many Scion models, was the incredible fuel efficiency, landing at 32 mpg city and 33 mpg highway according to EPA ratings. It's 0 to 60 mph time left a bit more to be desired, crawling up to highway speeds in 8.3 seconds. But the performance was enough for the city-focused ride of the xD. Turning to the interior, the xD had standard power windows, locks, and mirrors, beating out other base-model vehicles from the time. It also used some more advanced systems such as anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and even a tire pressure monitoring system. The safety features continued inside with dual stage passenger and driver airbags, plus side curtain airbags and seat-mounted side airbags. This allowed the xD to receive high scores in government crash test ratings, including front, rear, and side impact four-star ratings, plus the same for its rollover safety.
Release Series Special Edition Models
To showcase the brand's individuality and potential for customization, a key marketing element for the entire Scion brand, the xD was available in limited numbers of the Release Series (RS) variants. These were renewed each year, with typically just two or three units going to each Scion dealer, who could not sell them at a markup due to Scion's no-haggle fixed pricing strategy. They quickly sold out thanks to their bold color scheme and more advanced options when compared to the usual production models that had very limited factory options, although dealer-installed and aftermarket parts could add significant customization flair to any xD.
Looking Back on the Scion xD
The Scion xD wasn't a booming success, but it didn't completely flop either. It sold a maximum of over 27,600 units in 2008, before hovering right around 10,000 units annually from 2010 to 2014. The xD was discontinued in 2014, but the Scion brand pushed forward for a couple more years, before being discontinued entirely in 2016. In many ways, the Scion xD wasn't as spirited or sporty as other Scion models, but it gave the US an option that was usually reserved for other markets that put fuel efficiency, practical use, and affordability above most else. The few RS models and their immediate selling out perhaps showed that Scion would have been better off going with more dramatic colors and enhanced features, especially in a market that puts these types of luxurious touches on a pedestal.