The Scion xD sees a modest price increase for 2010 and a significant safety feature made standard. The xD base price for the five-speed manual version will start at $14,800, reflecting a modest $150 bump. Upgrade to a four-speed automatic transmission and the price rises to $15,600.
Those figures include a standard electronic stability control (ESC) system, which was previously optional for $650. These affordable, fuel-efficient models target younger drivers who could benefit greatly from the proven safety benefits of ESC, which helps a driver keep the vehicle in control and on its intended path during a turn, to avoid sliding or skidding.
The 2010 xD has a new standard AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo from Pioneer, with a 160-watt amplifier and six speakers, plus a provision for adding a subwoofer. An optional Alpine Premium audio system adds a 4.3-inch touch screen, HD radio, and more RCA outputs for additional amplifiers. Further, the Alpine unit is back-up camera and navigation system ready. Scion offers an add-on nav with maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
All Scion xD’s feature air conditioning, power windows/door locks/mirrors, cruise control, and keyless entry. Safety features include four-wheel ABS, ESC, traction control, side and side-curtain air bags, and a first aid kit.
In our last road test, we found that the xD offered excellent fuel economy, with decent handling and a versatile interior. However, there is considerable road, mechanical, and wind noise. The ride is choppy, and rearward visibility is compromised by thick C-pillars.
A CR-Recommended car, the 2010 Scion xD is a smarter choice for drivers with the addition of ESC especially younger new drivers. Any owner will appreciate the complimentary 5,000- and 10,000-mile services, as well as the car’s much better than average predicted reliability. The Toyota Yaris, with which it shares a platform, also gets standard ESC for '10.
Visit the Scion xD model overview for ratings, reliability, and road test--available to online subscribers.