The Scion xD hatchback has a tall wagon-like stature with unique styling that may or may not suit everyone's taste -- but no one can fault it for looking generic. While the xD is a decent car, few reviewers choose it as a stand-out economy car because many of its competitors like the best-reviewed 2011 Honda Fit (Base MSRP: $15,100 to $16,860) and 2011 Hyundai Elantra (Base MSRP: $14,830 to $19,980) offer more for the same price. The xD is a reliable ride that doesn't stir reviewers' emotions and is eclipsed by competitors in most ways.
The only addition for the 2011 model year is the availability of the Release Series 3.0 option package that offers unique exterior and interior cosmetic upgrades. For a detailed discussion of this model, see our report on the 2009 Scion xD.
The 2011 Scion xD is fuel efficient, though newer competitors offer greater levels of efficiency. The 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine gets an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined rating with either the five-speed manual transmission or the optional four-speed automatic.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes, front airbags, side airbags, side curtain airbags, electronic stability control and active front head restraints. Despite all the standard safety equipment, its mediocre crash-test results leave the 2011 Scion xD at the bottom of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's list of small cars. Side- and rear-impact protection is given the highest Good rating, while front-crash protection is considered only Acceptable. The Scion xD has not been crash tested by the government as of this writing.
Base MSRP for the Scion xD is $15,054 and the new Release Series 3.0 trim package rings in at $16,905.
The perceived focus on being simple and reliable transportation has relegated the Scion xD to "a life of obscurity," the editors of Edmunds.com hypothesize. Editors here see the xD as reliable transportation with a wealth of personalization options but say some competitors have raised the bar for what defines a basic economy car.
Review: 2011 Scion xD, Editors of Edmunds.com
ConsumerReports.org has tested the Scion xD along with many other new economy cars. Editors provide insightful information on the packaging and driving experience, while also providing useful reliability and owner-satisfaction data.
Review: New Cars: Small Cars, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The Scion xD gets only an Acceptable rating for front-impact crash protection. Side and rear protection get the highest rating, Good, but the xD still places at the bottom of the IIHS's list of crash tested small cars. Many small cars are Top Safety Picks, meaning they have attained the highest score in all four crash-test scenarios.
Review: Small Cars, Editors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The 2011 Scion xD gets a commendable 29 mpg fuel-economy rating in mixed driving. Those looking for the best mileage possible may be interested in newer highly rated models that attain even higher levels of efficiency. The Environmental Protection Agency provides fuel-economy ratings for nearly every new car available.
Review: 2011 Scion xD, Editors of FuelEconomy.gov
The only change for the 2011 Scion xD is the cosmetics-only Release Series 3.0 trim level. Otherwise, the new model remains essentially the same as the 2009 Scion xD, which is covered in detail in this full report.
Review: 2009 Scion xD, Editors of ConsumerSearch.com, March 2009