2008 Scion xD Expert Review

You'll Like The 2008 Scion xD If...

If you want a four-door hatchback that has a solid ride, bold styling and comes with nearly everything you could or would want, look no further than the 2008 Scion xD. Easy customization at the local Scion dealership is a convenient bonus.

You May Not Like The 2008 Scion xD If...

The distinctive exterior and mono-spec interior styling might not suit everyone's tastes, and if gas consumption is a concern, the Honda Fit may be a better choice. If you tend to carry a lot of stuff, the xD's rather meager rear cargo area may not meet your needs unless you fold the second-row seats down.

What's New

The 2008 Scion xD is the latest four-door subcompact hatchback offering from a company that prides itself on being different. It's an affordable, well-built vehicle with more standard equipment than a Honda Fit or a Nissan Versa.

Interior Features

Seating is customizable with rear 60/40 fold-flat seats that can be reclined, moved forward, back, or into the floor to create more space. The dash is simple and easy to navigate with a circular radar screen-like consolidated speedometer and tachometer right in front of the driver. The xD has plenty of storage for odds and ends up front, including an upper and lower glovebox on the passenger's side and a change box and storage tray on the driver's side of the car. Satellite radio, auxiliary MP3 jacks that will fit any player---including iPod---and an available audio faceplate that can display images and short movie or video clips are all within easy reach.

Exterior Features

Sitting wide and low, the 2008 Scion xD shares some of its bold exterior styling with other new Scions, namely the grille, multi-reflector halogen headlamps and turn signals with lights that illuminate in the sideview mirrors when each signal is activated. The vehicle also comes with 16-inch wheels and the choice of three different wheel-cover designs. In the rear, a long, narrow window with a rear wiper and small spoiler sits high above the bumper and chrome exhaust tip.

Driving Impressions

With its short, squat stance the 2008 Scion xD is capable of handling curves and dips in the road with ease, although rough terrain will make the ride slightly less comfortable. The 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, engineered with Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) technology, delivers 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, nearly the same as the Versa and well above what is offered in the Honda Fit. This new engine is also a marked improvement over the powertrain in the discontinued xA, offering more horsepower and torque, albeit on a heavier car. As with many small cars on the market, steep hills will not really showcase the engine's power. Those who want ample acceleration from stop lights and on freeway on- and off-ramps may be happier with the standard five-speed manual transmission than the optional four-speed automatic.

Pricing Notes

With only one trim offered, Scion buyers can get an xD with a manual transmission for just over $15,000, while an automatic transmission will bump up the price an additional $900. The similar Honda Fit or Nissan Versa start at about $14,500 and $13,000 respectively, but offer fewer features as standard equipment and do not even offer a navigation system as an option. Before going to the Scion dealership near you, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Prices for the xD, as they will give you an idea of what to expect at your local no-haggle Scion dealership. Over time, the xD is expected to retain a resale value similar to the Honda Fit and higher than the Nissan Versa.

Notable Equipment

Like any Scion, the xD comes with a wide array of equipment. Noteworthy amenities include keyless entry, power locks/windows/mirrors with driver's side one-touch auto-down, a tire pressure monitoring system, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel with audio controls and four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA). To get its occupants safely to their destination, the xD is equipped with six airbags and active headrests in the front row that push the occupants back into their seats in the event of an accident. A Pioneer 160-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with iPod compatability and six speakers provides the soundtrack for any road trip.

Notable Options

Since the 2008 Scion xD comes with numerous features as standard equipment, available options consist mostly of items that are geared toward customizing the car, like illuminated door sill enhancements, sport pedals, a carbon fiber engine cover and 18-inch wheels and alloy wheel covers. A few more everyday options exist, such as a cargo cover and mat, floor mats, a navigation system and an auto-dimming mirror. A Pioneer Premium audio system, subwoofer, and XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio are also available for those who want their ride to be heard as well as seen.

Favorite Features

Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) Screen

This optional screen built into the audio faceplate on the dash allows you to display personal "skins" to further customize the interior of the car. Skins can be created and downloaded on a special site created by Pioneer just for Scion owners.

Flexible Rear-Seat Configurations

All three seats in the rear of the car can move independently of one another and fold in a 60/40 fashion, allowing you to arrange them to suit any travel or cargo need.

Under the Hood

The xD's 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) is a definite improvement over the engine in the xA. It offers 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, an increase in both of nearly 25 over the xA's powerplant. However, this more powerful engine is also moving a car nearly 300-pounds heavier, so the difference isn't very noticeable. Fuel economy with both the manual and automatic transmissions is similar to the Nissan Versa and slightly poorer than that of the Honda Fit, which has significantly less horsepower. If you're looking for the best possible mileage, stick with the manual transmission to get the most bang for your buck.

1.8-liter in-line 4

128 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

125 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 (manual), 26/32 (automatic)

Editors' Notes

Scion has, in its fairly short history, always striven to be the purveyor of uber-cool in the automotive world, looking to create true trend-setter and lifestyle-focused vehicles. What many overlook is that Scion builds products that are applicable to a wide audience of both young and old alike, as truly practical and affordable modes of transportation that don't loudly scream "budget." The 2008 Scion xD, with its aggressive short, squat stance, four doors and convenient hatchback, is a nice addition to the Scion family line-up. As a replacement for the xA, the xD delivers slightly less interior and cargo room, but offers a bigger engine with 25 additional horsepower.

Road Test Video Reviews

2008 Scion xD Owner Reviews

54 Reviews
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Scion XD the little car you can depend on to get you there.

I bought my scion xd last year used. It had 273,000 miles on it but still runs like it is new. I now have 302,000 miles on it and the only thing I have had to do was give it a tune up. I share this because it points out the reliability of this car. It doesn't use much gas but the trade up to that is it is a very small car and you can't fit much in it. The size is so far the only downfall of the scion xd. This car is great for in city commute. It's small so not much gas is used and because of the overall size of the car it doesn't take up much space. The scion xd has been a very reliable car.

- Jennifer G

Spacious, great mileage, never breaks down.

My wife and I don't really have too many problems with this car. It is a great family car. It is not too big and not too small so it is great for going to the grocery store or camping. The back seats come forward and if you need extra space they even fold down. If I had to say something bad about it is that it does not have child locks or if it does I do not know how to use it and now that we have a kid it would be nice to have. It is not decked out with all kinds of tech that cars nowadays have but that is fine for my wife and I.

- Brian S

An interesting thing about my car is how small it is.

So far, no major problems I had with the car. It is very reliable since it can last longer in long car rides than any car I had before. However, it is not as comfortable as a Camry or Civic since the seats are not easy to sleep on. Another disadvantage is the a/c since it is only limited to the driver and passenger seats. There is no a/c output for the other passengers in the back seat. Even more, I would not recommend this car for a family of four since the space runs a bit tight.

- Janice P

Scion XD 2008: Big Thumbs Down

Scion XD 2008 has experienced many problems. I am the second owner and when I purchased the vehicle it was well taken care of and maintained mechanically. I have had it for only a year and I have had to fix the wheel bearings three times, the headlights went out almost immediately, and the brakes have given out once. It slides everywhere during the winter time, which is unfortunate because I live in the Midwest.

- Michelle R

My car is a beautiful little machine which gets me to and from where I need to go

I love my Scion XD. It is a quick small reliable car with great gas mileage. It has made plenty of road trips including bringing us to Rhode Island where I'm from, but has also brought us to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, through Connecticut, New York, and some parts of Virginia it has great sound system for me because I like music and it has maximum comfort for me and my family.

- Justin M

More roomy inside than you would expect. Great gas mileage.

I have had this car for almost 10 years and it has had very minimal problems. Keep up on the regular routine with your mechanic because I did have a problem with my coolant leaking and one of my belts coming loose. The inside is not that comfortable. It does not have an armrest in the middle between driver and passenger, which gets uncomfortable after driving for a long period of time.

- Sarah C

Scion xd not good for car seats.

I have had issues with the size of the scion xd. It has been a terrible car for car seats. Installing and taking out car seats - there is not enough room with kids to sit safely in their car seats. Even with my back row back as far as it goes and my seat up their little feet still have barely enough room between the car seat and the driver's seat.

- Brit B

One of the best cars ever!

I absolutely love my Scion! It's very sleek in regards to the interior. When in drive, the ride is smooth and quiet. The seating is very comfortable even for the longer trips. The gas mileage in this is absolutely amazing. Depending on my trip I have received 35+ MPG!! Even in town with tons and tons of stop lights, I can get 20-25 MPG.

- Brook H

The perfect compact car for city life.

My scion xd is truly the perfect vehicle. It is compact which is perfect for city driving as well as parking. The fuel economy is wonderful and it only costs about $25 a week in gas. There's just enough room for my friends and I. It is stylish, and customizable. I can practically have this as my primary vehicle for the next 10 years.

- Laura F

A/c is great too, helps in the hot especially here in Houston that it is so hot.

Pro: has great a/c, drives awesomely, small and cute, great with gas can drive from houston to san antonio and back without problems. I been having it for 6 years and more to come. Never had car problems just tires. . Cons: tires are awful, always telling me that my tires are low. If had to change my tires like 3 times in one year.

- Jacqueline F

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