2009 Scion xD Expert Review

You'll Like The 2009 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 2009 Scion xD. Easy customization at the local Scion dealership is a convenient bonus.

You May Not Like The 2009 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 down the second-row seats.

What's New

No major changes for 2009.

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 2009 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 2009 Scion xD is capable of handling curves and dips in the road with ease, although rough road surfaces 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 defunct 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 $800. The similar Honda Fit or Nissan Versa hatchback start at about $15,200 and $14,500 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 2009 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 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 offers 128 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. 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 2009 Scion xD, with its aggressive short, squat stance, four doors and convenient hatchback, is a nice addition to the Scion family line-up. Although it delivers slightly less interior and cargo room than to old xA it replaced last year, the xD offers a bigger engine with 25 additional horsepower.

Road Test Video Reviews

2009 Scion xD Owner Reviews

35 Reviews
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A big car in a small body.

I absolutely love my scion xd. While it is a small car, it is amazingly roomy. The storage area can carry an unbelievable amount, and with the back seats down, that area is even larger. I have even hauled furniture on several occasions. The gas mileage is great, at around 28 town and 32 plus open road. The scion is the fastest car I have ever driven. Visibility is very good, with little to no blind spots. It is a very dependable car with a smooth ride. Other than routine maintenance, it never needs any type of repair, and it has 125,000 miles on the odometer. The only drawback is there is not a lot of legroom in the back seat for a person taller than average height. I would highly recommend this car to anyone who wants a small efficient dependable car.

- Teresa M

Blind spots in the mirrors are easily corrected by looking through the windows.

I love the feel of the car, it fits the size of my dream car. The car moves just how I want it to. I wish the radio system was more advanced but it is alright. The driver's seat is really nice. The back seats can slide forward and backward and also fold in a 180 degree way. The blind spots from the mirrors are very tiny and easily correctable by turning your head to look through the windows. The car is pretty low to the ground and this may make it hard to drive on bumpy roads and get up steep drive eats because you risk the chance of scraping the frame on the ground (usually the front bumper). The gas mileage is pretty good, I only need to fill it up once every 3 weeks and it only has 10 gallons in it (I drive about 50 miles a week on average).

- Alex D

this vehicle is amazing and it's very reliable. Very spacious

This vehicle is very spacious; every time I had someone in my car they always commented on it. This vehicle is so comfortable and runs very well. It eats up a lot of gas, BUT in my opinion it is very worth it. This is my first vehicle and its the best. Gets me to where I need to go with no problem. It takes me to school which is a four hour ride. The vehicle is very reliable.

- Jessica M

Great Scion with good features

My scion is a really fun little car. It's fast and great on gas. My only issues are that it does get a little scary on highways with high speeds since the car is so small. Turns could be a little scary, and the inside under the hood is a little hard to work around since it's so tiny and compact. Otherwise it's an absolutely great vehicle.

- Gavin M

This is a stylish car, and easy to handle. It handles well in many types of weather conditions.

I like the hatchback trunk, I can fold down the back seats and fit a lot of things and even some medium size furniture items in the back. I like the easy to use radio and displays. I dislike that the hood is so short, makes it harder for a lot of mechanics to work on the car. I like that it's been a reliable car for the most part.

- alyssa C

2009 Scion xD Review for Arizonans

it's simple and easy to drive nothing bad but nothing fancy. Never had any problems with it. I live in a very hot state and the car can stay pretty cool. Does take awhile to get rid of heat when left in the heat though. It is recommended that you park in shade to avoid having to wait a few minutes for the heat to exit the vehicle.

- anthony R

Buy this car..you won't regret it!!

This car has been such a delight! It's incredibly reliable and has been a steady workhorse for me to count on! The size has been perfect... compact for city parking, but big enough to help me move last month! I've just loved it..good gas mileage, decent amount of acceleration power, easily maneuverable, and super cute too!!

- Caitlin D

It's a excellent car as long you take very good care of the car

I don't have any issues, with the car. It's really good on mileage and it's pretty good to me thus far. The performance is really great and pick up speed very quickly when getting on to the highway. I have installed an aftermarket radio and it's really sound good with the new speakers as well.

- Tonja T

My Scion has been effective efficient & trustworthy the whole time I've owned.

Bd water pump otherwise, brakes and standard tuning, the car is excellent. I drove it from Florida to Oregon, it's a good car. This IS the 2nd water pump in 1.5 years of owning the vehicle though. The car gets great gas mileage and I'm pleased by the performance and speed. It's quick

- Andreas B

Best Purchase Ever Scion XD a great family car and daily driver

I love my car great on gas. It is a manual so that makes it kind of thief protected small but still able to have people in it and comfortable Sometimes tricky with groceries but still make it work I LOVE MY CAR. Repairs are not too costly recently had brakes done under 200.00

- Brittany G

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