2011 Scion xD
2011 Scion xD. Click image to enlarge

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Scion Canada

By Paul Williams

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2011 Scion xD

The Scion brand arrived in Canada in 2010, but the arrival slipped under the radar for a lot of consumers. So much so that most people I encountered while test driving the 2011 Scion xD didn’t know the brand, and couldn’t identify its origin.

If you’re one of those people, here’s the scoop. Scion is a Toyota brand, targeted to younger buyers, and operating in the U.S. since 2003 (if you see a used 2003-2010 Scion for sale, it’s a U.S. car). Three models are offered in Canada, with a fourth set to debut in the near future. Current models are the xD, xB, tC, with the not-yet-released iQ microcar completing the line-up later in 2011.

That’s it for the history lesson; let’s talk xD.

Starting at $17,200, the xD is a front-wheel drive, five-door hatchback that you can actually buy for $17,200 (plus freight and taxes) and feel like you’ve got a well-equipped vehicle. The Xd has standard air-conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, satellite-ready audio (requires kit) with auxiliary input jack and USB input, cruise control, three-spoke tilt steering wheel with audio controls, power mirrors with integrated turn signal repeaters, multi-information display, digital clock, and split-folding, rear seats that also slide and recline, to mention key items.

2011 Scion xD
2011 Scion xD
2011 Scion xD. Click image to enlarge

Our Barcelona Red test vehicle was equipped with an automatic transmission, bringing its price to $18,100 ($19,625 with taxes, fees and freight included).

Powered with a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, dual-overhead camshaft engine with intelligent variable valve timing, the Scion Xd makes 128-horsepower at 6,000 r.p.m. and 125 hp at 4,400 r.p.m. The transmission is a five-speed manual, with the four-speed automatic adding $900.

The full range of safety equipment is fitted to the Xd, including vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes (disc front, drum rear), front and side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags and seat-belt pretensioners.

The Scion xD is by no means a tiny car, but its 42-litre fuel tank puts it in the “subcompact” category. However, today’s subcompact is yesterday’s compact, and four — maybe five — people will not be cramped in this car, plus there’ll be room for cargo behind the rear seat.

To give you an idea of relative size, at 4250 millimetres in length the Xd is longer than the subcompact Toyota Yaris hatchback (3825 mm), but shorter than the compact Mazda3 (4500 mm). It is about the same width as the Mazda3, however (narrower by only 25 mm).

Even though it has a small fuel tank, it has a correspondingly low rate of fuel consumption. The official numbers are 7.4/5.9 L/100 km, city/highway for the manual transmission version, and 7.6/5.9 L/100 km city/highway for the automatic. Either way, it’s a fuel-sipper, and you should see 500 km per tank in the city, requiring a fill-up of 35-litres, depending on what’s left in the tank when the gauge shows empty.

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