2011 Scion xD
2011 Scion xB
2011 Scion tC
Top to bottom: 2011 Scion xD, xB and tC. Click image to enlarge

Related articles on Autos
Scion launches in Canada this month
Scion unveils iQ and tC in New York
Toyota whets appetite for Scion introduction
Toyota’s Scion comes to Canada
Feature: Scion is coming to Canada
Scion shows Fuse coupe concept
Scion Fuse unveiled in Montreal
Scion brand coming to Canada
Toyota will sell Scion in Canada in 2010
Scion marks fifth anniversary in U.S.

Manufacturer’s web site
Scion Nation

Join Autos’s Facebook group
Follow Autos on Twitter

Review and photos by James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2011 Scion

Vancouver, British Columbia – When I first reported on the Scion brand coming to Canada back in March 2009, I was excited about the prospect, but still sceptical due to the economic downturn. Many things have changed in the last year-and-a-half, but one thing has not, and that is Toyota’s excitement about launching this new and refreshing brand in Canada.

Scion isn’t really about the cars themselves: Scion wants to be a part of a generation of trendsetters, a part of a generation that is changing the face of media, entertainment and culture as we know it – they’re the first to take the plunge and really deviate from the mainstream.

You may be unaware of Scion’s consumer events over the past year, which attracted about 50,000 prospective customers. If you did hear about these events and attended any them, you are most likely part of Scion’s target audience. If you are not part of the Gen Y or Gen X crowd, you’ll be in the minority.

With the information age upon us, many tech savvy consumers see dealerships as a thorn in their side. They know what they want and they know how to order it online – if they could! If they aren’t sure what they want, they will find out by visiting online gateways, forums and by researching. This is how the Scion brand will cater to this new consumer by changing how their dealerships and advertising models work.

A concierge of sorts will serve Scion boutiques set up within Toyota dealerships. This well-trained Scion representative will help the customer from start to finish for their vehicle purchase. Computers will be set up throughout the showroom to allow customers to select and customize their perfect Scion to fit their style. No more back-and-forthing with the salesman, then the manager, than the scary finance office – or, at least, that is how it is being presented.

Scion, which has been in the U.S. market since 2003, has the lowest average buying age (38) in the industry. The tC model has the lowest average age of any vehicle sold in the U.S. at 26 years, and Scion hopes to continue this trend with its entry into Canada.

Most consumers buy their vehicles to fit a need: minivan and SUVs to carry the family, trucks for renovations or farm duty, a small commuter car for everyday errands or compact to mid-sized sedan for all around practicality.

2011 Scion xD
2011 Scion xB
2011 Scion tC
Top to bottom: 2011 Scion xD, xB and tC. Click image to enlarge

Most vehicle manufacturers design vehicles with this in mind: the subcompact for the first-time buyer, the compact or mid-sized as they grow up and perhaps the minivan and SUV as kids come into play – with the hopes that the consumer will then retire into their luxury line as their income and age increase over time.

Again, the Scion brand differs by not offering a lifecycle line-up but a style line-up – customers of the Scion brand buy Scions to make a statement that fits into their lifestyle and, more importantly, style choices. Toyota hopes that as these buyers change they will move into the company’s other brands, Toyota and Lexus.

I can’t tell you which Scion is best for you, because I am not you. I don’t know your style or your desires but I can tell you that Scion is offering you, the consumer, three choices at launch (with a fourth coming shortly) with hundreds of ways to customize them (via 75 plus accessories) in a very simple mono-spec (one specification with no options) format.

Launching in 45 dealers situated in Canada’s urban centres, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto on September 28th, Scion will offer the xD subcompact, xB compact and tC sports coupe, with the iQ micro-car scheduled to arrive spring 2011.

Despite Scion’s assertion the brand is more about the culture than the brand, the product is what you, the potential customer, will be spending your hard-earned money on.

Let’s start with what all Scions have in common. As previously mentioned, Scion offers a mono-spec line-up, which means the vehicle has no real options, only accessories. All vehicles are available in both manual and automatic transmission, and there ends your choice for specification.

All Scion vehicles are equipped rather well including: air conditioning, ABS, traction control, six airbags (xD and xB) or eight airbags in the tC, cruise control, six or eight speakers, power windows and mirrors, keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth connectivity.

Connect with Autos.ca