Scion xA Reviews - Page 4 of 4

2006 Scion xA none 1.5 liter gasoline from North America

Model year2006
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.5 liter gasoline Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance5200 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

Very nice, quality, small car with lots of features for not a lot of money

Faults:

Replaced stereo under warranty (when the car was cold, it would occasionally change stations by itself-a known problem in the first batch of stereos for the 2006 model year, which were redesigned and different than the 2005 ones)

General Comments:

This is one of the smallest cars on the market today, yet it has plenty of room inside, especially in the front seats. The rear cargo area is small with the rear seats up, but quite large if you fold the rear seats down.

Power is adequate, but not jaw-dropping, although that's not really the point of the car.

The seats are comfortable, and due to the design of the vehicle, you sit up fairly high for such a small car. The controls are simple and logically laid out.

For such an inexpensive car (starting at 13k-something), it comes loaded with air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, an AM/FM/MP3/CD/XM compatible stereo with six speakers, steering wheel controls, and AUX-in (for an Ipod or the like), anti-lock brakes, and rear window defogger and wiper, all standard. Factory options are limited to automatic transmission and side air bags (both of which I got). I also got a few dealer/port installed options, including floor mats, a spoiler in the rear, a center arm rest, and an alarm/keyless entry. I would recommend getting most of these (the spoiler and transmission are personal tastes). There are a wide variety of dealer installed options available beyond these, including fancier stereos, bigger tires/rims, silly neon lights, etc.

The 2006 model has several improvements over the 2005, including turn signals in the side mirrors, a better stereo (this one has a volume number instead of just buttons), and aux-in between the seats and steering wheel controls for the stereo.

I choose this car over the xB because you can't get side air bags in the xB (my main reason), the xB is slightly more expensive, I didn't really want to drive a box (I like the styling of the xA), and the xA is even smaller than the xB, which I like, for ease of parking and maneuverability. However, if you are frequently going to have more than two people in the car, the xB is probably the better choice due to the larger back seat and larger cargo room with the rear seats up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2006

25th May 2007, 10:14

I was surprised to see that adults can sit in the back of an xA without feeling like they're sitting in the "penalty box." The upright design allows near-sedan comfort in a vehicle smaller than a Corolla.

Mileage is in the mid-30s no matter how or where I drive it.

The 5-speed manual is the one you want. It's easy and it's a blast to drive.

If you're one of those Pimp My Ride fans, the Scion line is supported by a dizzying array of both dealer and after-market accessories. I think Toyota designed these cars to be "pimped."

OK, enough of the car commercials. Power is adequate at best. Fine. If I wanted to go 0-60 in six seconds, I'd buy a sports car.

The "trunk," if you want to call it that, is just big enough for six bags of groceries. Also fine. That's about as much as I get at one time, and I don't want to be putting it back in the bags when I get home. If I need more cargo space (for example, when running to the Home Depot for mulch and shrubberies), I can fold the back seats.

Bottom line - it gets me there, and does it without taking a big bite out of my paycheck, even with $3 gas.

2005 Scion xA 1.5 liter from North America

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.5 liter Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired1 miles
Most recent distance600 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Beetle

Summary:

Affordable, compact and fun to drive

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

This car is hard to beat when you look at the price and the features that come standard with it: anti-lock brake system (something the Honda Civic doesn't even offer as an option until you get to the pricier trim levels), a 6-speaker stereo with CD player capable of reading mp3s, power windows/locks, air conditioning, front AND rear windshield wipers. All that, plus the assurance of Toyota quality and reliability. I upgraded the stereo system to the 6-CD changer and had an alarm system installed, which bumped the price up to just under $14K.

For a cheap compact car, the xA handles like a dream. Quick, responsive and pretty impressive cornering ability.

The engine is small, but with the 5-speed manual transmission, it's plenty zippy. I imagine that the automatic would be more anemic, especially when accelerating from a standstill. At any rate, my xA beats the VW New Beetle (my former car), the Ford Focus (it was a rental car, so I don't know which trim) and the Chevy Cavalier when it comes to acceleration.

The gas mileage on this puppy is pretty damn sweet, especially for a conventional gasoline engine. I have to deal with a wide variety of travel conditions and speeds in my daily commute, from 75 mph on the highway to 30 mph in residential areas to stop-and-go traffic. It's been hot lately, so I've had the A/C on a fair bit of the time, too. The car still got 35 mpg. Not too shabby.

Road noise is pretty minimal for such a small, cheap car. In fact, I'm still startled by how quiet it is, especially compared to the Beetle I used to own, and compared to the Cavalier and Focus.

The suspension is sporty and firm. A bit more cushiony than the New Beetle, and definitely a lot more cushiony than my husband's Datsun 510. Take those speed bumps slow, avoid those potholes, and you'll be fine.

I really like the interior, especially the firm seats with their relatively elevated position, which offers excellent road visibility. I'm practically a midget (5'2") and some cars, like the Honda Accord and the Pontiac Sunfire, have seats that are set low and I end up needing to elevate myself with a cushion just so I can see over the steering wheel.

The xA has plenty of legroom, too. My husband is 6'8", and he fits in it. He's not exactly able to stretch his legs out or anything, but his knees aren't jammed up against his chin the way they were in the Focus. (Oddly enough, the car that fit him best was the Beetle - believe it or not, it has even more legroom than my husband's 89 Chevy Caprice).

Sound system is very nice, although the lack of a volume control knob (there are two push buttons instead) is kind of annoying. I'm learning to adjust, but I wish I didn't have to.

I really like the center-mounted console. Some people have said that it takes a lot of getting used to, but for me, I took to it right away. I don't need to look as far down to see how fast I'm going or to check on the time while I'm driving, which means less time for my eyes to be off the road.

One last thing: $125 for floor mats is a major ripoff. If you're anal-retentive and want genuine Scion floor mats, you can get them for $43 on-line ($50 including shipping) and install them yourself in less than 5 minutes.

In summary:

I did a lot of research, test drove a bunch of cars, and ended up with the xA because it offered the best combination of price, reliability, features, cargo room (yeah, the trunk is small, but when I fold the seats down there's quite a bit of space) and gas efficiency. If you're looking for a more powerful engine or something you can rice to a fare-thee-well, you're better off looking elsewhere - the Mazda 3 or Honda Civic, for instance. But this car fits my needs and wants perfectly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th July, 2005

21st Aug 2005, 17:54

Well written. I am surprised my the small number of Scion reviews/comments. This one was well done. I'm from Canada (where we don't yet have Scion) and from what I've heard (through the magazines) Scion has been a real hit. I wish there was more reviews... or comments.

27th Sep 2005, 22:27

My next vehicle will be a Scion XA. I've come to the same conclusion after a bunch of research. Can't yet afford a Toyota Prius, but a Scion XA seems pretty responsible, with respect to the environment. It's a mini utility vehicle, or, and MUV. ;-)

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 11 reviews