Subcompact car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door hatchback
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,300 – $14,700*

2008 Scion xD

2008 Scion xD Rear

2008 Scion xD Interior

2008 Scion xD Profile

  • Fuel economy
  • Instruments/controls
  • Maneuverability
  • Acceleration
  • Rear-seat room
  • Visibility

Scion’s entry-level subcompact offers a host of safety features and standard amenities. The xD shares the practical, utilitarian nature of its xA predecessor and xB sibling, but with more-conventional styling and layout that give it broader appeal.


New for 2008, the Scion xD replaced the company’s subcompact xA, last sold as a 2006 model. Although the xD cast nearly the same-size shadow as its predecessor, it rode on a roughly 4-inch longer wheelbase. The xD also got more power than the departed xA along with additional standard safety and convenience features. Subcompact competitors included the Honda Fit, Kia Rio, and Suzuki SX4. Like other Scion products, the xD was sold at Toyota dealerships.

Each little front-wheel-drive xD wagon came with a 128-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features included antilock brakes, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. An antiskid system, coupled with traction control, was an option. Each xD included 16-inch tires, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, a tilt steering wheel with audio controls, and a 60/40 split folding rear seat that slid fore/aft to benefit either passenger or cargo room. The standard 160-watt Pioneer CD player has a digital media player connection. Options included an iPod adapter and remote engine start, along with a navigation system.

A Release Series 1.0 limited-edition xD debuted during the 2008 season equipped with a lowered suspension.

Yearly Updates

2009 xD
The xD saw little change for the 2009 model year. A new Special Edition package included a lowered suspension and unique trim, led by body cladding and a rear spoiler.
2010 xD
The 2010 Scion xD was largely unchanged.
2011 xD
The 2011 Scion xD gets slightly revised interior trim but is otherwise largely unchanged.
2012 xD
The 2012 Scion xD lineup added the Release Series 4.0 model with unique trim, but there were no other changes.
2013 xD
New features available on the 2013 Scion xD included the brand’s Bespoke audio system that paired with iPhones to provide a connection to Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, point of interest search, friend locator, internet radio, and map routing–all through an Apple app. The gauge face color was also changed, and the xD now came standard with seat-mounted front side airbags.
2014 xD
For 2014, Scion now included a standard touchscreen audio system on the xD. The available premium audio system now included Aha-based smartphone integration and navigation functionality.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Each xD wagon holds a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 128 horsepower mating with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.8/110
Engine HP 128
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 125
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

Road Test

Acceleration from a stop is adequate at best with either the manual or automatic transmission. Hills noticeably slow the xD’s progress. Passing power is acceptable around town but modest at highway speeds. Soft throttle action frustrates smooth driving. The automatic transmission can be slow to downshift, but the manual transmission includes a smooth clutch and shifter.

Fuel economy is satisfying. Manual-transmission xDs returned 28.8 to 29.2 mpg in mostly city driving. An automatic-transmission model averaged 28.8 mpg in city/highway use. The xD uses regular-grade fuel.

Ride comfort isn’t the greatest. Somewhat floppy suspension tuning and a short wheelbase contribute to jiggling and hopping over bumps, though no more than is typical for the subcompact class.

Handling could be better, too. The somewhat soft suspension allows plenty of body lean and early onset of tire squeal in fast turns. The xD’s light steering lacks road feel, but it combines with a tight turning radius for good low-speed maneuverability. Brakes are strong and responsive.

Tire noise is abundant on all surfaces except smooth asphalt. Moderate road and bump sounds also occur, but wind noise is modest. The engine buzzes under acceleration, but is fairly quiet at cruise.

Thankfully for some shoppers, the xD’s dashboard layout is more conventional than the Scion xB’s, with the speedometer and tachometer sharing a round dial mounted directly ahead of the driver. High-mounted audio and climate controls are easy to reach and decipher. The available navigation system incorporates some audio controls, complicating their use. Some testers disliked the fact that the stereo’s power button was separate from the volume knob. The xD’s interior is awash in hard plastics but avoids looking really cheap.

Front occupants get good seat comfort and driver positioning, but the seat lacks height adjustment, and taller folks might find headroom and legroom tight. Long-legged passengers might wish for a longer seat cushion to attain proper thigh support. Visibility is bad to the rear corners due to thick roof pillars, but is satisfactory otherwise.

Despite the high-set rear seat, entry and exit suffer from fairly narrow door openings. Limited legroom means even smaller passengers will be cramped.

A large cargo area includes under-floor bins, but there’s only room for a few grocery bags with the rear seat up and shoved back to accommodate passengers. The rear seat slides fore/aft about 6 inches to expand cargo room. A panel flips up from the cargo floor to fill the gap that appears when the seat is forward. Split rear seatbacks lie flat and can be folded without removing the headrests. Plenty of in-cabin slots and pockets are available, but some are too small to be truly useful. Each xD has two gloveboxes and four small bins; but oddly, there is no center console.


Model Tested: 2009 Scion xD w/automatic

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 3
Fuel Economy - 8
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
Cargo Room - 6


Value - 7

Total: 53


4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
96.9 154.7 67.9 60.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
35.7 11.1 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 37.6 40.3 33.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Scion xD 4-door hatchback


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may not start in very cold (under 15 degrees F) temperatures requiring replacement of the ignition relay. (2008)
Description: The front seats may make squeaking noises caused by pins used during manufacture to locate the seat rails and which could be removed. (2008-09)
Description: The battery may go dead due to excessive draw from a defective remote start module. (2008)
Description: Vibrations during acceleration and shifting due to left side motor mount which should be replaced with an improved unit. (2008)

Recall History

2007-2009 xD
Description: Power window master switch assemblies may malfunction and overheat due to irregularities in the lubrication process during assembly.
2008-09 xD in certain states
Description: When driving under certain unique conditions in extremely low temperatures, the intake manifold suction port for the brake vacuum can become locked due to the freezing of condensation. This could lead to an increase in vehicle stopping distance and a crash could occur. Dealers will install a newly designed intake air connector which will relocate the brake system vacuum port.
2011 xD
Description: Inaccurate label lists an inaccurate amount of allowable added weight.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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