The 2012 Scion xD 4 door hatchback is available in two trim levels: base and Release Series 4.0. The xD hatchback base model comes equipped with a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine, with the option to include either a 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment at this level includes cloth fabrics, an air conditioning system, power windows, locks and powermirrors, a remote keyless entry system, a tilting steering wheel that features audio controls, afirst-aid kit in its own container, a 60/40 reclining and flat-folding rear seat, 16 inch wheels and a 6 speaker Pioneer sound system that can handle MP3, iPod and satellite radio and Bluetooth technology.
Available only in the white color, the Release Series 4.0 version comes equipped with 16 inch wheels, interior white paint (on the center console, door panels and steering wheel) and unique fabric upholstery with white stitching. Production of this trim is limited to 800 units.
The xD has a few optional packages that can be installed by the dealer. These include an Alpine premium sound system with built-in navigation package, satellite radio, a remote engine starter, upgraded 16 inch alloy wheels, and a cargo cover for the rear hatch. Toyota Racing Development also makes various speed and style enhancements for the xD. There are many other aftermarket suppliers making a wide range of products for the Scion xD hatchback and the Release Series 4.0 trim, featuring everything from a supercharger for the engine to carbon fiber body trim pieces.
The Scion xD hatchback is relatively fuel conscious, with an EPA rated 26 mpg city / 32 mpg highway with the automatic, 27 mpg city / 33 mpg highway with the manual transmission. This is pretty much the same as other maker's offerings in this class, although perhaps not as gas friendly as you might expect for such a small car.
Safety features that are all standard in the Scion xD hatchback features such popular items as front airbags, front passenger side-impact airbags and curtain-style airbags for both the front and rear. A tire-pressure monitor comes standard as well. Some of the active safety features in the car include anti-lock brakes that include an Electronic Brake-force Distribution system, a Brake Assist system and Vehicle Stability Control with traction control.
Cargo volume is good, which is especially important if you carry gear with your passengers. The rear seat can fold down in a flat position, offering a total of 35.7 cubic feet of open space around the front seats. This is not as much as what is in the Honda Fit (57.3 cubic feet) or the other main competitor, the Nissan Versa hatchback (50.4). There are a few compartments underneath the cargo floor that can hold the jack tools and leave some extra room. It's not enough for some larger items though. A cargo blind to cover whatever is behind the seats is available from Scion dealers. The rear seats are roomy enough to provide comfort for average sized adults, but those who are wider or taller might be crowded.
The Scion xD hatchback has a four-speed automatic transmission that is different from the five-speeds or continuously variable transmissions that others have. Due to its high-revving 4 cylinder engine, the xD's automatic doesn't perform that well except at the slowest speeds. In short, the automatic transmission does not offer the spry acceleration of the manual, making the manual a smarter choice for both fuel economy and smoother driving.