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#3

in 2010 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $10,146 - $10,476
Original MSRP: $14,900 - $15,700
MPG: 27 City / 33 Hwy
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2010 Scion xD Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2010 Scion xD may not have the speed of a Mazda3 or the handling dynamics of a Volkswagen Jetta, but it's a steady performer and works well as a daily driver. 

  • "While the ride around town is more compliant than the Fit's, the flip side of that coin is that the xD will be no one's first choice for back-road romps. If you want an engaging drive, this isn't it -- but if your priorities lie elsewhere, the xD's driving character should prove satisfactory." -- Edmunds
  • "The engine buzzes under acceleration, and there's lots of tire noise on all except smooth asphalt. Wind rush is modest." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Overall, the Scion xD is a pleasure to drive, especially in the city. Visibility is good except around the C pillar, which can be overcome. Handling is well balanced, and steering is excellent with Electronic Power Steering. Parking and maneuvering through busy lots is simple and efficient. Freeway driving is comfortable; the ride is extremely smooth even on bad roads." -- AutoMedia.com

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 xD is not a sports car, so consumers shouldn't expect high-level performance. But most reviewers say the xD is a capable performer, particularly with the manual transmission. For those who have a need for speed, the Mazda3 is worth a test drive. It's one of the sportiest models in the class. The xD offers a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 128 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard, but a four-speed automatic is optional.

EPA estimates of the xD's fuel economy are 27/33 mpg city/highway.

  • "Acceleration from a stop is adequate at best with either manual or automatic transmission, but hills noticeably slow progress. Passing power is OK around town but modest at highway speeds. Throttle action is soft, which frustrates smooth driving. The automatic transmission can be slow to downshift. The manual transmission has a smooth clutch and shifter." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Scion's little hatch zips to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds with the manual transmission, a solid performance that even bests the Fit's sprint by a few tenths." -- Edmunds
  • "Those who want ample acceleration from stop lights and on freeway on- and off-ramps may be happier with the standard five-speed manual transmission than the optional four-speed automatic." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Most members of the automotive press agree that the xD is capable of holding its own in twists and turns, and are impressed with its braking abilities, though rougher pavement can take a toll on ride comfort. For more confident handling and a smoother ride, check out the Mazda3.

  • "In braking testing, the xD came to a stop from 60 mph in an impressive 123 feet." -- Edmunds
  • "xD's light steering lacks road feel. Somewhat soft suspension damping allows for early onset of tire squeal and plenty of body lean in fast turns. The brakes are strong and responsive." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Cornering at increased speeds on Mulholland Drive did not alter this cars' solid performance. The xD's ride is compliant, fun, and predictable." -- AutoMedia.com
  • "With its short, squat stance the 2009 Scion xD is capable of handling curves and dips in the road with ease, although rough road surfaces will make the ride slightly less comfortable." -- Kelley Blue Book