in 2013 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $13,426 - $13,683
Original MSRP: $15,745 - $16,545
MPG: 27 City / 33 Hwy
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2013 Scion xD Performance

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

According to reviewers, the 2013 Scion xD’s engine delivers good power for city driving, but they think it struggles with hills and passing. Test drivers also say it has a comfortable ride in the city.

  • "Its 1.8-liter engine is pretty powerful for its class, and the xD's ride quality is agreeable around town and on the highway." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "I used it to run errands around town on the day before Thanksgiving, and I was thrilled with its in-town visibility and the ease with which I slid into a tight parking space at the always-crowded Ann Arbor Farmers Market." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)
  • "Urb or burb, the new car seems pretty good transport for those who don't need big, nor want brawny, nor care much about brisk." -- USA Today (2008)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 xD has a standard 128-horsepower, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional. Averaging an EPA-estimated 27/33 mpg city/highway with either transmission, the xD’s fuel economy ratings are low for the class.

Reviewers say the xD’s engine delivers good acceleration, though they think it isn’t powerful enough for climbing hills or performing passing maneuvers. Auto critics also say that both the manual and automatic transmissions are smooth. One reviewer adds that the manual transmission’s clutch is very easy to operate.

  • "Although it delivers only 128 horsepower and 125 lb-ft. of torque, the engine's broad powerband allows it to zip around in city traffic without complaint. Unfortunately, the xD is no different from most economy cars and will strain to tackle steep hills or overtake slower traffic." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Acceleration from a stop is better than expected with either manual or automatic transmission, but hills noticeably slow progress. Passing power is OK around town but modest at highway speeds. The automatic transmission is smooth. The manual has a smooth clutch and shifter." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "The Yaris feels a bit sluggish, but the xD's 1.8-liter, even when mated with the four-speed automatic, is surprisingly lively. Brisk acceleration, coupled with decent chassis tuning and impressive steering weight, help lend this subcompact a sporty feel." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)
  • "The manual works well, providing crisp, short, easy-touch, accurate shifting." -- USA Today (2008)

Handling and Braking

The 2013 xD’s steering receives mixed reviews. Some test drivers report that the steering is accurate, responsive and well-balanced for city and highway environments. A different reviewer thinks the steering is numb. Though their evaluations vary, reviewers agree that the xD isn’t particularly fun to drive. Auto critics don’t comment on the brakes much, but one who does says they’re strong. There aren’t many complaints about the xD’s ride quality, though one test driver thinks the xD has a relaxed city ride. Kelley Blue Book, however, says the ride is a little uncomfortable over rough roads.

  • "With its short, squat stance the 2013 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
  • "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 (2012)
  • "While the ride around town is compliant and comfortable, the flip side of that coin is that the xD will be no one's first choice for energetic cornering. 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 (2012)
  • "Electric power assist is tuned just right, as it is on the xB. Firm on the highway, so a sneeze doesn't wind you up in the ditch, light and quick in the parking lot to avoid arm-wrestling matches with the steering wheel while docking in slim spots." -- USA Today (2008)