Last post on Jul 18, 2011 at 10:47 AM
You are in the Scion xA and xD
What is this discussion about?
Scion xA, Scion xB, Hatchback, Wagon
#400 of 734 12,000 mile report - 2004 xA Manual Transmission
Dec 27, 2004 (11:23 am)
I have had the xA for 12,000 miles and about 15 months now, so I thought I'd give an update.
I still have a love-hate relationship with the car. I think it would be more hate than love, if it were the only car I drove, but I rotate it with two other cars (VW Golf and Dodge Neon) for my commute. As it is, whenever I get back in the car after driving the others, I am impressed by the awesome Toyota quality. This quality is not only the "doesn't break" kind we are all used to, it is the "looks neat" quality that hasn't been there in the past on Toyota's small cars. This Scion is like a miniature Lexus, in comparison to my former Echo which was, at the end of the day, kind of "cheap."
The engine/mechanical sound on this car is great. The motor sounds so smooth and willing. After more than 10,000 miles, it has finally broken in to the point where aggressive use of the throttle rewards with a sporty feel. No, you won't mistake it for strong acceleration, but the car can certainly keep up with (or pass) traffic, just be prepared to downshift and make a run towards (but not necessarily all the way to) the redline to make it worth your while.
On the negative side, I tried to put a rear facing baby seat in the back of the xA the other day, and discovered that while there is plenty of knee room for people, the arch of the front seat back into the baby seat space means you've gotta put the baby seat immediately behind the passenger front seat and either move the passenger seat fairly forward, or tilt the passenger seat back fairly upright. So, if you really want to use a small car like this for an infant, the xB is much better, with its gargantuan space between the front and back seats. On the other hand, the car didnít lose any discernible acceleration with the extra passenger load.
(To give you an idea of the difference in rear seat room on the xA vs. xB: I can't fold down the rear seat, flat, on the xA without first taking out the rear head rests, and this is based on a short driver with both front seats pulled much closer to the dash than average. In comparison, when I checked out an xB last month, I set the front seats where I have them in my xA, which left TONS of space behind the front seats, and the rear seat would readily fold forward without removing the rear headrests. The xB has more rear seat room than the Golf or Neon, and much more than the xA. It's like a limo! On the other hand, the xB has a trunk that looks about 2 feet deep. With a car that short, you either give the rear passengers the leg room, or save the space for the trunk.)
(I don't think we will have the same baby seat problems when the baby is old enough and big enough for a front facing seat, because front facing seats take up a lot less room than rear facing seats.)
Back to the xA. I said, "love/hate" so you are probably wondering about the "hate" part of it. Well, if I drive it more than a couple of days in a row, I can't stand the suspension, which is stiffer than so-called "sports" suspensions, even stiffer than so-called "after market sports" suspensions. Of course, when I get back into the car after rotating it out with other cars, I am amazed that Toyota has managed to extract sports car handling at this level out of a tall, narrow vehicle like the xA. So obviously there is a payback for the stiff suspension.
Closely related to the stiff suspension is the short wheelbase - on most freeways the ride can be pretty "choppy." Once again, this is reportedly less of a problem on the xB.
Finally, the engine is ultra smooth, but at 4,000 rpm, which are the rpm required to keep up with 80 mph traffic, things feel a little "rushed." In comparison (and I donít know how they do it) the VW Golf at the same speed/rpm is much more hushed.
I am thinking about trading the xA in, next year, on an xB with an automatic which, although much slower, would be a much better city car for my wife (with baby in back). However, I am fairly certain the xB will never be as "tossable" as the xA, it will be MUCH slower with an automatic instead of a stick, and the pricing on the xB is very close to current discounted pricing on a Golf GL, which has better safety features (side curtain airbags).
How much do I love the xA? It's the car I keep wanting to drive again, it's a lot of fun after Iíve been away from it for a day or too and forgotten its disagreeable aspects.
And I have been getting a consistent 34-35 mpg!
#401 of 734 Re: [whatever_7]
Dec 27, 2004 (4:51 pm)
thanks for posting these photos as a comparsion. sorry i'm confused which is which (probably my browser)
can you tell which is the first car (yellow) and then last (do they make this in 2D)?
#402 of 734 scion xa versus toyota matrix
Jan 09, 2005 (3:14 am)
How many of you would rather have a Matrix? I test drove a Matrix and loved it, but haven't drove a xa yet? Isn't the Matrix a better car that will have a better resale value?
Jan 10, 2005 (8:28 am)
Well it will probably be worth more in a couple of years than the xA, but then again it started out costing more so your likley to loose less though appreciation on the xA unless the latter really underperforms on the used market.
As for being better? Thats somewhat subjective. I terms of fuel economy and power the Matrix I think comes out a head (ok, technically the Scion does a little better in fuel economy.. but trails in power by a fair bit). However many think the xA is a better looking vehicle and if you spend alot of time parallel parking in cities the shorter xA will be greatly appreciated.
#404 of 734 Re: [billmchale]
Jan 11, 2005 (12:32 am)
That seems like a pretty fair comparison It also looked like the xa has less cargo space than the Matrix.
Jan 11, 2005 (12:50 pm)
I got an unexpectedly good deal on another car and traded in the xA this weekend. Remarkable trade in value - $10,500 despite being a stick shift and having some minor damage around the rear wheel well (shopping cart? can't figure out where it came from). That's holding a lot of value, even though mileage was low (12,500). I had no accessories, but I had tinted the rear windows.
I missed my nifty little slot car racer almost immediately.
#406 of 734 Rattling engine problems
Jan 11, 2005 (3:50 pm)
I have had my Scion xA for a little more than 3 months with around 3200 miles on it. I'm a bit concerned about something: the car's engine makes a lound rattling sound when I stop at a light or when I am idle after a while. The longer I drive, the louder the rattling gets when it's idle. It only happens on the "d" shift, not on R, N, or Park.
I took it to the dealership and they said it was a loose component in the engine. First they said they would have to order an extra part. Then they bypassed that and said they didn't have to and fixed it. It was OK for a few days but the rattling returned. Then last week I took it to a different Scion dealership when I visited my parents. They said that it was a loose component on the air filter. The rattling came back! It's still loud and I've asked a couple other people if that was "normal" and they said it wasn't.
I've taken the car to 2 different dealerships and neither of them have been able to permanently fix the problem. Along with that, I'm not happy with the mileage it's getting - it's been inconsistent. It started out averaging about 27 mpg, then to 28. 5, then to 30.5, and now recently the past 3 times I have filled the tank, I've been averaging 27 mpg. I really feel I should be getting better mileage because even though I do drive in the city, I usually use the car on the freeway to go to work which lasts about 15 minutes each way with normal traffic.
I'm concerned. Any advise?
Jan 14, 2005 (1:38 am)
IT'S GONNA BLOW!!
Sorry. Um... you might have some luck having them adjust the idle speed up and down in small increments. Motor mounts could fix it, but I don't know how those would go bad in the first place.
Jan 15, 2005 (6:17 am)
Has anyone installed XM.....how much did it cost, where did you have it installed ?
#409 of 734 Re: Noise [zephyr67]
Jan 18, 2005 (9:21 am)
"I have a 2005 Scion XA. It is brand new but I have one question. I have noticed that when I am sitting at a stop light and I have my foot on the break but the car still in drive there is kind of a knocking vibration. If I put the car in neutral it goes away. It is also not present when driving. Is this normal?"
I had an earlier post about this. You are the second person (besides me) to have this issue. The issue for me came up on an Echo with an automatic. I presume you have an automatic, too. I had a stick shift xA and this was never an issue because stick shifts don't shake at idle - automatics SOMETIMES have a little engine shake because the rpm dip down and the engine is under load when left in Drive.
Anyway, I took my Echo to the dealer and they quickly found the problem - one of the brackets on the top part of the engine, I think the one that routes the throttle cable, was hitting against another piece in the engine compartment. All they had to do, was bend the metal bracket a little. Like you, I thought the knocking sound was much more serious. It isn't, and the fix is quick and simple, if you have a good "knocks and rattles" tech to listen to it.