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
#473 of 734 Re: should I purchase an xA? [micweb]
Apr 19, 2005 (12:10 pm)
Thanks so much for the valuable info. I will certainly do a search on the Fit. I'm glad you mentioned the redesign of the Civic. We were considering looking at a Civic Hybrid. We won't really need a third call until late next Fall when my daughter starts to drive, so we can certainly wait for the 2006 xA to see what it looks like, as well as the new Civic. I was called by a dealer yesterday and told that the xA R2.0 was just released in Blue. From the info he had it seems that it does not have a moonroof and cannot be gotten with side curtain airbags. I thought the reason that the xA R1.0 couldn't have air bags was because of the moon roof. I don't understand why side air bags on the R2 are not an option and why Toyota (er Scion) would make a car meant for the younger crowd without the option of getting them. By the way, the new R2.0 lists for $1,035 more than the basic xA. Thanks Marlene
Apr 19, 2005 (3:14 pm)
The Xa R 2.0 sems to be a letdown, even I had told my dealer to try and get me one but I am calling him to cancel the order. The base Xa is good enough but the Honda Fit will provide a serious choice for small hot hatch seekers.
Apr 20, 2005 (12:31 pm)
Sophocles now has 130 miles on him. As a Honda owner since 1973, the last two were '84 and '91 Civic Wagons. I tried Mazda Protege, Suzuki Aerio, and Chevy Aveo. My ideal would be a Mercedes A Class which may never come to the states or the Honda Fit/Jazz which is yet to be seen here. I have been comparing the XA to the above vehicles since first seeing the XA in Nov 2003. Now that I have mine, and have read all 474 postings, I know I made the right decision. This is a city car and should be seen and evaluated as such; practical, maneuverable, relatively roomy inside for its size, and with all the latest required features. Cruise control and more power are really not necessary in this car. Despite marketing to the "tuner" crowd, I've seen a number of duffers like myself in XA's. No hassle buying, Toyota quality and service, upright seating, and efficient use of space. In my humble, aging, but knowledgable opinion, this is what urban cars should be like!
#476 of 734 Congratulations!
Apr 20, 2005 (2:52 pm)
You forgot to add "smooth" and "quiet."
#478 of 734 Firm ride on the XA
Apr 24, 2005 (12:43 am)
My daughter is considering a 2005 XA. The ride is really downright harsh, though.
I notice in the sales brochure that it's possible to replace the oem shocks and struts with a set that will provide a "more compliant ride". Anyone have any thoughts on or experience with this option?
Apr 25, 2005 (5:41 am)
After all the stuff in the 1.0, the 2.0 is a let down, heck it is little more than appearance package. 1.0 at least had traction control and a sunroof that could not be obtained in the
basic car. Other than the color I don't see much to justify the extra cost of the 2.0 over the regular car.
#480 of 734 Re: Firm ride on the XA [tmac]
Apr 25, 2005 (8:10 am)
That's misleading. You probably saw "more compliant" in a description of the TRD suspension parts (offered by the excellent Toyota Racing Division parts performance wing of Toyota). All reports indicate the TRD parts are firmer, not more compliant.
I once replaced the stock shocks on the Echo (similar to Scion xA under the body), and improved the ride; I used Monroe shocks which were designed and made in Europe for their version of the Echo, and they worked well.
Unfortunately, the xA weighs considerably more than the Echo and the Monroe shocks designed for the Echo won't work here. The last time I checked, Monroe did not have any replacement shocks for the xA, but you could keep checking.
In any case, most aftermarket shocks are firmer, not softer.
Apr 25, 2005 (4:00 pm)
was the ride in your xA "firm" or fairly tolerable? I mean, over rough road surfaces it's gonna bounce around a lot, but was the ride reasonable? I'm taking a little bit of a look at the RS 2.0 xA in Blue Mica. I remember you posted a lot about the ride of your Scion xA but I can't remember the finer details.
#482 of 734 Re: micweb... [iluvmysephia1]
Apr 26, 2005 (10:01 am)
I should start out by saying that the handling on the xA, completely stock mechanically but with a slight upgrade in tires (to 195 Kumho Ecstas all season) was awesome; better than my original 2001 Golf, better than any of my Focus ZX3's, better than a Cavalier (don't laugh, they handle pretty well!), and better than my current 2004 Golf which has an Autotech rear sway bar (reduces the understeer and handles much better than stock). Better than Neon (which is traditionally good).
But, that is at the price of "firm" valving on the shocks, and a "firm" ride. Not harsh, like on lowered cars (Eibach springs) or with stiffer shocks (like Tokico's) but firm. Coupled with the short wheelbase, you are really going to know you are driving. It's a lot of fun to toss around, but during the initial few thousand miles of break in, you might find it a little to firm for comfort. After a few thousand miles, it loosens up a little. I ran my tires at 35 psi, some people run them a little softer which can also help. Also some tires have stiffer sidewalls, which on a car this close to the limit of comfort, can make a difference. The stock tires are soft sidewalls; V-rated tires will probably be too stiff; H-rated Bridgestone 950's would be what I'd use if I did it again.
If you are used to driving most small cars, you would probably consider this an "upgrade" over the stock suspension, but not harsh. If you drive a big car with a stock suspension, you would probably find this harsh. It's very subjective and depends on where you are coming from. Keep in mind that it will break in; and also keep in mind that it is nowhere near really harsh, like aftermarket suspensions. One mechanic told me there are three grades - soft from the factory; firm or sporty from the factory; and aftermarket. This is the middle grade, firm or sporty from the factory, but not really "harsh."
Good luck, try driving the car at several dealers over different road surfaces so you can spend more time in it. I find I am sort of glazed over learning the controls on my first test drive, and don't notice the nuances until later.
Also consider an automatic instead of a stick. The stick runs high rpm at freeway speeds, which is a little annoying. The automatic is still brisk, but you feel like you have more in reserve if you need to scoot into the 80's for a pass. Due to the high body profile and small size, I never took mine over 90, but some people have taken it close to the limit (100 or so). That is how well it handles - it doesn't feel insecure at speed or in crosswinds.
If you are willing to order (why not, they are all the same price!) you can get side curtain airbags for about $650, a great long term investment. Ordering takes about 30 days - they don't really order from Japan, from what I understand, they just grab one in transit headed towards the docks - it's the advantage of a car that only has two options, the automatic and the airbags. I think in a few years used cars with side curtain airbags will sell for a premium that will more than recoup your initial extra expense. While the xA won't take a side impact from an SUV or compact truck well, it will do quite well in terms of body integrity if a mid size passenger car bones you, and the side curtain airbags add a lot in that context. Check out www.iihs.org for the scary details of how important side curtains are.