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Scion xB, Scion xD, Future Vehicle, Hatchback, Wagon, SUV
#98 of 356 another short review of the xD
Jun 04, 2007 (2:34 pm)
First Drive: 2008 Scion xD
I got a little worried when I learned the new Scion xD shares its platform with the subcompact Toyota Yaris, a car purely about point-to-point transportation that's not the least bit entertaining to drive. After a brief drive in Scion's four-door hatchback, which goes on sale in August, I can safely say the new xD has a much more engaging personality than the Yaris, and it should definitely be on your list if you're shopping for a small car.
One of the Yaris' biggest problem areas is its weak, 106-hp four-cylinder engine. The xD uses a larger 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 128 hp, giving the car sufficient power to accelerate briskly in suburban driving. A five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmission are offered, with the manual returning EPA-estimated gas mileage of 27/33 mpg and the automatic delivering 26/32 mpg (using the more severe EPA testing procedures that go into effect beginning with 2008 models).
The xD's suspension has a knack for damping bumps in the road while still providing a sporty driving experience. It steers with a light, sporty touch, but the steering wheel could really use a telescope adjustment to better accommodate different-sized drivers. The fabric seats were comfortable during my short drive, and over-shoulder views aren't compromised by the car's large D-pillars.
The standard 60/40-split rear seat slides back and forth and also reclines, but both of the levers that control these movements are located on the top of each backrest. This makes for awkward adjustment when sitting in the seats; levers mounted near the hips would be easier to use.
Overall, the xD is a nice package, with air conditioning, cruise control, side curtain airbags, a Pioneer CD stereo and remote keyless entry among its standard features. Pricing information has not yet been released, but it should start at significantly less than the $15,650 base price of the brand's new xB.
I wish they were reviewing the 5 speed. Auto is boring and does not have the gearing/power for big city hways.
#99 of 356 Re: Apples and Oranges [719b]
Jun 04, 2007 (2:38 pm)
I can attest to that!
Don't ask me why I did it but...I once had 5 people in that 3 cylinder Metro traveling about 35 miles. That car neither wanted to stop nor go forward too fast with all that weight in there!
Never really thought of the amount (225+100+300+130+160)..wow approximately 915 pounds of people. I think the max weight occupancy with cargo in the Metro was 300 or 400 pounds. I don't remember.
Although, I would take one of this gen's Suzuki Swift's in a heartbeat!
#100 of 356 Re: Apples and Oranges [aatherton]
Jun 05, 2007 (2:14 pm)
hmmmm... thanks for the physics lesson. Here's another one: would it take more or less fuel for the said metro to go downhill at the same speed with different number of people on board?
And another one: air travels under the metro at a pretty good clip during this downhill highway run. More air travels under the car with one person than with 4 guys which lowers the vehicle's height.(if you stick 4 adults into any compact car, it will lower the ride height at least an inch). Will that decrease the air resistance(less air goes under the car thus less air resistance) and it allows the car to go faster at the same engine speed?
curious mind inquires
#101 of 356 Re: Apples and Oranges [nwng]
Jun 05, 2007 (6:48 pm)
"... would it take more or less fuel for the said metro to go downhill at the same speed with different number of people on board?"
The number of people in the car does not change the air resistance and so does not affect fuel going downhill. Unless the engine is used to accelerate the car downhill, in which case more people will take more gas to accelerate.
"... if you stick 4 adults... less air goes under the car thus less air resistance... allows the car to go faster at the same engine speed?"
The height of the car off the ground does not affect air resistance unless the car becomes so low that it can push the air aside and have no airflow under the bottom. Adding people won't do it. This takes a very low suspension plus some ground effects panels.
#103 of 356 Re: Apples and Oranges [ecotrklvr]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Jun 06, 2007 (8:16 am)
Interesting physics discussion, but...
anyone have thoughts that are directly relevant to the xD?
#104 of 356 Re: Out of the blue [ohplezz]
Jun 06, 2007 (8:25 am)
Their TDI jetta will get 50 mpg. But a VW will brake down at least once a month
you sound so certain! 'at LEAST once a month'....
mine has yet to do it! but again its a newer vee dub.
when will the xd's be hitting dealers? anyone know?
#105 of 356 Downhill Screamer
Jun 06, 2007 (8:28 am)
You're right - but only if you ignore rolling friction. An object's weight doesn't affect how fast it falls in a vacuum. And more to the point, with the same air resistance, weight won't change its downhill speed, either. But the force pulling the object down a ramp is directly proportional to its mass - more mass, more force. More force to counteract wind resistance AND the thing you're ignoring - the rolling friction.
When I go biking with my 180 pound friend Matt, and we get to the top of a hill and coast down together, my extra mass shoots me downhill a LOT faster. He has a MUCH more expensive bike with better wheel bearings, so don't assume that it's a friction difference. And he's much more aerodynamic than me, as well.
At the top of the hill, I've got lots more potential energy than he does - that's what's being converted to kinetic energy as we roll.
#106 of 356 xA versus xD interior dimensions
Jun 06, 2007 (9:10 am)
According to http://toyoland.com/scion/scion-xD.html, the interior of the xD is significantly tighter in some dimensions. Head room is less about an inch in the rear. Front leg room is less by an inch. But what really caught my eye is that rear leg room is less by a whopping 3.7 inches. I have to wonder if that is a misprint.
Another surprise is that hip room, both front and rear, is narrower by over 3 inches, even though the external width of the car is wider by 1.2 inches.
#107 of 356 Re: Downhill Screamer [ecotrklvr]
Jun 06, 2007 (1:26 pm)
"... But the force pulling the object down a ramp is directly proportional to its mass - more mass, more force... my extra mass shoots me downhill a LOT faster."
That force would be called "gravity", and its effect on your downhill speed is not related to your mass:
"The common laws of gravity... state that freely falling objects accelerate and that the rate of acceleration is independent of their mass."
"... When I go biking with my 180 pound friend Matt, and we get to the top of a hill and coast down together, my extra mass shoots me downhill a LOT faster..."
Your extra weight is not pulling you downhill any faster than your friend. Look elsewhere for the reason. See this skier study:
"Question: Does a skierís weight effect how fast they are skiing? In this experiment... If the average acceleration changed when more weight was added, then it would be determined that weight affects the speed of a skier.... when I had completed this experiment... weight does not change the acceleration of skier because acceleration due to gravity is constant. As I added more and more weight, the acceleration stayed the same... "
"... At the top of the hill, I've got lots more potential energy than he does - that's what's being converted to kinetic energy as we roll."
That is true. The study above explains that potential energy = mass x gravity x height. But potential energy is not related to the velocity of falling (or speed downhill).