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Scion xA

stragerstrager Posts: 308
Check out:

As expected, this is the same as the Toyota 'ist' sold in Japan, and is to be unveiled today at the LA Motor Show.

I've been waiting for a roomy but compact hatchback from Toyota or Honda, and it looks like the xA fits the bill. I had also liked the Toyota Matrix, until Toyota decided to install busy looking "optional" ground effects on every Matrix XR sold (apparently based on the misguided assumption that all young people want ground effects on their cars to look cool). Looks like Scion will be sold without these options games.

The Scion site is VERY slow to load.


  • stragerstrager Posts: 308

    MSRP is to be "below $16000". After adding an automatic transmission and transportation charges, I'm guessing the no-haggle MSRP will be over $17K. Compare that with the street price (in California) of a Civic LX auto of less than $15K and Scion looks expensive.

    I think Toyota is making a mistake in pricing Scion vehicles that high, considering they are targeted to the entry level buyer. It wouldn't be surprising if many Scion buyers are 'young at heart' Toyota owners, rather than from Gen Y.
  • The prices I believe I read said "well under $16,000" which is a good sign because that is down from $18,000 and hopefully Scion will continually lower that price as launch nears. Honestly though, if they can get it to $14k, the Scion vehicles may not be that bad considering all the standard equipment...that's if you like the styling, interior, and power.
  • Boy, how bad can marketing auto's get? The xA has changed from last year's CCX concept in a lot of ways but one is the most critical: four doors.

    Hello, if you are trying to get a new hip car going, a four door is usually not the way to go,
    especially if you are trying to market to young people. Some points:

    - Mini Cooper, New Beetle, 350Z. All new and all two door. The hatchback part of the market is a mecca for young buyers. Ford's Focus is offered in a three and five door hatch. Which do you think sells in higher numbers to young (16-22 yr old) people? The three door. Same with VW. Heck Honda imports the Civic Si 3-door hatch from Britain to help cash in on the "hot hatch market." Sure, most of the people are not buying the SVT-type versions, but they want the image.

    - The vehicle market for young people who want to take their friends along is already well served by Toyota's own Matrix, Vibe, Protege 5 and Suzuki Aerio SX. Plus, Scion already has the xB. And don't even count all the new "soft-roader" compact SUVs out now. One might counter by saying "look at the PT Cruiser." Well, the xA is not retro and the buyer demographic for the PT is well north of what the Scion brand is targeting.

    The key to launhing a new product is finding a niche. An affordable, entry level, quality three door hatcback, a modern interpretion of the
    retro-Mini Cooper should have been in brought out. Look at all parts of the the buyer demographic. A lot of young people want just two main entry doors and a hatch to load items. At the pivitol moment when a guy or gal is with a group of friends, but is trying to get with that one "special person" of the opposite sex, you don't need that third or fourth person saying "Dude, you got four doors, we can all go"! Mitsubisi even makes fun of that very plight in there Eclipse print ads. Plus, they don't want a vehicle that looks like there Mom or Dad's sedan or SUV.

    - Speaking of parents, a lot of them will be bankrolling these purchases. Many of them don't want four doors either. Why? Trial Lawyers. If Johnny or Jenny's three best friend's are injured (or worse)in accident when J or J were driving, LOOK OUT. Why do you think auto insurance rates for young people are so high. But no insurance will cover a distraught parent with contingency fee lawyer in tow. They are out for everything! Real world concern. Parents think about those things. Scion's marketing types should have too.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    In accordance with our Town Hall Member Agreement, let's stick to discussing vehicles, and avoid making negatives comments about people that like a particular vehicle. Thanks!

    To those concerned: feel free to send me an email if you have any questions/comments.

    Revka/ Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Check out Edmunds' coverage of the 2004 Scion xA from the 2003 LA Auto Show. And let us know what you think.


    Thanks for your comments!


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    Anyone has any idea? It was mentioned in the press release.
  • All I've heard is that it will be something similar in style/function of the ccX concept.
  • Toyota better price it at the Focus level, which is slightly less than the Corolla. These cars all have a Echo class engine; a wheel base that is shorter the regular compact cars. Otherwise it will get killed by the Honda Jazz, which will be released at about the same time.

    From the posts I read in, Jazz probably is going price at the Echo/Aerio level, 9.9-12.9K. Now I like XA and XB's character lines alot better the Jazz -- but not 2k better. Hell the Jazz probably has larger space inside too.

    I think people often confuse what is "cool for the kids" with "speed." Let's just say I'm tired of people doing master thesis on what young people want. I doubt the insurance is going be more expensive than Civic or Corolla: they sport the smallest engines they can get away with in N.A. market. And they are 4 dours. Here is a exterior size comparison I made for CTR, Element, ist, bbx and Jazz. Can you tell I'm in the demographic? :)


  • Not "speed" but "fun". With the exception of the Civic Si, your montage shows all four doors (the element having two "demi" doors). The secret to successful product launch is finding a "niche" and exploiting it. How about Mazda's Miata for an example. A modern interpretation of the classic British small roadster. Going strong since '89. There are only so many buyers four door compacts. As for insurance, it is based on a number of risk factors and now even credit ratings. But the possibility of financial ruin goes up with the number of passengers involved in an accident, it's a fact of life in our litigous society. As for the Jazz, it has had some sucess in the UK, but is not doing so well here in mainland Europe. I think the Jazz will do best with cash strapped young families in the States, not young "hipsters." Scion should try and take a page from Europe and try to emulate the Polo, A3, Corsa, and Fiesta. They are small 3-door cars with lot's of different appearance packages to make them stand out. These are the cars I see young people driving, and not just due to petrol prices, but because they are fun to drive, allow you to take stuff with you, but still don't look like Uncle Otto's Benz.
  • jvkalrajvkalra Posts: 98
    I think what Toyota needs is a *CHEAP* high volume car with distinctive styling to appeal to the young.

    Several years ago, I remember that the Corolla hatchback (fastback as it was called) along with the Celica hatchback were two of the more popular cars in California among new college grads. Then Toyota started raising prices rapidly and the younger buyers went over to Honda.

    Whether it is a 2 or 4 door hatch is not as important as the price. Toyota's priority always seems to be high profits, and the target market for the particular car is irrelevant to them. They have shown this with the RAV4 and the Matrix, pricing them very high and loading them up with "options" to the point that mostly buyers over 45 seem to have the $ to buy them.

    Scion is a mistake in the sense that the customer is going to ultimately pay for the separate dealer showrooms, no-haggle prices, and the rumored huge marketing expenses. I'm betting that many Scion customers will be Toyota owners 50+ who are looking for a small car, especially if a reasonably equipped Scion xA is going to sell for around $16K. I would price the Scion xA at least $1000 lower than the actual selling price of a basic Civic.
  • Jazz was the best selling car in Japan last year, it doesn't need to apologize to nobody. (Has Honda ever had a successful model in mainland Europe, at all?)

    I don't see the difference between Polo, Fiesta and these Toyota cars. They may be taller, but to me they are in the same class. It's VW's fault that they are no bringing the Polo and the Lupo here. Also tall cars always look better with four doors. Why do you want two door if the four door model is better looking? We are not talking about the 5th gen, 6th gen Civic, or a 3 series convertible here.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    always seems too absolute.

    For example: the Echo. I prefer the Yaris/Vitz styling better (it's a hatchback with barely any rear overhang, with the same doors and rear quarter windows as the Echo 2-door)
  • The Jazz doesn't need to say it is sorry, it will sell young families who want room, low price and Honda quality. As for a succesful Honda over here, how about their three-door HR-V quasi- ute. A very unconservative vehicle available with VTEC power. I have seen quite a few.

    jvkalra is onto something. It's the product. Get a "fun" customizable vehicle, market it smartly, not overboard (like on every crappy MTV reality show)and price it right. You know, the Yaris and the two door Rav-4, mildly restyled,hmm...
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    too bad the 2-door RAV4 didn't sell well over here
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    It all depends on how much it costs and what I get for that price. If its 14K, I might buy one. Once over $15.5K, I'll go check out an Accord DX/LX or an Element. Although the Accord isn't a youth vehicle targeted towards Gen Y, it still sells pretty well. I've seen many college kids with Accords.
  • My first car was a 1975 2-door Buick Skylark (re-badged Nova)with a Buick 350 (back when each division made their own engines). 4bbl Rochester Q-jet Carb and the first year for cat convertors.
    165 net hp. Thought it would be a first in a long line of V-8s I would own, increasing in HP as I went along. Of course, it's the only V-8 I have ever owned. Funny how things work out.

    Anybody hear any firm prices on the XA?
  • how well does iST sell in Japan?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750 now has information on the 2004 Scion xA in their Future Vehicles section. Check it out, and let us know what you think!


    Look at more pictures here. Thanks for your comments. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • I think Scion and the new Hondas are a total disaster. The styling inside and out isn't sporty in my opinion, it's just plain stupid. These kind of cars could be knocked off the road by a minivan. I don't know where they got the idea that metallic plastic and blue colored seats are "cool".
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