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Scion xA

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  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    Not meaning to put a wrench in the works, but have you considered the Suzuki Aerio as an option in addition to the Aveo and xA? The Aerio is comperable in size (a little bigger) and features. The Aerio has a larger engine, bigger gas tank, and very good safety ratings. You also get a better powertrain warranty with the Suzuki. I know that Suzuki is willing to negotiate quite a bit on the price of the Aerio where the xA is flat pricing with no negotiation room. A good deal could probably be worked on the Aveo as well. You can also get AWD with the Aerio. Just thought I would mention another option.

    As a side note, the Chevy Aveo is a Korean manufactured vehicle (used to be Daewoo). Suzuki markets the Forenza and Verona models which are also manufactured by the former Daewoo. The xA is all Toyota and the Aerio is all Suzuki.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I am willing to buy practically any car if I like it - like a Fiat 128 (few dealers), a VW Golf (VW is on the ropes again) - regardless of the availability of service and warranty backup.

    However, it is important to keep in mind that a lot of buyers of economy cars desparately need to keep them in service economically.

    In otherwords, it helps to have good manufacturer and dealer backup.

    The Scion has all that. It is backed up by every Toyota dealer in the country, even those that don't sell Scions. Independent service providers like Firestone and Sears can readily get parts for them from Toyota dealers (with Toyota's excellent responsiveness). Third parties make filters etc. for them.

    You move to an Aveo, at least you have Chevy dealers to back you up. But, the car is a big unknown, given GM's record with imports (the Aveo is made in Korea), quality is not likely to be high, parts are likely to be slower to obtain, and the mechanics will almost always be happier working on Suburbans and even Cavaliers than the somewhat alien Aveo.

    With Suzuki, you can do some research before you start. Check any online telephone directory and see how many Suzuki dealers you come up with. Try that in some town or out of the way place where you might be on a trip.

    Now I am not knocking either car if you like their personalities. BUT, think down the road on service and resale value. If you can absorb the hits in these areas go ahead. Otherwise, you aren't really saving money in the long run. You'd be much better buying a Neon, a really fine but underrated car, where there are hundreds of thousands on the road already, lots of dealers and service available. No resale value, but reliable if you keep it for a lont time.
  • I haven't had a chance to drive an xA (the Huntsville, AL dealer has not had any salespeople in the office 5 of the 6 times I've stopped by there). On paper, the xA seems to have better interior dimensions for the rear passengers than those of the xB. While legroom is just a bit shorter in the xA, the hip room is bigger than in the xB.

    Can anyone offer comparative opinions on the rear seat comfort between the xA and xB?

    Also, with the side airbags available on the xA, it seems that this car can be about as safe as the Civics and Corollas (which are larger and heavier than the Scions).
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    The xA is nowhere near as roomy on the inside as the xB. I am 6'-7" tall and I like the looks of the xA but when I tried to sit in one to take a test drive I found out that I don't fit. My head was brushing the headliner and there was not enough legroom. I had to splay my legs open quite a bit to get my legs comfortable in the drivers seat. The salesman (who was around 5'-10") got into the backseat while I was in front and his legs were open with each knee in contact with the drivers seat (about 3" in from the edge of the seat). Needless to say, the xA was quickly scratched from my shopping list.

    The xB on the other hand, had gobs of interior room. I was able to sit comfortably in the front seat with plenty of legroom and headroom, then I left the drivers seat in the furthest back position and moved to the rear seat directly behind the drivers seat. I still had a couple of inches clear over my head and even had a couple inches clear between my knees and the back of the drivers seat. I was truly impressed.
  • Good input, exactly what I was looking for. The specs indicate that the two are close, except for front and rear legroom (front being significantly less in the xA compared with the xB).

    Head room, of course, favors the xB. But at 5'10", that's less of an issue for me.

    What attracts me to the xA is the availability of front and rear side airbags, something that somewhat makes up for the small size of the car among everything else I see on the road in my town (soccer moms--who let them out on the road with their Expeditions and cell phones??!!!).
  • Instead of wasting my time waiting for salesmen who never show up, I drove over to Decatur, AL. They let me drive an xA first, followed by an xB. I was impressed by the relatively quiet drive in both.

    I'd probably take the xA if they had stuck it on the stretched frame of the xB, and consequently moved the rear seat back a couple inches. As it was, the xA's rear seating seem tighter than in the xB.

    The xB was cavernous, as everyone agrees. It's even a bit disconcerting, sliding the driver's seat into position and then reaching way forward to adjust the rearview mirror. Boy! they really place the windshield forward. (Hey Toyota, be the first to manufacturer to offer a telescoping rearview mirror!)

    I have to wait until the dealership brings in a couple automatics before I make my decision. The 5-speeds were okay; I'm afraid the automatics will be very sluggish. But then, I could use to accelerate more slowly--for the sake of increasing MPGs.
  • Any body knows how to improve the air condition system in Scion xA and xB? I have some bad experience in both xA and xB when outside temperature is about 100 degree F. It seems that you only switch to ventilation instead of A/C when you switch it on. Corolla (Toyota) and Accent (hyundai) are much better than xA and xB in hot weather.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Put the vents on "recirculate" or "half-recirculate" when you turn on the AC. Blast it for a short while, it should get cold. Then you can lower the strength and change "recirculate" to the outside air intake setting. It should remain cool.

    That works in what's essentially the xA and xB's grandfather... I'll be disappointed if the Scions' AC is worse.
  • Thanks for your advice. I will try your way and see if it works. Actually I did drive over 100 miles in one trip per week with such a bad experience with my brand new xA, otherwise I wouldn't complain about the AC.
  • I put in an order recently for Xa. I ordered a unit with side air bags, which I understand now are a factory installed option. The dealer said and Scion USA confirmed that it would be 2 to 4 months before it could be delivered, only as a result of ordering the side air bags. Has anyone else encountered such a long lead time?
  • Who did you think installed the airbags?
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    A new Scion Owners Club is now available on Edmunds.com Owners Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club. I have linked this discussion into that folder, but it will always reside here in Hatchbacks.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I like the xA much better after one year and 12,000 miles of driving. Go figure.
  • Hello,

    I bought a 2005 Scion xA two Mondays ago, and when I bought it, it had a full tank of gas. I didn't have to refill until this past Monday, but I noticed that the odo read 289miles. I'm under the impression that that averages out to about 24.3 MPG. If I am accurate (am I?), then should I be worried and have my Scion service dept look at it? I mean, if I'm wrong then it's ok but I really shouldn't be averaging less than 30 MPG considering I use it primarily for commuting on the freeway for a cumulative (to and from) time of 30 minutes a day!

    Any advise would be helpful,

    thanks.
  • In general, I don't think I would worry on the first few tanks of Gas. Even Toyota Engines, which are extremely well built, will tend to loosen up after a 1000 miles or so and at that point gas mileage should increase a bit. Also be careful how you drive it; people tend to often try to wring alot of performance out of small engines, which can be fun but it eats gas.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Whoa, your methodology is really imprecise. There is a serious disconnect between what the gas gauge calls empty and how much gas you really have. Wait until you fill up and see how much gas you have to put in. Be careful, because xA's are notorious for shutting off the automatic fill before they are full; you have to manhandle the nozzle and hold the grip at an angle to get a complete fill.

    There are other factors as well, on your first tank. The dealer may have short filled the tank, not being as careful as you will be in the future; or you may be pushing the car in your driving techniques - the thrill of newness.

    First, refill it carefully. It is hard to get a full tank of gas in the xA due to the narrow filler neck, but it can be done if you manually fill it (hold the delivery handle, don't walk away). It takes 2-3 additional clicks to fill it completely; you need to keep the nozzle jammed into the neck and it won't spill this way.

    Then reset the odometer and at your next refill, see how much gas you used. The gas gauge is a very inexact tool, in comparison.

    I typically get 320 miles between fills. I typically put in a little over 9 gallons, to my so-called "empty" tank still has 2.5 gallons according to my manual.

    My mileage was 32 mpg to start and improved to 35 after a couple of thousand miles, but I have a stick and a fairly free flowing freeway to commute, so my mileage is optimal. Figure 4 mpg less for an automatic, which would give you 28 to start improving to 31, which is about what I got with my former Echo automatic on the same commute.

    Subtract 4 mpg for heavy city driving - not stop and go, just regular stop light to stoplight driving. That would be 24 to start improving possibly to 27, but it's hard to imagine that kind of mileage with city driving. Let's face it, although its a light car, accelerating is much "thirstier" work for the engine than cruising on the highway, even though there is a lot more wind resistance.

    The xA gets outstanding mileage. There are other cars that I have driven that are a lot bigger or heavier that match it - the Cavalier with Ecotec and stick came in at 34, my stick Neon (one each first and second generation) came in at 35 - but none of these is a slick and well made as the xA. The xA is penalized by the fact that it's heavier than the Echo, and runs at an incredibly high rpm (at least with the stick) on the freeway. Those high rpm let you run up from 60-80 with relative ease, and the engine is so precisely made you are still getting 35 mpg (but you might get 40 with a more boring, but fuel efficient, lower gear).

    Still, I'm satisfied.

    A word on service: Toyotas (and now other cars) have been in the new with sludge problems. This is not one of the engines "officially" affected, but word on the street is that the coolant and oil passages in all these small, hardworking engines are very tiny and its easy to start to "cook" your oil and build up sludge. This is generally taken out by the oil filter, and isn't a problem on 3,000 mile oil changes (because you don't exceed the filter capacity and still have enough lubricating properties left in your oil), but popular wisdom is you need to totally ignore the 7,500 mile "regular" oil change interval in the owner's manual; and if you want to follow the "conservative" factory manual 5,000 mile recommendedc oil change interval, you should use full synthetic and not conventional or even synthetic blend. Synthetic blend is no good, because the conventional oil in the blend will still cook. Only full synthetic oil is exceptionall heat resistant and won't clog your filter, your engine's oil passages, or lose its lubricating capacity.

    Right now the oil companies are transitioning from SL oil to SM oil; the car makers finally beat them up enough to upgrade oils across the board. The SM spec is much harder to meet, so much so that Conoco, which makes Union 76 oil, Motorcraft oil, and their own branded oil, has announced that in 5-20 and 5-30 weights it is discontinuing conventional oil in favor of blends and full synthetics.

    Personally, I'd use my three free oil change coupons to get 3,000 mile oil changes at the dealer. Thereafter I'd either choose a Toyota dealer with an Express Lane for 29.95 oil changes (with no $144 "minor service bs), or I'd research the issue and bring my own oil of choice(my favorite is Mobil 1 5-30) purchased at Walmart to the Express Lane. That way I'd have the best of all worlds: dealer service with a record of every oil change; the benefit of the best oil money can buy, without a 100% dealer markup; and (thanks to the Express Lane) a low cost, comparable to an independent oil change shop. Keep in mind that you can safely bring down the cost of Mobil 1 by extending to 5,000 mile oil changes, and save yourself the time in the service waiting room. I wouldn't go 5,000 miles or more with a conventional or blended oil, though.

    Toyota's own branded oil is actually Mobil Drive Clean, btw, a decent but not outstanding conventional oil.
  • Micweb,

    Wow thanks for all that info. I am wondering if my driving methods are decreasing the fuel economy of my xA...I don't really race on it at all (the most I've gone on it was 70mph) but what I notice is that (for my automatic xA):

    1) Even when I turn the car on with the parking break, it is at the 1000 RPM mark. I don't know if that is normal or not?

    2) Accelerating from park mode - when I speed up to like 20mph (I don't really think I punch it), it goes from 1 to almost 3000rpm mark just at that acceleration. Again, I'm a novice with this car and so I don't know if this is normal.

    3) Sometimes it struggles on hills even if the hill is not too steep, in fact it seems like I am pushing the engine if I am going 40mph uphill on a city street. The manual suggests I keep it on D gear and keep the overdrive on so that is what I do. Basically, I never use the "2" gear. Which makes me wonder if I am handling the car wrongly by never using the "2" gear? The only time I've used it is going downhill a couple times to go slower.

    4) On the freeway, I tried a couple of times to punch it from 3k rpms to 4k rpms and once it got to 4k rpms it forced itself back to (closer to) 3k rpms so I stopped trying to push the issue with it. From what I've experienced, I have to accelerate at a gradual pace in order for the engine to be comfortable going to higher speeds.

    Lastly, I don't really like my oil dipstick. It's plastic and yellow, that's a first for me, and I had trouble reading the oil on it.

    Any feedback would be helpful...
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Hm, you should read up on how transmissions work. www.howstuffworks.com has good mechanical descriptions, but I don't think it's the information you need.

    1000rpm is a totally normal idle speed. An engine has to be revving at least that fast to keep itself on. If you're not moving and the engine's on, you should be at 1000rpm, whether you have either brake system on, you're in park, or you're in neutral.

    Then you hit the gas pedal, which actually gives more air to the engine, and then the engine feeds itself fuel to match the airflow. They combust, and the explosions speed up the engine - its revs go up. You can go up to about 6000rpm in a typical car (that's redline, the engine's physical limits).

    This is a simplification, but assume each rev creates the same amount of torque (twisting force). The faster you're revving, the faster you're sending torque to the transmission. If it's not in neutral or park, the transmission multiplies the torque by a gear ratio (a different ratio for each gear) and sends it to the wheels. The wheels get the car moving.

    If you only had one gear, the car's speed and the engine's speed would go up and down together, linearly. So when you're going to 20mph, if you only use 1st gear, the tachometer and speedometer would go up together. The tachometer would reach its redline at 6000rpm, which might be, say, 30mph. At that point, the engine's doing all it can, so you can't go faster without shifting. Then the car shifts to 2nd gear. (btw, I'm not using numbers that'll match your car exactly)

    In first gear, 0rpm = 0mph, and 6000rpm = 30mph. (In any gear, being at 0rpm would make you stall - so when you're idling at 1000rpm, you're not in gear.) It's a linear relation in between.

    In second gear, 0rpm = 0mph (like always), but 6000rpm = 60mph. Since the relation is linear, we know that 30mph = 3000rpm.

    So... you were going 25mph, in 1st gear, at 6000rpm. The car shifts to 2nd gear. In 2nd gear, that same speed is achieved at 3000rpm. Therefore you see your tachometer drop from 6000rpm to 3000rpm. When that happens, your car's speed remains 30mph.

    Whenever your car shifts, the rpm's look like they've been forced back.

    ===

    Going up a hill is harder, and to accelerate better you have to be in lower gear (so you'll be going at the same speed as otherwise, but at higher rpms, because that gives you more torque). Higher rpm's means more noise, and it'll sound like you're straining your engine. If your engine has been broken in (you've gone more than a few thousand miles) then it's ok to do that now and then. It won't live as long if it's often at 5000rpm, but you won't spend that much time at high engine speeds. Change the oil more often if you do.

    I guess you can look for a different dipstick from another Toyota that has the same dimensions, but I dunno. Amber-on-yellow does seem hard to read.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Re: Idle speed. Wait until the car warms up and then see what your idle speed is when stopped at a light in gear; take it out of gear and see what your idle speed is. 700-1000 is normal in both situations. The car is adaptive and "learns" the minimum rpm that will keep the engine from stalling and won't be creating excessive emissions. The goal is to keep idle as low as possilbe given those two constraints.

    Re: RPM up a hill. Your automatic is electronically controlled and adaptive (with so called fuzzy logic, or hill logic). It is designed to "learn" your preferred mode of driving - sporty and aggressive, or laid back. Sporty and aggressive cause the engine to stay in a lower gear until a higher RPM is reached, and to downshift more readily. Laid back is the opposite. In either case, skillful use of the throttle (heavy throttle short of a downshift, or heavy throttle to cause a downshift, additional throttle just before it would shift to keep it in lower gear, etc) can be used to get more flexibility out of the auto.

    Re: Mileage. Did you check your fill up requirement? What do you estimate your current mileage to be? 28 mpg is perfectly normal during break in on the automatic. Expect to hit 30 there after, but only mid 20's with a lot of city driving thrown in the mix. In otherwords, you are "normal." The EPA estimates on the Scion and Echo are way optimistic. The are on a lot of cars. A few cars make them, and a few cars exceed them, but these situations are both in the minority.

    I totally wouldn't worry about mileage. You did the right thing by buying a high mileage car in the first place. I was nervous about driving techniques to maximize mileage on both my Echo and Scion, but after a while I learned that unless you are doing a lot of city driving, were jackrabbit starts penalize you, your mileage won't be adversely affected by accelerating fast to get on the freeway or to pass someone (it will be affected if you tailgate a lot and are constantly using your brakes then your accelerator - and that wears out the brakes early too.).

    If you ever want to pick up a free additional 4 mpg, learn to drive a stick shift and joing a dying breed.

    Happy driving!
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