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Scion xA

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  • Hi: My name is John, I live in San Francisco and I am the proud new owner of a bouncing baby Scion xA. I've only had it a week, but so far, I think it's a great car.
    Details: Flint Mica, AT, 17" Momos,iPod-friendly Stereo, armrest, spoiler and has side airbags. Gets 30mpg so far.
    For a little car, it sure feels big inside.
    The only thing I don't particularly care for is the sun visors. Too small!
    I think it looks great, but I would like to go ahead and
    get the lowering springs. Will it make for a stiffer ride?
    Also, can I expect my gas mileage to improve with time?
    I know the automatic is EPA rated at 38, but I'm sure
    that was going 55 on a really flat highway:-)
    Any advice for this new xA owner would be welcomed./John
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Your mileage is definitely good. On a mostly free-flowing highway commute, with only a few blocks of surface street at either end, I got 35 mpg with a stick shift xA, and 32 mpg with an automatic Echo.

    The more surface street driving you add, the more your mileage will get pummeled.

    17" wheels are not mileage friendly; weight!
  • Just took my Scion xA on a long trip from Minneapolis to South Carolina and back. Averaged about 34 MPG going 70 - 80 mph most of the time. It was fairly comfortable; a little rough, but I keep about 38 psi in the tires. What I REALLY missed was cruise control. If I go on another trip like this I will put in an aftermarket unit. I already installed a door lock/unlock device: it cost $29 from JC Whitney as opposed to the $500 security system you can buy from Scion...what a rip!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    Hi Hal,

    I'd like to ask you about that JC Whitney automatic door opener you got for your xA. How does that work? Is it an easy install? I also thought the $500 security system was a rip so didn't order it.

    Also, can you tell me if, when you open the lid on your CD holder (the box under the heater controls), does it light up at night? Mine lights up when I open the door but not when I'm driving and want to see what CD I'm pulling out.

    I like this little car overall!

    I don't think I'm going to lower mine (ride might be too harsh) but it could use better tires and maybe I'll get the shock tower brace as well as CAI and cat-back exhaust....but not from TRD....too expensive!

    thanks

    Joe aka Shiftright
    Host
    Maintenance & Repair Board

    MODERATOR

  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    Hi all. I hope you can clarify something for me. Losing my mind here haha.

    On the 2006 xA, I understand that there is an iPod plug standard, near the gear shift. Is that right? So, I am confused about what the accessory stereo with iPod capability does. Is it:

    WITHOUT the extra stereo option, your iPod will work through the speakers if you plug it in, but you have to use the iPod to control song selection.

    WITH the extra money stereo, its controlled through the steering wheel?

    Is that right? Overall, could I go buy a 2006 xA and be able to hear my iPod through the speakers, right away, without buying any extra options?

    Thanks!

    Also, how is the 4 speed auto? Is the overdrive switch a sturdy item? Most cars don't have OD switches anymore...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    That was my understanding...that without the iPod capability you don't get any controls or display on the radio or steering wheel but you can still listen to the music, yes.

    MODERATOR

  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    is that the same for the tC? Scion's 800# can't even answer the question for me, can you believe that? ;)
  • I would like to hear from anyone who has an xa or xb and their experiences driving in snow, and inclimate weather. Is it just not feasible to take it on the roads in snow? Have to say Im impressed with the car, but am wondering if I should just bite the bullet and get a vibe or matrix with AWD. Would appreciate anyone's feedback.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    FWD with good snows is pretty acceptable. Snow driving is at least 50% driver, 25% tires and 25% car.

    Unless you are in perpetual snow conditions that are severe, AWD doesn't make a lot of sense for the amount of time you use it.

    I've had the xA out in very nasty heavy rain and wind, and it's fine even with stock tires.

    MODERATOR

  • To add to Mr Shift_right's comment. I own a 2004 Toyota Yaris, which is essentially an XA which weighs about 400 lbs less. I drive in snowy Canadian winters, and don't have a problem. I have Nokia snow tires from Finland, and they are one of the best. I see many 4 wheelers in the ditch. Great rubber is worth more than 4WD...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    The only advantage to AWD I see for most people is that on some AWD vehicles you get higher ground clearance than an xA or xB.

    MODERATOR

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    Does anyone know how many Xa s Scion sold in the US during 2005? Thanks!
  • kyyuenkyyuen Posts: 11
    My 06 Xa has an annoying rattle around the center and the left corner area of the dash board. Is there any body out there with the same experience and know of a fix?
    Thank you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    Do you have satellite radio?

    MODERATOR

  • I am hearing a noise when I turn on the AC. I brought it to Scion and they find nothing. Took it to my mechanic and he said the clutch on the AC is not disengaging. I told this to Scion and they still find nothing. Does Scion ever honor their warrantee & is the clutch problem normal?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    You mean like a chatter/squeeking sound, like you just ran over a squirrel?

    You (or someone) can visually check if the AC clutch has disengaged or not. If the AC clutch is wearing out, it will make a very annoying high pitched chattering noise.

    So your mechanic's explanation is odd---whether engaged or disengaged, an AC clutch shouldn't make noise----so not disengaging doesn't explain your noise problem.

    MODERATOR

  • Thanks for getting back. The noise is intermittent. The dealer is claiming that if his mechanic doesn't hear the noise, he can't fix it. My mechanic held the car for a full day and heard the noise and traced it to the AC compressor. I told the dealer service person this. This noise started 4 days after I bought the car. It seems to me that Scion is ignoring the problem because it costs too much to fix. I read somewhere that Toyota is non to quick to fix problems. Is there a Scion/Toyota service dept. in the NY/NJ area who can be trusted?
  • When I bought my Scion, I had a intermittent rattle around the speedometer area that was louder than the radio full blast! I was ready to abandon the car. I was told same thing--noise must be heard by tech so we can't fix. After 4 visits problem not solved, nor did I think they were really trying.
    I called the disbributer who gave me an advocate representative who contacted dealer and really got them moving. (number should be in Scion paperwork on Scion website.) After a total 6 visits (2 with help), they solved the problem--it was the outside dash, just on other side of speedometer where plastic parts meet. The colder it was the louder the plastic rattled. When it was warmer, by the time I could get it to dealer, the plastic warmed up and they couldn't hear. With advocate intervention by phone, they kept car overnight and once over weekend until they could figure it out and drive when very cold. If they dealer didn't solve, they were going to send Scion field rep. It was very easy working with advocate--really wanted to solve and evidently got them believing it should be.
    My suggestion is get them moving that way. I'm near San Fran., dist. in Torrance, s. CA.
    Don't let them get away with not fixing it!
    Hope this helped.
  • I know iPod has become generic for mp3 players, but does the upgraded radio work with non iPod devices (Rio....)? Do the controls on the steering wheel control both the radio/CD and mp3 player?

    Also, is Speed Control the same as cruise control?

    Thanks,
    Max
  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    From what I can gather, the upgraded Pioneer radio only controls the iPod player. You can, however, play the audio from any mp3, cassette, or minidisc player through the 1/8" Aux input on the center console with both the upgrade and base Pioneer radios. You'll have to use the device's own controls when playing them through the stereo, though.

    Yes, speed control is another term for cruise control. The Rostra (www.rostra.com) is a popular aftermarket cruise that works well with Scion vehicles.

    I have to say the xA has been growing on me, at first I thought it cramped but I went yesterday to give the car a fairer shake and spent some time with it. I can fit OK in the back with the driver's seat set to where I'm comfortable, I couldn't when I first tried it but then again I hadn't spent a lot of time on it. I'm between the '06 Kia Rio5 (a surprisingly splendid little car) and the xA. I went ahead and test-drove the little xA, and I must say it rides a lot better than a car with that short a wheelbase has any right to. I've heard the ride described as choppy, and that term was far from my mind as I took it out on the freeway. It's nice and nimble, and holds its ground against irksome Wisconsin crosswinds. :D I felt them, but the Scion stayed put.

    The Rio5 is a little softer, and has a bit more space, but the xA has a timing chain instead of a belt (which in the Rio needs replacing every 60K) and the stock stereo is much better. I really like both cars, but I'm leaning toward the little xA...even that silly center-mounted speedo started to grow on me, just in a what-the-heck-is-that-about way. There's a good variety of aftermarket goodies for the Scions, if I get a wild hair to trick it out a little. And I just can't see going wrong with a Toyota vehicle, somewhat akin to not being fired for buying IBM. :D The Rio5 is a sharp sharp little scoot though, and I find it appealing still. The outgoing Hyundai Accent has scored really well in reliability, so I see no reason to suspect the new Accent/Rio platform will be a step backward at all. Fun, handy little cars...the new Fit should be great too, but I don't like the non-standard radio. I have a car now with a non-standard radio opening...never again. I need to be able to easily pop in a nice Pioneer or Alpine or whatever when I break the stock one. ;)

    Todd in Beerbratistan
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I saw the '06 Rio and it's pretty slick. In some ways it is better than the xA - mainly in terms of available interior and luggage space. HOWEVER, the xA is definitely a "premium" small car, and it is well-perceived in the marketplace since it is impossible to buy a "stripped" version.

    For the content it has, even without being able to negotiate the price, it is a bargain.

    I had one and always enjoyed the nice touches - the interior quality, the sound proofing, the Toyota (almost Lexus level!) fit and finish.

    When I traded it in, I got an incredible trade-in amount, which confirms that Toyota's DO hold their value much better than many other cars.

    Even Japanese cars have first year teething problems these days. My xA had a weak airconditioning set-up. This is reflected in Consumer Report's score cards. The xA right now is VERY seasoned and has moved up in the CR gradings.

    I think you'd love it. :)
  • scooters, and, you know, since I haven't traded in my '01 Sportage yet, I could still look at an xA. But, by all rights, I'll go get a 2006 Kia Rio LX. I love the style of the LX sedan and I love the style of the Rio5, too.

    I researched the Scion xA and I still love the xA RS 1.0 and 2.0. AAMOF-when does the Scion xA RS 3.0 come out? What color will it be?

    For that car I could be tempted to wait for it and put off the '06 Rio purchase. Great little cars. Not a harsh word against them will leave my mouth, dudes. :)

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    You can just "make" your own RS pretty inexpensively.

    MODERATOR

  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    and jazzed-up upholstery, I don't see anything on the RS xA's that you can't find from aftermarket sources...there are all sorts of bolt-on goodies for the Scions. www.newscionparts.com has a neat assortment, including accessories from the Japanese domestic market. That's one of the things I find appealing about these cars...lots of options for sprucing things up a tad if you want. I could go for the EP-10 alloys (sticking with a 15" wheel and tire for ride and fuel econ), spoiler (no function whatsoever, but adds a nice spice to the look), and some tint on the back door, rear quarter, and rear windows. Tastefully jazzed-up, without getting into "ricer" territory. Of course, if you want 18" wheels, lowering springs, and furious-wasps-in-a-coffee-can muffler, the xA can accomodate. :D Lots of xA's out there tricked out.

    I did see a pic of a Sapphire Blue Kia Rio5 (right-hand drive) with custom 2-tone leather (dark blue inserts, tan trim) and red(!) carpet. Looked pretty neat!

    Todd in Cheesecurdistan
  • yeah, I am pretty much sold on getting a 2006 Kia Rio5 or Rio LX sedan. There's a Tropical Red Rio5 at my local dealer and I just got an e-mail from somebody in Idaho Falls, ID(50 miles north of Pocatello, ID)and the guy told me that, if he can fit into it, he will buy the Rio5 this Friday. He has been following my posts here on Edmunds and grabbed my e-mail address and e-mailed me. :)

    That leaves the two manual-trannied Rio LX sedans, 5-speeds both of them, one Sapphire Blue and one Silver. The Silver looks pretty good on a Rio LX sedan, because Kia puts those new large, black door mouldings on them. The black and silver blend nicely. You know, I like the sedan's body style just a tad more over the Rio5's. But the Rio5 offers bigger tires, metal pedals and a rear spoiler and a beefier, sportier suspension with improved handling characteristics. So I would still be open to the Rio5 if he can't fit into it. BTW-it's bigger than people think up there in the front cabin area, he'll fit into it. So, my plan will be to get a Rio LX sedan and, down the road a piece, look for sales and buy a nice tire and wheel combo that will look cool and improve handling. The thing is, I'm not a highway star, anyway. The sedan's ride and handling of the twisties will already suit me just fine from the start.

    Back to this topic and the Scion xA. I don't think you can go wrong with one of these. And, yes, one can put some EP-10 alloys on and a spoiler, etc. The RS xA's also have the "glowing" dash lights for extra accent, which is gimmicky, but kind of cool as well.

    The Scion xA would fit my needs pretty nicely and, I just saw while dining and shopping in Idaho Falls, ID, the other night, the Toyota dealer there stocks Scion's now. Previously the only Scion dealer in the lower western, central and eastern Idaho areas was in Boise, Idaho. So I would have a Scion dealer to deal with only 50 miles to the north of me.

    Robert Allen Kia is in my hometown of Pocatello, ID, though, so that is very cool. ;)

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    Yup, I definitely see the appeal of the Rio and Rio5...Kia hit a styling bullseye IMHO. The xA is a wonderful car, but the Rio5 is awfully tempting with the somewhat increased room and longer wheelbase, not to mention the dashboard design which I like a little better than the xA's. If the new Accent/Rio platform is as dependable as the previous Accent has been the last 2 years, Hyundai/Kia will have a small-car winner on their hands. The outgoing Accent has had a sterling reliabilty record in CR, at least...the Korean cars are coming of age, for sure. Kinda torn on this one, though the xA was the first little car on the current market to really catch my attention, and I keep coming back to it. Maybe it's just calling my name. ;)

    I did see my local Scion dealer (Smart Toyota-Scion-Volvo, Madison WI) has additional options for Scions, including custom leather interiors in any color you like. They must bring an upholsterer in for that...Toyota dealer I used to deal with back in Michigan did that. I almost had that done to my old '93 Paseo back in the day... :D

    Todd in Beerbratistan
  • I've been wondering when someone will do a thorough comparison of the XA and the Honda Fit. My Sophocles is performing well, but I was a Honda owner 4 times previously. If the Fit had been here last year, it would have been my first choice. The Fit should be out next month. Meanwhile,I know the Fit has 14" wheels, (Scion 15")has a much more versatile interior, and a peppier engine. Anyone want to comment?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    The two seem more or less dead equal, as if Honda replicated an xA. The Fit qualifies as an ULEV vehicle which the xA isn't (yet). You can get 15" wheels on the Fit Sport, but then you are putting out extra $$$.

    Looks like a toss up to me....

    MODERATOR

  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    is a very cool little hatch. The interior design is really unique, a good bit of forward thinking in there. I don't like the melding of the stereo head unit into the dash, though. My present car ('00 Escort ZX2) has the radio and climate controls in a "pod", and there's no way to replace the factory head unit (which controls a now-dead absurdly-overpriced 6-disc changer that died 2 years after I bought the car, which was past the 36K-mile warranty limit) with a better one without resorting to a dash kit that, frankly, is atrocious-looking. There is no easy upgrade path for audiophiles for the head unit in the Fit. I'll never buy another car that locks me into a potentially-broken stereo, or whose manufacturer denies my right the choose the stereo gear of my choice. The new Civic is the same way, it's annoying. For most consumers, it isn't an issue, they'll just replace the factory unit when it goes belly-up. I like the option to replace the stock head with something different, even if I like the factory system for the time being (which in the xA's case I do, I'd get by fine with it for awhile, it sounds darn good for a stock setup.)

    I do like the Fit's guage cluster though, aesthetically. Honda even copied Toyota in omitting the coolant temp guage, which is curious. Not that you get much useful info from a temp guage, but I like having one. Not a dealbreaker, but strikes me as odd nonetheless.

    Todd in Cheesecurdistan
  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    ...and made retching noises when she saw the xA, so that pretty much nixes that one. :( But she liked the Rio5, and was impressed by the warranty, airbags, and the price, so it looks like the Rio5 gets the nod of the two. I guess a timing belt change every 60K isn't too bad, from the maintenance guide here on Edmunds it looks to be a much cheaper job than it was for my ZX2...cost around a grand to replace that belt! :surprise: I will no doubt enjoy the Rio5, I love the way it drives and looks, but I will be in envy of the little xA's and the lovely Echo motor. :D Fine little hatch, that Scion.

    Ah well.... ;)

    Todd in Beerbratistan
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