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Scion xA

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  • I am right there, too, only my wife doesn't want to depart with our '01 Sportage 4x4. I have really not even mentioned the 2006 Kia Rio5 or Rio LX sedans yet (the Rio5 is Tropical Red in color and the two LX sedans are Silver and Sapphire Blue). All are still available and all have the manual tranny's-a must for this padre.

    I will go to work on selling the idea. I'm just waiting for the right time...and some warmer weather!

    We're at about 15 degrees right now, at 2:00PM! Eeek! :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • tonytonytonytony Posts: 2
    Hi Guys,
    I fell in love with the 06 Xa the dark grey color. I went to the dealer and they said there is no discount or price haggling. The price you see is the price you pay. It was 14500. Is that true? I am planning to buy it within 72 hours but I just want to verify this.
    Tony
  • Time to buy my daughter her first car. Must be a hatchback. She's moving to either north of NYC or to San Francisco. Priorities are of course good combo of price, affordability, safety, ease of maintenance, mileage, looks,
    reality. We've narrowed down to these three. Yes, I know Matrix is more expensive (and larger) than Fit or xA but we might buy a young used one if this makes sense. Would appreciate your feedback, advice, warnings, encouragement, etc. Thanx in advance!!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Yes, no haggling.

    It's a good deal, since the markup in them is small.

    Most dealers make their real money on them by "packing" them with accessories, like $2,000 "pimp my ride" wheels and tires.

    If you can get one you want, enjoy!

    Keep in mind that since pricing is fixed, you might as well order if necessary to get EXACTLY what you want - side curtain airbags, for example.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    You should go to www.IIHS.org and find out how important side air bags are for safety.

    The Fit will come with side air bags stock.

    You can easily order (or maybe even find) an xA with side air bags (torso, not the more important side curtain airbags - the Fit will have both side curtain and side torso). The xA also comes with antilock brakes, and based on all the skid marks I see on the freeway, those are something I'd definitely want to have too.

    The Matrix is extremely difficult to locate with side air bags, which are an option.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    Personally I wouldn't buy a car solely on extra safety features alone, as a) you may never need them and b) you have to live with the rest of the car for a long time. What's the good of a car you hate to drive or look at, that has curtain airbags? Not a balanced trade-off IMHO.

    The Fit and the xA seem to be neck and neck on features and performance. You'd have to drive both. The Matrix's main appeal would be mostly in more room behind the back seats, if you need that. I find the xA more fun to drive than the Matrix.

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    for months I finally test drove a 5-speed Polar White 2006 Scion xA yesterday! I like it!

    It has the audio upgrade, including being iPod ready and it has foglights. Once again the salesman didn't even know what the car offered, but I studied the list of extras added. The stereo is nice and it has steering wheel audio controls, which I think would be really nice to have.

    I told the salesman that the only thing I didn't like were the factory hubcaps, thinking that I could just buy some nice rims somewhere in Pocatello later. He had a novel idea instead of that, get this, he said that what I could do was go down the street and pick some out at Jack's Tire and Wheel during this little exercise and that we could just finance them in and pick the car up all ready to go sometime after that. He mentioned that that would save me money. I'll get the exact figures but, although I like Scion's fancy EP-10 wheels, I have a feeling that the ones I'll pick out are gonna be far less pricey than the Scion EP-10's.

    I have to get my wife on board with this still, but I want to pull the trigger. She likes the '01 Kia Sportage 4x4 and we are a one-car couple. I do all the driving, too. We will save on gas and we'll pay less monthly for the car payment as well. I like the Polar White and especially with the fog lights up there. :D It's not a slam dunk but I am going to pursue buying this one, I just want my wife to be happy with the decision I have made. She doesn't drive. Keep y'all posted how it goes. This is not like an open 12-foot jumper right in front of the hoop. More it will be like a reverse layin with heavy pressure from Bill Russell underneath the basket. :D

    Mr.Shiftright, did you get an automatic or a manual tranny with yours? Mine will(see what I mean, I am speaking in the possessive here)be a 5-speed. The 5-speed, coupled to the little 1.5 liter 4-cyl.did an admirable job of accelerating the little Mini-Cooper wannabe up the freeway onramp. I gave it a good spin and tested out the clutch action and schtick response. Probably take it for another spin tomorrow to be sure I like it. Oh, it has a factory-installed armrest, too! Apparently Scion got the word from buyers that we want driver's armrests! It worked fine.

    Mr.Shiftright, what color did you choose? Also, what kind of gas mileage are you getting with it?

    I said a few days ago on here that you won't hear a harsh word come out of my mouth about these xA's and I'm not gonna say a harsh word about them still. Pretty impressive little rigs, the 2006 Scion xA's.

    I'll keep y'all posted in here what I decide to do.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    You need to go to scion.com and build one the way you like it. Then you know the costs involved.

    Since I own an xB, these are some suggestions. Get the strut bar. Also get yours without the crappy Good Year Eagle Tires. This can be avoided if you get aftermarket wheels and tires, but don't forget to see how much those replacement tires are for future consumption. Example, the Scion tc tires are around 170 a tire for replacement, and the more low profile they are, the more they are to replace.

    You can get the armrest from Scion, but others like crazedcommuter have gotten an armrest from an outside source (zeta Products).

    Also get the cargo mat if you don't want things to slide around the back of the car, even though the xA is smaller than the xB.

    I have a manual and you will always have more power with it, but the automatic does a remarkable job and it does get 1 more mpg.

    My xB gets 32-35, with most tanks being in the middle.

    I test drove an xA 1.0 and it was cool. I wonder if the recent one has a moonroof.

    I hope this info helps.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    I have a 5 speed in the Dark Blue...Indigo Blue I guess.

    5 speed is the way to go on these....I don't give up the left lane to anyone except real nuts headed for the chain gang...otherwise the xA is fine on freeway up to 80-85 mph....after all the little guy gets wound up pretty tight....

    Acceleration, ditto...there's nobody crawling up my back, ever, so it's good enough to get the job done. I estimate that with a good driver and a 5 speed you can do 0-60 in about 8.8 seconds.

    Gas mileage is averaging 29-33 mpg and if you drive over 60 mph that's what you should count on. The EPA of 38 mpg seems out of reach for any realistic driving in California. Maybe on the flats of Kansas on a windless day at 60 mph, yes.

    But gas mileage has to be realistic. My friends with Priuses, if they drive normally, get about 41 mpg. So I'm very happy to be 8 mpg less for half the price of their cars. And I have my foot mashed to the floor most of the time, and also do a lot of hill climbing in San Francisco.

    The automatic might get a bit more gas mileage because they gear it higher---but then you lose the acceleration factor, and it could cost you 2 seconds 0-60.

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    not only that but posters here on Edmunds like micweb have owned xA's and he has told of some pretty decent handling with his. Handling is kind of a personal thing. Obviously this little rig with small tires can't be thrown into turns(on approaching the right-hand turn onto I-15 northbound on the downhill I recall having to let off the little xA's accelerator and slow it down, then punched it after a nimble little turn of the wheel to the right)but I got the "feel" for how the car was gonna handle pretty quickly. It kind of reminded me of my Dad's '66 VW Fastback in 3-speed and baby blue driving in the mid-70's. That was really a pretty reliable little fastback.

    Yes, shifty, I grew up north of Seattle and I would take the '66 VW 3-speed to Seattle for weekend fun. I learned how to drive a stick very effectively driving in Seattle because I had to. The Seattle drivers would come right up behind me on inclines and not give me more than about 6 inches leeway back there when the foot had to be firmly placed on the brake pedal holding me still! I'm sure you know what I mean, shifty!

    This little xA is fun to drive and if(I mean when)I get that Polar White '06 xA with a 5-speed I am gonna really dig driving it. That's one angle I need to push with the wife..summertime Idaho driving fun to beautiful Yellowstone and Teton destinations! Yes! More thinking like this!

    25 mpg compared to 32 mpg! Come on now! i-Pod ready and neat little foglights up there. Gentlemen, I have my work cut out for me, but I want to do this in the next couple of days. I kind of like the challenge! :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I am mostly a stick shift fan. And I totally agree that using a stick shift to keep the engine in the "zone" gives a real feeling of pick up and responsiveness. For example, on city streets in 3rd, you are ready to zip around. In 5th gear on the freeway at 70, you are ready to zip too - mainly because the car is geared low and the engine runs 3800 rpm at 80.

    HOWEVER I believe 0-60 times are very misleading. O-60 pretty much assumes you drop the clutch at some pretty hefty rpm and run it up to 60 with only a single shift - simply because shifting takes a LOT of time.

    In fact, with a "responsive" automatic transmission, I think an automatic is much quicker than a stick shift. For example, I don't like to over-rev, I short shift, I am easy on the clutch, and in routine driving, the grannies in their auto tranny cars beat me every time (but never around the curves!).

    Same on the freeway. The automatic in the xA can run a much more civilized rpm, because the automatic can un-lock the torque converter for more pep in a flash, or throw a downshift to 3rd a lot fast than I can shift a stick. In short, in real world driving, the automatic is almost always quicker.

    Where it falls down, is in fuel economy (in my experience, stick shifts always make their highway EPA rating, while automatics always seem to lose 3-5 mpg or more) and responsiveness in mountain driving (I'd rather lock a stick shift in third or 4th than have an automatic "hunt").

    But the new automatics are getting really good. We have a CR-V with a 5 speed that drops to 4th with only minor prodding on the accelerator (not a flat floor push) and upshifts again just as willingly and quickly once you hit your speed.

    If I had it too do over again, I would have gotten an automatic on the xA.

    But, if I had it to do over again, I would have gotten the xB. :D

    (Not all automatics are good; I have a Dodge Caravan minivan with a 4 cylinder right now, and the 4 speed automatic is slushy - shifts aren't crisp like they are on the CR-V.)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    I test drove an automatic and I found it kind of boring on this type of car. Perhaps if I were doing freeway all the day long I would have gotten an automatic.

    As for handling, I ordered a rear sway bar and a shock tower brace and pumped the tires up to 38 psi. If that doesn't do it, I'm going to lower the car 20mm.

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  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    isn't too bad, I didn't push it hard when I test-drove it though. It does have a taller 4th than the 5-speed's 5th, giving it a bit better mpg on the highway. The ride is smoother than a car with a wheelbase that short has any business having. My old Rabbit was barely an inch longer in wheelbase than the xA, and was horrid in comparison. I laughed at Consumer Reports's claim that the xA's ride was choppy...bah. I really liked the front seats, once I got the position dialed in it was among the best I had tried. But alas, the look of the car didn't pass the wife test. :( I love the little xA's, they're just too cool IMHO. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    I was also amazed at CR's comment and also comments here on Edmund's that the car wasn't fast enough. So I went in for a test drive and was pleasantly surprised on both counts. No, it's not a Lexus LS430 and it's not a Mini Cooper S, but I get compliments on the ride (because people were expecting a lot worse I think) and performance is not proving to be a handicap in the real world....yes, if I pass uphill at 80 mph at 5,000 feet, I will have white knuckles, but otherwise, no....

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  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    Hehehe...you want white knuckles going uphill, my first car ('81 Rabbit deisel) crept up the steep hills on I-81 in Virginia (right lane of course) at 24mph in 2nd gear, floored. 52hp can only do so much, after all! :D The xA is loads faster than my old Rabbit was... ;)
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    You said, in part: I laughed at Consumer Reports's claim that the xA's ride was choppy

    Actually, I agree with CR - at least if they drove the same year model as the 2004 I drove (for 10,000 miles). It's quite possible Toyota retuned the shocks due to the many complaints about the ride (Toyota is good like that, responsive to "new owner survey" complaints, for example).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    I guess it's relative when you say "choppy". To me, a Suzuki Samurai is "choppy". An xA is a bit stiff but not "choppy"....which I define as a rocking motion front to back...a chopping motion that the car makes....

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    the ride because my test drive was stiff but not choppy. Let me put it this way, the way the xA performed didn't turn me off but inspired me to drive the car some more. It was fun to drive so it'll stay on my futures list. :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    Yup, it's indeed a fun car to drive. Toyota did a good job with these little cars. I still think the xA is more appealing than the Yaris hatch, which is cute but doesn't quite have the utility of the xA's 4 doors. Certainly can't go wrong with the Scion, being a Toyota. Solid vehicle for the money...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    Has anyone tried any of the TRD accessories?

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  • I'm on hold right now... with Scion.

    I'll be in the market for a new car and I'm looking at the xA and the Honda Fit. I'm not sure whether either is capable of carrying two kayaks. Yes, I can install a roof rack but will I get blown over if a stiff wind comes up? Will there be too much drag in the vehicle and tax the engine beyond what is prudent?

    Ok, just got the answer that the total load capacity of the vehicle is 825lbs (p. 139 in the owner's manual). Two people plus two kayaks and gear is not likely to exceed that rating. Is that all I need to consider?

    Thx/Cq
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    out there? Related to automobiles and what they can carry against a strong wind force? I'm serious, in regards to the above question, yes I am. ;)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    no sweat. Nothing is going to blow you over short of a tornado....would the car get squiggley in a very high wind hitting the car on the perpendicular? Yeah, but so would a lot of cars. Kayaks don't have a lot of freeboard.

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  • barsonbarson Posts: 34
    I can't tell from the online site if the xA comes with any standard stereo system. Anyone know? While a CD player would be nice, the car I'm driving now only has AM/FM, and that's ok. Personally I would prefer saving the $449 on the xA's AM/FM/CD MP3 w/satellite radio option if possible.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    Yeah you get the CD player standard. I didn't get the MP3 because the standard system has an AUX jack so you can play your iPod but you can't control it from the deck unless you have the MP3 option. I didn't mind controlling it from the iPod without deck display, who cares?

    I did opt for Satellite radio and I'm very pleased with that option. You don't need to buy the MP3 upgrade to get satellite radio.

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  • barsonbarson Posts: 34
    Thanks for the response about the stereo. I'll be test driving an xA this afternoon. I test drove a Kia Spectra yesterday and was talking with the salesperson about the difference in real world MPG between manual and automatic transmissions. He said that for the Spectra, automatics typically get ~ 3 MPG better than the manuals on long commutes/highway driving. Whether this was sales bluster or not I don't know.

    I ran some numbers at home, and for a vehicle that gets around 30 MPG (a lowball estimate of real world xA mileage on the highway), getting 3 MPG better with an automatic still made the automatic more expensive than the manual at 100,000 miles, even factoring in a few hundred dollars to install a new clutch pad. I used a gas price of $2.50/gal.

    I'm wondering if this is the situation with the xA. Past posters have said that the manual transmissions are geared very low. Are automatics geared any higher and would this, plus the supposedly "finer" tuning in the transmission, save gas on the highway?

    My daily commute is short (about 15 miles) without stop and go traffic. A weekend highway trip for me might be about 250 miles. Generally I drive cars into the ground rather than trade them in. The automatic transmission in my current car fried itself a few years ago, and the repair bill was $2400. I'm leery of claims that automatic transmissions are so much better now than years ago, especially once they pass the 150,000 mile mark.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    I suspect that with the higher gearing, the automatic xA might get 1 mpg more on the highway and 1-2 mpg less in the city (since you have to press the gas harder to get going).

    I'm pretty confident that the xA fuel mileage will look like this, with a 5 speed manual:

    Hard city driving only, up and down hills, idling, etc. (the worst case scenario) 28 mpg

    Combo city and FAST highway driving 31-33 mpg

    80 mph highway driving only 34 mpg

    65 mph highway driving only: 36 mpg

    55 mph highwar driving only: 37-38 mpg

    The only advantage I really see to a 5 speed manual is "fun" and the ability to dart around in traffic....

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  • joey0708joey0708 Posts: 39
    Hi-Can anyone tell me how the air conditioner works in the xa? Is it adequate on a hot day?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,986
    excellent but I haven't been in Phoenix at 110 degrees yet...only about 90 degrees.

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  • joey0708joey0708 Posts: 39
    Thanks for fast response-90 temp. is a good judge-I assume you have manual-How do you think it would be in automatic? What yr. is yours? The 2006 dropped hp to 103-so I wonder if that would matter-Other than a rough ride-how do you like yours in general-Thanks
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