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Scion xA

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  • koleykoley Posts: 4
    Does the stock Pioneer stereo have an RDS tuner? I notice that it has a button labeled "text", but I cannot get any detailed information beyond that. RDS tuners display the name of most radio stations and the current song playing (at least in the Seattle area). Any info would be helpful.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The "text" is for use in the MP3 function.
  • cchinnicchinni Posts: 3
    I am looking in to buying an xA. The list of standard features is very impressive, but this thread about the cruise control is disturbing. I live in Florida, and most xA's here seem to come without the cc. Is it available aftermarket?

    Now to price; I have heard that the Scion dealers are supposed to be "No Haggle", does that mean that I will have to pay "sticker" for this car?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Yes you will have to pay sticker or very, very, close to it. Largest discount off of MSRP I'm aware of is $14.00.
    Florida is part of SET (Southeast Toyota Distributors) and they are the only region offering the cruise control.
    Earlier it was my belief that the cruise was an OEM Toyota accessory, and now I've discovered that Rostra is the manufacturer. Not a bad situation as Rostra is reputable with a history of reliable products.
  • cchinnicchinni Posts: 3
    well, maybe my 1989 Grand Marquis will be worth something in trade..... :)

    So, if Rostra is the manufacturer of the cc, then do you think that I could get it aftermarket and install it myself cheaper than the dealer?
  • cchinnicchinni Posts: 3
    well....let me answer my own question.....

    I found rostra on the web (www.rostra.com - go figure) and they pointed me to a local distributor who is of course closed for the evening, but will give me a quote in the morning. I will post the price quote for all of you who are interested. And, on request, I can give you the distributor's name.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    CC is available as low as $199.00 plus shipping for the Rostra kit. SET charges $350 installed. On the Scion only forum on the internet owners have posted costs from $225 installed to $450 installed.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    7,700 Mile Ownership Update

    I have mixed feelings about the Scion xA:

    On the positive side, it is a much more interesting car than the Honda Civic, with a nicer interior and better level of standard equipment (ABS, better stereo) at a much better price. Gas mileage is very similar (I am currently getting 35 mpg with a stick, the same as my former 2003 Civic Coupe). I have had fewer defects with the xA than I had with the Civic…but keep in mind both cars are well made and almost free of defects. I think the NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) in the xA are slightly better than on the Civic at speeds below 60, but at speeds above 60 the engine drone in the xA is intrusive due to the high RPM this car runs.

    On the negative side, the air conditioning is very weak; the ride is harsh; and trunk space is almost non-existent. These are my major concerns. My minor concerns are a low quality of AM reception, lack of equalization of volume levels when switching from AM to FM, and difficult to read and operate stereo controls. Also acceleration is weak.

    If I don’t drive the xA for a few days, when I get back in I am very impressed by how much this car feels like a little Lexus. Everything is tight, high quality, attractive.

    After the third day in a row of driving, though, the car feels way to harsh riding and the air conditioner can barely keep me cool when running on fan level 3 and recirculate (and I run cool – on other cars I have to run aircon on the lowest setting with fresh air and have to turn it off half the time so I don’t get overcooled). These two items detract from an otherwise pleasant driving experience.

    If I don’t carry any of my “stranded motorist” extras in the large glove box that passes for a trunk behind the rear seat, I can actually carry my laundry to the laundromat or carry a couple of small overnight bags on a trip. Think “mini”. Of course if you are willing to stack luggage into the rear window area (above the roll out "trunk" cover) you have much more usable space, at the cost of a clear rear view and privacy for security. Also you can lower one or more rear seats. With this car it is passengers or luggage, but not both.

    The stick shift gate has loosened up a lot, but it is still a long notchy throw to shift gears. Shame on Toyota for not making a stick shift as smooth as the Focus, Neon, or Civic; clutch operation is very smooth and light, though.

    I don’t miss the Honda Civic I traded in to try this “novelty” car, but I do regret not spending an extra $4,000 to get a lightly optioned MINI. Essentially this is a “low rent, Japanese” MINI. That’s not bad – I am glad Toyota decided to be more adventurous in styling and driving experience. But, they REALLY need to address the ride harshness and air con issues fast – those are killer issues. At first I thought the ride harshness was necessary to improve the handling so the car wouldn’t be tippy or sensitive to cross winds, but now I think that Toyota just blew it on this issue. I was able to upgrade my former Echo with Monroe Sensatrac struts to a good handling level without degrading the ride to Scion xA quality. If after market shocks can do this, surely Toyota should be able to do it with all their factory expertise.

    This is a more negative review than I usually give to my rides. Keep in mind that if I were mid-20’s I’d love the xA, forgiving all its faults, but I’m a lot older and have had too many other cars that are better. For example, if you don’t mind an overlooked ugly duckling, the Neon is 10 times the car the xA is – a canyon carving, high speed freeway cruising four door with a real trunk. Of course, it’s also very outdated by today’s demanding style (car style and life style) standards.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    There is now a technical service bulletin on early production xA and xBs. Apparently the flap controlling flow from the heater wasn't working well and was mixing hot air from the heater into the cold air from the aircon unit, thus impairing the aircon. My car is in the shop to check the aircon again and to see if this TSB will solve the problem.

    If you call Scion customer service and give them your VIN, they can tell you if the TSB applies to your car.

    Apparently they fixed the problem during production, so later units are not affected.
  • scionintxscionintx Posts: 1
    Hey everyone, I'm glad I found this forum. I need some help and nobody that I know seems to know enough about this stuff to give me advice.

    We bought the Xa about 2 weeks ago. It's our first new car, and we were thrilled when we drove it off the lot. Then we noticed the problems...

    The air conditioner barely cools me off. That's saying a lot, considering I am almost always cold. We took it to the service guy, he tested it with a thermometer and said, "It's at 45 degrees, that's great!" Yeah, that was after it had been running for a long time and it was also a cool morning. Test that sucker out at 3 pm after it's been sitting in the sun all day. I read something on here about calling the Scion customer service to see if my VIN # has the problem that was discussed; I'm going to do that ASAP.

    Here's the major problem: I'm only getting 21-28 MPG. When I got it, it had 100 miles, now it has almost 900. I've filled it up 3 times, each time calculating my MPG. When I'm on nothing but highway it gets 28, in the city it gets 21. I asked the service guy about this too. He said I had to "break the engine in," and to come back after 3000 miles. I agreed because I had only filled it up once at that point, and had not really driven on the highway with it. After 6 hours on nothing but highway, I realize that I should have made him check it out right then and there. Has anyone ever heard of breaking an engine in, and if so for how many miles do you have to do this?? I can understand after a while it will get maybe a few more MPG, but I'm getting a full 10 MPG less. Please help, I'm tired of the service people treating me like a complete idiot. Thanks!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Aircon is weak. After the TSB fix, mine is better.

    BUT, if you are not moving or moving slowly, the radiator fan does NOT cycle on automatically to help the aircon. I will have to check with the dealer to find out if this is a defect or a design. On all my other cars, the radiator fan or fans are running whenever the aircon compressor is cycling - otherwise there is no airflow over the evaporator tubes in front of the radiator unless you are on the freeway. On my xA, the temperature of the air coming out of the vents is a lot warmer in stop and go traffic (when there is no airflow) than when I am cruising at speed.

    Second problem I noted with the aircon, is that it is very tricky to get the vents aimed at my head and chest. I don't know why I don't have a problem like this on other cars (I run cold too) but I had to turn the fan up to position 4 to aim the dash vents so they were really hitting me. Then I dialed back to 1 or moderately warm days and 2 for hot days.

    On the gas issue, my mileage has gone up by 4 mpg over th3 course of 7,000 miles. This is with a stick, with the car being used for mostly freeway driving - a fairly light traffic commute, or weekends in the mountains. I used to get 32 mpg, now I get a minimum of 35 and on long trips (virtually no hard acceleration or stop and go) I get 37 mpg.

    I drive "eggshell style" - imagine you have an egg between your foot and the accelerator and don't want to break it, so there are no jerky movements. I also "read the road" and seldom need to brake, relative to other drivers, either because I have overaccelerated into the traffic ahead or because I am tailgating (which wastes fuel, constantly speeding up and down to match speeds at a close-in distance).

    Finally, I am content to be in the mid to back of the green light drag race derby. That's not to say I won't take it to redline to pass a rec vehicle in the mountains or to merge with particularly tricky traffic, or to be first a greenlight when the vehicle next to me looks like a potential slowpoke on a merge-into-single lane country road ahead of me. But, by and large, I don't drive hard.

    Your mileage will certainly vary. If you have an automatic, that knocks off a typical 5 mpg right there, no matter what the EPA numbers say (EPA numbers artificially inflate true automatic mileage and artificially degrade true stick shift mileage, based on my experience with each type of vehicle).

    Finally, getting a consistent fill with a Scion is an art. Heck, geting a fill is sometimes a trial. The fuel "hose" to the tank looks like a soda straw (on this and my former Echo) and if I don't manually fill, holding the dispensing nozzle at just the right angle, the pump keeps clicking off. It is especially trick to "top off." I have to push the nozzle all the way in, angle the handle just so, and carefully click, letting the gas settle in each time. If you don't do this, you can get false mileage reading.

    I know the pumps say don't top off, but this technique is taken from the current Ford owner's manual; what's important is to keep the nozzle all the way into the tank, compressing the vapor recovery sheath around the nozzle to do so. Topping off by pulling the nozzle out to defeat the automatic shutoff is still a no-no. Especially don't try that while smoking!

    Every once in a while, a car is a gas hog. I have heard this about all brands. Maybe there is just some slight variation in the injectors and control mechanism, I don't know, but in those cases even easy drivers get lousy mileage. But, before you assume the worst (can never be fixed!), try some high mileage driving techniques and see if it improves, then honestly evaluate your own individual driving style.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040720/latu090_1.html

    Only 1,550 units of the xA Release Series 1.0 will be produced. The package will carry an MSRP of $1,395 over the base price of the vehicle. The 2005 xA's MSRP remains at $12,480 for the five-speed manual transmission model and $13,280 for the automatic, not including freight charges.

    Too bad it is red.
  • zazazaza Posts: 7
    Hi everyone. I'm planning to buy a car in the next few weeks, have something in mind but need your opinion to clarify some doubts. I've been researching 2 cars: Chevy Aveo LS and Scion xA, both auto. I live in a college town in Ohio and a grad student who'd like to buy a car entirely on my own for the first time. I was a bit defensive when I went to test drive an xA 2005 this afternoon accompanied by a couple of friends because I was expecting to find a typical, agressive salesman. First thing first: I was in for a surprised. The salesman was the sales manager of Scion himself, a young man barely 30 yrs old, who (surprisingly) looks and sounds pretty harmless and sincere, a welcome change from car salesmen I encountered in the past.

    Anyway, I was given a test car that doesn't have the Pioneer sound system installed, so it was a pretty quiet drive. Indeed, it is quiet inside that xA; my friends and I could hardly hear sounds from the engine as well as other cars (on the street & highway) that passed by. If it's not because of a gentle, barely-there vibration on the steering wheel, I couldn't tell if the engine was running. So my first impression: xA has a good soundproofed interior. Other than that, it was a nice, smooth ride overall. Though the seat is a bit too firm for my liking, I think I can live with it. I like the location of the meters in the middle console. It looks odd, but once I was behind the wheel I could understand why it sits there. Trunk is almost non-existent but then again, if I ever buy one, I plan to treat the xA like a two-seater sports car when the back seats are lowered down. Body is pretty solid though I wished Scion manufactures xA with rimless front doors to make it more fancy.

    However, I am disappointed by 4 things:
    1. Keyless remote entry isn't a standard equipment in xA. I mean, come on, leaving a car in a parking lot without a security system of this kind just doesn't cut it for me anymore. The $500 price tag to get it installed is heavy for a college student when in fact it is standard in Aveo.
    2. The ride was indeed harsh though somehow forgiven and acceptable considering its class. I'm not very fussy about this; I'd driven cars with even harsher riding condition so I can tolerate a little bumpy ride in a car like xA.
    3. AC is weak. Now, this one I can't tolerate. I expect a car this cool to have a better AC. Besides, unlike Aveo, it has no air filter so the air blown was a bit too dry and artificial.
    4. Expensive. Compare to Chevy Aveo, xA is more expensive with some equipment omitted from getting into the hall-of-fame standard feature.

    As much as I love xA, I'm also seriously considering a Chevy Aveo LS. My brother suggested me to get an Aveo because Aveo is more economical in many ways. I'd appreciate helpful response from you all in deciding which one should I choose. Thanks.
  • m4priusm4prius Posts: 31
    They are both small and have the small car ride (busy)...but I would think for a College student a small car to fit in limited parking space would be the ideal machine for campus. The XA comes standard with allot of stuff, like ABS and nice stereo system and a TOYOTA may be alittle more expensive NOW, but in the long run, it won't be in the shop like other vehicles. I don't know much about the Avero...but read Car and Driver or Consumer Reports and get an idea about longivity of the machine before you buy...If your worried about security then get the security system but if someone wants your car I'm not sure if anything will stop them...however I would think that either an Avero or XA are not top of the most wanted list like Camry or Accord. Good luck in your search.
  • zazazaza Posts: 7
    Thanks for your response. Yes, I agree that Toyota has a good standing in automotive industry because my family always bought Toyota cars. Though I have no idea about the list, I tend to agree that either Aveo (not Avero) or xA may not be on the top of the most wanted list like Camry or Accord. But it's ok with me as long as there is a car within my budget range which is reliable enough to accompany me as I go through this grad school (for the next 2 years). I'm not after high resale value cars like Honda and other Toyota models now because as soon as I can secure a job I can always step up my options. I don't plan to drive any one of these small cars to campus because the campus is within a walking distance from my apartment. I need a car, small enough, for groceries shopping and, occasionally, a long distance ride to visit my friends in other states. I'm very much a practical person in this regards and at this point I just want to be realistic about my financial situation as a grad student. That's why I'm considering these 2 small cars. The only issue now is to choose one out of this two. Chevy Aveo is also fully loaded and addresses the lack in xA on security system, AC, and price. But xA's got the support from Toyota (brand name wins in this country), looks very nice, and very hip (interior & exterior). I don't really care what other ppl thinks about my car as long as I'm comfortable and safe in it.

    Anybody else has suggestions?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,540
    what the heck, i'll throw another suggestion in the ring (since resale doesn't concern you). The Kia Rio Cinco. Even with all the options, the current $1K incentive keeps the street price to $13,250. Not bad. I've never driven one, so can't comment on it other than its looks (which I kind of like).

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The Aveo has excellent crash test scores. Someone did their homework.

    Reviews have started to come in from magazine writers and they are generally not that positive. Good for space, weak engine, some other small car nits.

    The Toyota has been around a lot longer; it has been on sale about 5 years as the Yaris in Europe and Canada. Thus it is well proven.

    The aircon isn't very good, even after going to the shop three times. But otherwise the car is built like a little Lexus.

    Expect to have a residual value of 40% after three years with the Aveo, 60% with the xA. You can do the math on which car is cheaper over the long run (maybe there are some great Aveo deals).

    To me the main appeal of the Aveo is the wide availability in the midwest. Otherwise the Scion is a better deal overall.

    I've owned a lot of "economy" cars. Resale value, dealer network (Toyota dealers are great), and build quality are important, and worth some tradeoffs (harsh ride, poor aircon).
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    My xA with stick shift is approaching 10,000 miles. As it has "run in" it has started to develop more punch, more zip; not a lot compared to a PZEV Focus or Neon (or Cavalier with Ecotec) but respectable nonetheless.

    About 700 miles ago I upgraded to mid-grade gasoline; this seemed to make a big difference. I noticed that when the engine "lugged" (I didn't downshift, low rpm, heavy throttle) I was picking up a slight ping. Many of the modern ECM units are "adaptive" - they constantly adjust spark advance on the fly, based on the gas quality. Some of them are so adaptive that they actually run better on higher octane gas, although for "political correctness" they are sold as 87 Regular cars.

    I think the 1.5 in the Scion is one of these; given the VVT-i, high compression ratio, this car wasn't performing as expected. Adding better gas seems to "re-tune" the engine - more of the RPM band is available without a sense of strain, and you can feel the car both push forward, when you get on the throttle, and engine-brake when you get off the throttle.

    About 200 miles ago I added a Dynomax muffler - 14" by 6" round. This was model 17741. It adds a nice exhaust note to the car - sounds like my old Fiat 128 used to sound now - and seems to have opened up the engine too.

    Since I want maximum quiet, I have orded a 17710 Dynomax 18" by 7" round, which is the size I had on my old Echo. It let the engine breathe, but was plenty big enough to keep the little four banger very quiet. I also had a K&N filter in the Echo, and will add one here. Then I will report back.

    I am beginning to think that, while the xA is indeed heavier than the Echo, I should be able to get pretty acceptable stick-shift performance with these minor mods - better fuel, freer flowing (but still ultra quiet) exhaust, and freer flowing air filter. The only negative I can see is the quality of air filtration - the "pillow" air filter on the xA won't let anything through, I have always had my suspicions about the K&N's - no tight weave there. I wouldn't use a K&N in a dusty agricultural area, but normal urban dust shouldn't be a problem - most will be trapped out, and the rest will get into the oil and then into the oil filter. After all VW Bugs had the worlds lousiest air filter, and dust wasn't a problem for them.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I take back what I said about crash results on the Aveo. My comment was based on the initial 5 star front crash rating. I rechecked the NHTSA site and the side impact is 3 star, not great but ok, except that on the driver's side they footnote it with "high risk of pelvic injury." Go with the xA.
  • sunvensunven Posts: 5
    Hi,
    I read your article about the scion XA and the upgrades you have done to it. i am shopping for a car (leaning towards XB) that is efficient and small and i would like to know if it is an easy thing to make the smaller ones quiet. I own a Buick century (V6) now and I have gotten used to the quiet and comfortable ride. While the comfort is not going to be there in a Scion XB, i would really like to reduce the engine noise of the 4-cylinder cars. Thanks.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    As you probably know, the very unique look and feel of the xB make it a "lifestyle" car much like the PT Cruiser. That isn't to say it isn't functional, just that you have to measure it by a different standard. For example, a more logical choice (unless you need a lot of backspace room and little trunk room) is a Focus ZX3, ZX4, or a Corolla or Civic. Each of these has much stronger airconditioning, more pickup, and similar good ride. Noise levels are comparable on all of the cars. Although the xA revs high, it is well sound proofed and quiet. The high revs in the Scion are not a noise problem so much as an anxiety problem - is my little engine going to blow up soon (it won't)? Did I forget to upshift (no, you didn't)?

    The xA and xB fall into a class of cars that are rare here - "mini" cars that are smaller than American economy and sport compact cars. There is a whole, vibrant category of these cars in Europe - the Polo, Yaris (Euro xA), MINI, etc. The next size up in Europe is the Golf/Corolla category, viewed as very family oriented vehicles, not economy cars. Of course over here we view anything smaller than a mid-size car (Taurus, Accord etc.) as an "economy car." The "sport compact" movement has given some respect to smaller than mid-size cars, but not a lot.

    There are exceptions for some enthusiasts. For example, most people who buy Golf hatchbacks buy them because they like them; an alternative to dull sedans. MINI's are definitely bought for their curb appeal; ditto Scions. Although the Focus is a fine Euro based car, imho, it is bought by so many schlubs for cheap transportation, and not only by enthusiasts for its great performance and ergonomics, that it lacks this kind of "curb appeal." In other words, only your friends know what a great car you have, everyone else hopes you can afford a better car next time!

    I think if you are coming from a Buick Century, you aren't likely to be happy with a Scion, unless you were driving a hand-me-down car. It's just plain too big a transition. If you are going Euro, a more rational transition would be to a Passat (not even the smaller Jetta!). If you are going Japanese, an Accord Coupe EX or a Toyota Solara.

    Now, if you hate the Century because it feels like an aircraft carrier, and you are dying to put a cold air intake on the V6 and a performance exhaust but can't find one, then maybe you are a closet Scion owner.

    I think you need to be pretty honest with where you are coming from and what you want. Noise isn't an issue with my xA (but if I could JUST tune out the slight drone between 60-80...), but you have to love small cars....
  • Very perceptive, micweb.
    A Focus rental car got me thinking that a little car was fun and practical "errand running" alternative to oout other cars.
    Of course the Focus had a clapped out feeling and the "check engine" light on at 8000 miles.

    As soon as I saw an xB in person, that was it.
    It's cheap, fun, economical, practical and after a year, still makes me smile.
  • sunvensunven Posts: 5
    Yes, you are right that moving from a Buick to a Scion Xb will be a culture change. However, the practicality of a small car with large cargo space, daily commute that averages 20 miles are the reasons i want a small car. I will still have the Buick as a family car as it has served well with no problems for the past 5 years. I was a Buick convert after the older '86 Electra I owned saved the lives of rear passengers in a wreck. But a car like Scion Xb will help me with hauling the kids stuff, furniture etc. And offcourse the Xb looks real cool.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The car is finally getting to be fun (I'm an admittedly hard to please driver).

    1. Be patient while it breaks in. The car is so precisely fitted, well designed, and well made, that you THINK it is fine when it is new, but actually it is quite tight (more than other new cars) and starts to develop more power after 6,000 miles (I am up to 9,000 now).

    2. Use better gasoline; this is essential. I discovered that switching to mid-grade gasoline seems to improve the pickup and responsiveness after one or two tanks have gone through. I made the switch when I noticed some low grade pinging on regular gasoline, at low rpm under load. Since I upgraded the gasoline to mid-grade, the pinging is gone (it barely noticeable before, anyway), but more importantly the mid and upper ranges have opened up - it's like I installed some engine modification like a cold air intake (which I haven't done). My mechanic told me that unlike old fixed distributor systems, today's electronic systems are somewhat adaptive and can advance and retard spark timing, throughout the range, on a limited basis on the engine's analysis of the grade of gasoline being used, which it reads by measuring engine knock. In short, the electronics are adaptive and "for best performance on this car, don't use regular." (Once again, it's not that the car runs bad on regular, it just runs better on a higher grade.)

    3. Open up the exhaust. I have now had two different after market exhausts on the car, and they both free up the engine for easier high rpm and more midrange punch. The stock muffler is supposed to have a pressure relief valve to permit freer breathing under fuller throttle or higher rpm, but doesn't do its job as well as a freer flowing muffler. TRD (Toyota Racing Design) repackages a factory authorized performance muffler for this car, but I tried two Dynomax's with good success: a 14"x6" round cannister, and the curent 18"x7" round. Both are quiet, because the engine is small relative to the size of these mufflers (and there is still a catalytic converter and resonator in the exhaust line anyway), but the larger one is a little quieter, which is why I made the change. The smaller one is easier to fit - I know because I watched each shop install them. If you want to try other brands, go to the trdusa.com website and print out the picture they have of their installation (a rectangular muffler on its side) and it will give you some size, configuration and mounting ideas). A Flowmaster 60 won't fit! I kept my stock muffler in case I can't live with the slight increase in noise - I am sensitive to this. You may wish to keep your expensive factory muffler around, too.

    These two changes, plus breaking in the car, have made it much more fun ride. It is actually a much nicer ride than my original purchase, '73 or '75 (I can't remember!) Fiat 128 SL Coupe, in a much more practical configuration (four doors, air con, upright seating). It is within a hairs breadth of my '83 Rabbit GTi, and a lot closer to that car in terms of horsepower to weight than many current cars (the xA is a light car, check the stats).

    Next on my agenda is a possible K&N cloth/oil filter for the air filter. I have some misgivings about this, not because the K&N doesn't give decent engine protection (it does give great air flow), but because I get the feeling this engine is a true 200,000 mile engine, and over high mileage the quality of air filtration can add up and be important (read some long haul trucker websites), and a conventional air filter still out filters, if not out breathes, a cloth/oil filter. On the other hand, TRD sells a repackaged K&N.... and Fram is now selling an equivalent in their new Air Hog line.

    The Golf I recently got is still better overall, a real "touring" car, and it has side curtain airbags. However, the xA is a fine little commuter, a real fun ride.
  • I went to a Toyota dealership looking for an Echo, only to be told they are no longer being shipped to New England. So I ended up trying out an xA -- I LOVE that car. It's the perfect size for me, great for parking in the city, and I love the space in the back.

    This will be the first car I've had in a long time, and I want to use it both for running errands, and for trips from Boston to Pennsylvania. (It will be my only car.) So here's my problem: Am I crazy to be thinking of buying an xA for this purpose? WIll it make it up the hills, deal with bad weather, and let me drive on the highway without feeling like I'm going to be blown off the road? Admittedly, the Echo is a very small car, too, (even if they were available), but according to Consumer Reports, the Echo accelerates better than the xA.

    The practical side of me is telling me to get something larger, like a Mazda3 or Honda Civic, (yes, my idea of 'large' is pretty warped), but I'd be interested in hearing from xA owners who do use their cars for long trips.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    It's a matter of taste. The Civic will cruise at lower rpm, and would probably make a better "interstate" car. But I find it quite bland these days. The xA is much more fun, and quite up to my daily 80 mile commute which includes some high speed freeway stretches and normal freeway stretches. The car handles great, rides hard, it is a sporty little car with personality.

    The Mazda3 is supposed to be the best of the bunch in terms of performance, but Mazda dealers are hard to find. Toyota and Honda are the top two dealers. I like the Toyota service.

    In terms of best buy, the xA seems to be the best buy, if you can live without speed control. Check the prices - the Scion is a bargain.

    The Scion weighs 300 pounds more than the Echo, a lot of that in extra soundproofing. So the Echo is actually faster, but I also had an Echo, and it feels pretty cheap (although Consumer Reports gives it one of the highest reliablity ratings). I'd rather have the Scion. In fact, that's what I ended up with.

    When I got my recent Golf, I thought I'd phase out the Scion, but now I like it more and will probably phase out the Neon.
  • If you don't mind answering another question: Have you driven your xA in bad weather (I'm not sure which region of the country you live in)?

    Since I'm near Boston, this is a consideration. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.
This discussion has been closed.