Scion xA

stragerstrager Member Posts: 308
edited October 2014 in Scion
Check out:

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

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

The Scion site is VERY slow to load.


  • stragerstrager Member Posts: 308

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

    I think Toyota is making a mistake in pricing Scion vehicles that high, considering they are targeted to the entry level buyer. It wouldn't be surprising if many Scion buyers are 'young at heart' Toyota owners, rather than from Gen Y.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Member Posts: 932
    The prices I believe I read said "well under $16,000" which is a good sign because that is down from $18,000 and hopefully Scion will continually lower that price as launch nears. Honestly though, if they can get it to $14k, the Scion vehicles may not be that bad considering all the standard equipment...that's if you like the styling, interior, and power.
  • thecargonzothecargonzo Member Posts: 31
    Boy, how bad can marketing auto's get? The xA has changed from last year's CCX concept in a lot of ways but one is the most critical: four doors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Thanks for your comments!


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • nwngnwng Member Posts: 663
    Anyone has any idea? It was mentioned in the press release.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Member Posts: 932
    All I've heard is that it will be something similar in style/function of the ccX concept.
  • whatever_7whatever_7 Member Posts: 13
    Toyota better price it at the Focus level, which is slightly less than the Corolla. These cars all have a Echo class engine; a wheel base that is shorter the regular compact cars. Otherwise it will get killed by the Honda Jazz, which will be released at about the same time.

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

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


  • thecargonzothecargonzo Member Posts: 31
    Not "speed" but "fun". With the exception of the Civic Si, your montage shows all four doors (the element having two "demi" doors). The secret to successful product launch is finding a "niche" and exploiting it. How about Mazda's Miata for an example. A modern interpretation of the classic British small roadster. Going strong since '89. There are only so many buyers four door compacts. As for insurance, it is based on a number of risk factors and now even credit ratings. But the possibility of financial ruin goes up with the number of passengers involved in an accident, it's a fact of life in our litigous society. As for the Jazz, it has had some sucess in the UK, but is not doing so well here in mainland Europe. I think the Jazz will do best with cash strapped young families in the States, not young "hipsters." Scion should try and take a page from Europe and try to emulate the Polo, A3, Corsa, and Fiesta. They are small 3-door cars with lot's of different appearance packages to make them stand out. These are the cars I see young people driving, and not just due to petrol prices, but because they are fun to drive, allow you to take stuff with you, but still don't look like Uncle Otto's Benz.
  • jvkalrajvkalra Member Posts: 98
    I think what Toyota needs is a *CHEAP* high volume car with distinctive styling to appeal to the young.

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

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

    Scion is a mistake in the sense that the customer is going to ultimately pay for the separate dealer showrooms, no-haggle prices, and the rumored huge marketing expenses. I'm betting that many Scion customers will be Toyota owners 50+ who are looking for a small car, especially if a reasonably equipped Scion xA is going to sell for around $16K. I would price the Scion xA at least $1000 lower than the actual selling price of a basic Civic.
  • whatever_7whatever_7 Member Posts: 13
    Jazz was the best selling car in Japan last year, it doesn't need to apologize to nobody. (Has Honda ever had a successful model in mainland Europe, at all?)

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

    For example: the Echo. I prefer the Yaris/Vitz styling better (it's a hatchback with barely any rear overhang, with the same doors and rear quarter windows as the Echo 2-door)
  • thecargonzothecargonzo Member Posts: 31
    The Jazz doesn't need to say it is sorry, it will sell young families who want room, low price and Honda quality. As for a succesful Honda over here, how about their three-door HR-V quasi- ute. A very unconservative vehicle available with VTEC power. I have seen quite a few.

    jvkalra is onto something. It's the product. Get a "fun" customizable vehicle, market it smartly, not overboard (like on every crappy MTV reality show)and price it right. You know, the Yaris and the two door Rav-4, mildly restyled,hmm...
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    too bad the 2-door RAV4 didn't sell well over here
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    It all depends on how much it costs and what I get for that price. If its 14K, I might buy one. Once over $15.5K, I'll go check out an Accord DX/LX or an Element. Although the Accord isn't a youth vehicle targeted towards Gen Y, it still sells pretty well. I've seen many college kids with Accords.
  • vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
  • thecargonzothecargonzo Member Posts: 31
    My first car was a 1975 2-door Buick Skylark (re-badged Nova)with a Buick 350 (back when each division made their own engines). 4bbl Rochester Q-jet Carb and the first year for cat convertors.
    165 net hp. Thought it would be a first in a long line of V-8s I would own, increasing in HP as I went along. Of course, it's the only V-8 I have ever owned. Funny how things work out.

    Anybody hear any firm prices on the XA?
  • ttlttlttlttlttlttl Member Posts: 24
    how well does iST sell in Japan?
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750 now has information on the 2004 Scion xA in their Future Vehicles section. Check it out, and let us know what you think!


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

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • originalflavororiginalflavor Member Posts: 4
    I think Scion and the new Hondas are a total disaster. The styling inside and out isn't sporty in my opinion, it's just plain stupid. These kind of cars could be knocked off the road by a minivan. I don't know where they got the idea that metallic plastic and blue colored seats are "cool".
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    When older people try to play to younger audiences, they invariably miss when they try to be cool.

    Besides, most younger people want what most older people want: reliabile, fun, safe, economical vehicles.

    Scion, I bet, ends up being a big money hole for Toyota dealers, who must invest in separate showrooms, etc.

    And I bet right now the average buyer will be over 40. This seems to echo something or other in the past, which was going to be Toyota's youth market car. I know old ladies in their 80's who think that car is dowdy! :)
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518
    I don't think Scions are inherently bad cars. The difference between failure and success hinges on the following three points: pricing, pricing, and pricing!

    If these things end up stickering at $17-18K, they will fail. One of the main problems that seems to occur when companies introduce "youth utility" vehicles is that they price them way too high. When the Aztek came out for '01, it based above $20K. If they had sold that car starting at $17K (even if they had to decontent it a bit), they would have sold every one they could make. Likewise, if Scion can base these cars at $14K (remember they are well equipped, with A/C and power features standard), they should do fine. Young people want a cool, useful car, but they also want value for the money. They are not going to pay $18K for a small car with a small engine when they could get a bigger car with a bigger engine for the same price.

    -Andrew L
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518
    By the way, I just read a book called "Disaster in Dearborn: The Story of the Edsel", which details the sorts of problems that can arise when a car company launches a new division. It's interesting how an assortment of unpredictable factors can come together to sink a new brand. I hope Toyota had all their people read this book before jumping into the Scion project :-)

    -Andrew L
  • civicwcivicw Member Posts: 135
    I agree 100% with a_l_hubcaps. It's the PRICE that is key to making Scion successful.

    Here's something I read in "Scion is focusing on music and style in an attempt to reach the trendsetters in this group, Farley said. Scion is going after the urban buyer who is college educated with an above average income, Farley said, in hopes of moving Scion owners into Toyota and Lexus vehicles". (Jim Farley is Scion VP)

    Wasn't this the same target buyer for the Toyota Matrix? A reasonably equipped Matrix with standard power equipment and including some unnecessary Toyota imposed "options" (busy looking ground effects and other stuff) stickers at $19K+. As it turns out the average age of the Matrix buyer is about 55! I'm sure price is a major factor behind these demographics.

    If Scion is going to have any chance of hitting its demographic target, I think the no-haggle price for an auto XA can't exceed $15K, including transportation. Otherwise the uniqueness of the XA will not be attractive enough to overcome the downside of its small size.

    Incidentally, I checked out the Scion website. Not only is is it very slow, but for Toyota to assume that the target audience (college educated young people with an above average income) will go to the Scion site to listen to or download music is silly, IMO. They should just stick to cars.
  • ttlttlttlttlttlttl Member Posts: 24
    I think Toyota wants too much for their cars. I wish Scion's come with a bunch of standard equipment like Honda. A load RAV4 is just aweful lot of dough for that little metal. I hope some Scion execs are reading this forum.
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    2004 Scion xB
    Toyota launched its youth-oriented Scion brand with two concept vehicles last year. A production version, based on the bbX concept, called the xB will be sold exclusively in California this summer, and nationwide by June 2004. Scion calls the xB an “urban conveyance” instad of a van, wagon or sport utility vehicle. Starting at about $18,000, the xB will stress personal customization by allowing buyers to choose from a variety of standard features
  • cookie55cookie55 Member Posts: 15
    Hyundai's Lavita, a huge seller in Europe,is under consideration to be brought to the U.S. Similar in size-4 dr.--1.8 ltr. I agree with Civicw and "hubcaps" that pricing will be key to sales success of the Scion. If Hyundai brings the Lavita to the U.S., they'll eat Toyota's lunch on price and warranty (10yrs.100,000 miles). Hyundai's quality, fit and finish has much improved recently and would be a serious competitor.
  • caneaucaneau Member Posts: 14
    Not to sound egotistical, but Toyota designed a car to appeal to me and my generation. I was born in 1985 which places me in the dead center of Generation-Y. This car is supposed to appeal to me and quite simply, it doesn't. Do I mind boxy cars? Not at all, I drive a Jeep Cherokee and I love the car. I think the only boxier production car today is an H1 and it too looks good. So what's wrong with cars such as the xB Scion or the Honda Element?
    For starters, they're UGLY! I can't explain why they are ugly, but why is Carmen Electra better looking than Rosie? The Scion is the more hideous of the two in my opinion. The Element at least sort of looks like an SUV but the xB, well just look at it, need I say more?
    Second, power anyone? 105 horses? 1.5 liters? I don't care if I can break windows with the 1,300 watts of audio power if I can't run away for the cops who want to arrest me for violating a noise ordnance (just kidding, my Jeep has a 2 speaker audio system that starts to crackle and smoke if turned up anywhere close to loud, but I purchase cars for different reasons than the AV systems). Honestly though, having what I think must be the least powerful car available in the US is downright dangerous. Why? Try merging from an off ramp in front of a semi traveling at 80 miles per hour with a Scion. I speak in the second person tense because I don't want to be anywhere nearby when someone attempts this. I have better things to do than spend an afternoon testifying in court after the car is flattened. 105 hp - there are 600cc motorcycles that have more power than that.
    Finally, if anyone has read my posts, I almost always ask or imply why someone should buy this car? Why should a 17 year old want an under powered, ugly car made by the same company that makes the oh so exciting Avalon and Camry? About the only reason I could find was to stand in one place and blast the stereo. I don't think the engine could handle driving and having the stereo turned on. I cannot speak for every 16 or 17 year old out there, but from my experience, $17,000 of metal and rubber that sits in one place is useless.
    All things considered, I'd rather buy a used Mustang GT with a Mach 460 sound system. In day to day usage, it sounds just as good, and what do you know, it has nearly three times the power.
    If I am right, and I probably am judging from my experience with cars and being a teenager myself, who is going to buy this car? First, parents who want to seem "hip" to their kids. The parents and kids have to both be completely oblivious to anything automotive and buy into the greasy Toyota dealer saying, "Oh, this car is the latest 'rage', everybody in California is driving one..." The other demographic that possibly could buy this car are people who want to be, for reason or another, "with the times". This could be an older person who wants to revitalize their youth (think same demographic who were on the waiting list for VW Beetles) or teenagers who are outcasts and want to improve their status in the high school hierarchy.
    Are these two groups enough to keep Scion going? Maybe, but I think they will eventually realize how awful this car is and the resale value will tumble after the first year. Toyota will have to be forced to improve the engine (much like Chrysler is doing with the PT) or lower the MSRP.
    In either case, I'm not trading in my Jeep anytime soon, even if I do have to listen to my crackling speakers.

    '97 Jeep XJ 4.0L
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    ...echoes of the past...

    ....come back to haunt Toy....

    But remember, the first large Toyota pick-up was a darn near complete joke, and so were Toyopets (the first car that Toyota imported into the US). Now the Tundra is a competitor and the Corolla is, I believe, now the longest running, biggest selling car line ever produced, and known for its reliability, if not style.

    If Toyota ever does get this right, the Hyundais and the General Motors of the world will each have one more thing to worry about.

    The great used car vs. a very slow, uncool new car argument is a very good one.

    And Caneau, you will do well at whatever you decide to do with yourself in life. You write very well indeed! Your logic is sound. But, as someone other than Faith Popcorn said, predicting the future is very hard work. And sometimes teens, in particular, are very hard to predict. That all being said, I agree with you, I don't see any way that the Scion, at least the original models, will be successful.

    Add to all of what you say Toyota's requirement that dealers invest in separate sales buildings, staffs, etc., and I see big problems ahead for this line.

    Major efforts by oldsters to traffic in what is cool and trendy with teens almost always fail.

    Time will tell, but I stick with: Echoes of the past, come back to haunt Toy!
  • stragerstrager Member Posts: 308
    Sounds like Toyota is concerned about the Chevy Aveo, similar in size and styling to the Scion xA, but to be sold in the price range of $10-15K.


    Jim Press, a Toyota VP said yesterday: "In this kind of environment, when anxiety exists, what you find is customers want longevity, reliability and dependability -- true value. It's not just about buying the cheapest car."

    I think Toyota better think twice about trying to sell Scions for no-haggle prices around $17K (inluding transportation).
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Member Posts: 932
    I think that the xA looks much more sporty than the Aveo. As a sedan, the Aveo is hideous.

    Let's not forget that the Aveo is a Daewoo product.
  • civicwcivicw Member Posts: 135
    vehicles? Then all the affluent folks could buy a baby Lexus for their "trendsetter" kids. With the relatively high prices that Toyota wants to charge for these sub-compact cars, Lexus might be the way to go. That would also avoid the huge overheads of setting up Scion sub-dealerships.

    I think there is a very basic obstacle to Scion becoming successful: Toyota's corporate strategy of setting high prices/profits for their "youth" models like the Matrix and xA is in direct conflict with it's goal of getting younger customers.
  • vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
    The Aveo sedan doesn't look bad at all judging by the available pictures.
    "The South Korean-built car was penned by Italdesign, and it will be offered in four-door and five-door configurations."
    BTW, as the most posters agreed, PRICE is the most important factor in this sector.
    The xA and xB have too much technology (design/build complexity) in these entry level cars to be competitively priced to the Daewoo design. And as far as being a Daewoo design...
    Just look at the Huinday Elantra that is rapidly changing the perception of being cheaply build and unreliable.
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    In Canada, we are not going to be getting Scions. Instead, Toyota will be importing the Yaris 3-door/5-door and calling it the ECHO hatchback.

    I'm not sure what an Xa offers over an ECHO hatch apart from sheetmetal that is a bit more aggressive. Seems like a lot of risk/effort on Toytota's part.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Geez. An underpowered, 105 HP 1.5 liter engine. Wonder if anyone will order one with the automatic transmission. To turn a Scion into a Lexus, you first need a few L badges. Then, you need a tan interior with warm colors. Then, a Mark Levinson stereo is on order. Don't forget wood trim, a 5 speed automatic with tiptronic, an excellent warranty, and a price tag around $25K. Sounds like the BMW 3-Series Hatchback a few years back. Not too sucessful. I think that the Scion probably will flunk. Who'd buy a $17K underpowered compact car when an Accord LX stickers for about the same? With $17K, I'd rather buy the Accord, wouldn't you? The Accord has a much stronger 2.4L 160HP 4 cylinder, more room, and a better resale value. Only thing the Scion has that the Accord does not is that Mark Levinson, (oops, a Pioneer) stereo system. You could almost buy a Dodge Caravan with the 17K! The xB doesn't sound good either. The xB needs that tan interior, the Mark Levinson stereo, well, you get the picture.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    ...with automatic, less than $13.3k. I'm not the marketing target [only about 40 years too old], but would love to have one of these in our garage as our every-day runaround car so that the Mercedes gets used only on long trips. Not the market that Toyota had in mind, but all automotive marketing is voodoo anyway.

    As for the general idea of Scion, I do agree that this is a big waste of money and is likely to be seen as a huge flop. But the xA [nee IST] is a neat car and deserves to succeed independently of what badge it wears. It certainly seems like a practical alternative to anyone who values good fuel consumption, practicality, and reliability...but this whole business of trying to find new customers for Toyota via this medium seems to be doomed to failure. Only the "Marketeers" believe in this business of targeting cars specifically to a given demographic - somehow, the real-world market never quite behaves the way they expect it to...
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Member Posts: 932
    Edmunds gives the two Scion vehicles, the xA and xB, very favorable reviews. It also gives the whole Scion concept a thumbs up!

    "One thing is certain, Scion is the real deal and, based on product alone, it should be a runaway success. Scion cars will go on sale June of 2003."

    Read it here: .html?*
  • malibu_jackmalibu_jack Member Posts: 75
    DOes anyone know if these vehicles will be availabe in the Canadian Market?
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518

    I don't think they will, at least not initially, but Canada will be getting the 2004 Toyota Echo Hatchback, which is similar to the Scion xA.

    -Andrew L
  • mikusmikus Member Posts: 109
    > In Canada, we are not going to be getting
    > Scions. Instead, Toyota will be importing the
    > Yaris 3-door/5-door and calling it the
    > ECHO hatchback

    Lucky you :) They should bring Yaris here at the first place. Instead, they made this ugly, disproportioned Echo. Umph!
  • buggywhipbuggywhip Member Posts: 188
    I dunno, the Scion concept seems no different than the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix--also swoopy hback/mini-SUVs. Sales of the Vibe/Matrix have been OK, but hardly stellar. (they're hugely discounted in my area.) So why does Toyota think that even SMALLER and less powerful variants of that theme will sell?? Someone help me out here.
  • levine90levine90 Member Posts: 21
    The xA is what the Echo should have been in the US to begin with. Its more agressive styling better suits the platform, and without a doubt would have pulled in more younger buyers. The Echo sedan is disproportionate, pointlessly bulbous and mired with overpriced "options" that should have been standard when it was introduced -- and this is coming from a person who drives one! I wouldn't say the 105hp engine is underpowered, because my Echo zips around pretty quickly. And the utility of the hatchback is certainly something I would have appreciated - not to mention the platform looks a lot better in hatchback form. Also, it's priced right - a Toyota under $13k, comfortably equipped (which the Echo wasn't) will sell no matter how you figure it.

    However, unless I'm drastically overestimating the intelligence of the car buying public, the xB will fail horribly. No American driver in their right mind wants a vehicle with nothing but 90 and 180 degree edges, no matter how many watts the stereo puts out. I think Toyota overestimated the US demand for a car like this, because although it's fairly coveted in Japan, I can't see even the most extreme of "import modification enthusiasts" wanting to drive it around here.

    Unless Toyota puts out something spectacular under the Scion name within the next year or two - Celica grade engine, attractive styling and within the same general price range - I think it's doomed to failure. The xA should have been the Echo in 2000, and the xB should have never reached the shores here.

    And, for what it's worth, I'm also in the target demographic - 19 and a guy.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    because it was not within our Town Hall guidelines. To those concerned: Please check your email. We invite you to edit your message and post it back into this discussion.

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  • autobarnautobarn Member Posts: 3
    Hoping to get more discussions going about the Scion (especially the xA). For anyone else confused about official pricing, please check out Scion's website (not sure if I'm allowed to post it) or read Edmunds review.

    I think it's remarkable what you are getting for their prices. Under 13k?!?! In standard kit it has everything you could possibly need (ABS, power everything, killer stereo, etc). I can't see how anyone would buy an Echo (which costs more comparatively equipped). I remember pricing out the Echo and it came out to over $15k! Now I can get a loaded Scion xA with auto for under $14k. Great deal. Having said that I'm still undecided about the Scion division strategy.

    By the way, I'm a mid 20's guy living in an urban area where parking is very difficult. I was considering a MINI just because of it's size to find parking spots (143 inches), but the Scion xA is only 10 inches longer, which is great considering it has 2 extra doors. Granted the MINI is supposed to handle like a slot car and come with more advanced technology, but I think the Scion might be a better fit for what I'm looking for: cheap, basic transportation, smartly styled (I like the xA Peuguot styling), reasonably roomy, fun to drive.
  • jontyreesjontyrees Member Posts: 160
    I'm a Brit living in the US for going on 20 years, and I'm finally seeing signs of a less conservative approach to cars. For years, Japanese and European buyers have evaluated cars on whether they meet their needs, rather than on whether their neighbour will think them weird. Over here, if your car didn't have a trunk, you might as well have had two heads - unless of course you jack it up a few inches, apply knobby tires, add a thousand pounds and call it an SUV. For city dwellers, these Scions look like excellent cars, although they're probably not ideal for the wide open spaces of the West.

    A light car with 105hp should be plenty fast enough - again for urban areas. That presents a bit of a dilemma as far as the transmission goes. The 5sp would obviously be preferable with a small engine, but since the car is best suited for city work, you might be better off with the automatic - stop'n'go traffic is a real pain with a manual.

    Take a look around in London or Paris or Tokyo, and you'll see loads of strange looking vehicles that would give most US consumers a heart attack, (the Swatch that is all over London is pretty unusual), but which are fuel efficient and very parkable.

    I just downsized from a '99 Trooper to a '02 Suzuki Aerio SX (wagon - oops I said the W word), and I'm so much happier with it. I think these new Scions will make a lot of sense to a lot of people.

    Jonty Rees in West Austin, TX - the SUV capital of the world.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    ...couldn't have said it better myself.

    However, why this couldn't have been accomplished without spending 10s of millions of dollars on a new brand name to appeal to the "younger crowd" is the big mystery to me.

    Prediction: the xA will sell well; the xB won't; and sales will be to a mix of age groups that will be far off the target as set by the marketing mavens. And everyone will stand around scratching their heads and wondering what all of this was about in the first place.

    An xA could easily wind up in our garage - but I'm 58...does that make the car a success or a failure?
  • autobarnautobarn Member Posts: 3
    I would think the xA and xB would cannibilize sales from the Echo and the Matrix, whether or not they are under the Scion name or Toyota brand.

    Personally I think the Echo is a disaster (appearance-wise), and that the European Toyota Yaris is what should have been brought in the first place. Now Canada will be getting the Yaris (they are calling it Echo Hatch) this summer. The US will not unfortunately.

    Either Toyota should bring the Yaris to the US or replace it with the xA...both models are practically the same anyway. Why have both? It's not like the Echo sedan offers better looks or utility.

    Having said this, I really don't care if the xA and xB are in Toyota dealerships or Scions dealerships. Just as long as the service is good, the dealership is nearby, resale value holds up.
  • mikusmikus Member Posts: 109
    > I'm a Brit living in the US for going on 20 years,
    > and I'm finally seeing signs of a less conservative
    > approach to cars. For years, Japanese and European
    > buyers have evaluated cars on whether they meet their
    > needs, rather than on whether their neighbour will
    > think them weird.

    Cannot agree with that. I think that american market and auto market in particular is very precisely calculated by marketing departments. At least they think that they calculate the target groups precisely. Which is why hatchback is considered to be a "youth car", and should be either cheap and stripped or loaded with megawatt sound and high-rev engine. This assumption alone is preposterous, but they go further and think that "youth" cannot live without loads of plastic crap and shiny faux "touches" inside and outside the car. Because of this one can see ugly ducklings like Aerio which is a rather pretty car in its maiden form called Liana. The same goes with Protege (cheap looking shiny chrome wheels and available with skirts only) and Matrix (cheap shiny faux chrome and aluminum and the most powerful XRS is available with skirts only).

    The approach is still the same: find the target group and make the product for it. Nothing wrong with this idea. But the problem that they cannot identify the target group correctly. Hatchback can appeal to everybody and the one and only "boy-racer" image of this body type brought manufacturers to what we can see now. Good cars in their barebones, but covered with tastless bells and wistles. Even VW stopped to make 5-door with 1.8T, and puts this engine on 3-door GTI only, probably because it is a sporty engine, and a sporty car must have 3 doors. Ha!
  • kaz6kaz6 Member Posts: 331
    Has anyone been able to sit in an Xa yet? I'm curious about how the rear seat space is compared with the ECHO 4-door.
    For those skeptics worried about having only can ride with me while I go 80+mph! Light weight and aerodynamics do wonders for a car!
    Cars in the USA are definitely very conservative and I wish we could get more of the 'hot hatches' available overseas! The Mercedes A-Class is one that I would love if I had the money!
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Member Posts: 417
    The real factor here is price. What else is sold at this price, with this much content and this much style?

    Even if you do not like looks, Scion cars have undoubtedly more presence than the Korean and American cars that they are in competition with.

    If they also manage to implement a Saturn like dealership experience I think this brand could do very well.

    I actually like the 80's throwback style of the xB, and at 13 grand with all those options I would be tempted by such inexpensive transportation. I think it's great. This area of the market has been overlooked for so long. Bout time somebody gave us interesting options with good content for under 15k.

    Now Scion just needs a lighweight two seater like the old CRX or the Smart roadster coupe IMO. Something lighweight and well sprung so you can make the most of that echo engine. I'll bet they do a mini urban SUV next though.
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