Scion - from A to D
Back in 2003, a new car company named "Scion" emerged. With it's message geared towards the younger set, the xA and xB cars they introduced to the California market were decidedly "hip" for the young college crowd with great sound systems and value in small packages. The xA was a comfortable but small subcompact car (think Honda "Fit") and the xB was a boxy ride with a lot of interior room for its size. Both cars had a lot of standard features, good gas mileage (31-38/27-32) and were affordably priced at $8,231 and $8,851. Scion offered no-haggle pricing, similar to Saturn, so people paid the sticker price and could customize their vehicle with aftermarket-type dealer-installed extras if they wanted to. The big bonus was that Scion is part of the Toyota family, so it came with quality and customer confidence built in.
The initial generation of the xB was styled after a Japanese model. The second generation was introduced in 2008 and was geared more for the American consumer - a little bit bigger and with a little more power. You can read more about the xB in a previous review we did a few months ago.
The xA only lasted one generation with one body style - a 4 door hatchback. After the 2004 model introduction, the 2006 did receive a bit of a facelift in its last year of production, but it was essentially the same vehicle with slightly different features. Unfortunately, we at CarGoDogs.com did not get a chance to measure and review the vehicle before it was discontinued. It is unlikely that it would fit a large number of big dogs, but we'd love to hear from anyone who uses one for their dog travels.
Onward for Scion... In 2005, Scion came out with a more traditional vehicle, the tC coupe. It was stylish, yet affordable with many optional features. The tC seats 5 and has a versatile hatchback trunk but it is not generally what one would use as a dogmobile. You could probably use the fold-down back seat feature to utilize the area for dogs, but it surely would take some ingenuity to customize the space for safe travel.
The removal of the xA made way for the newest model in the Scion lineup: The xD. Introduced in 2008, this entry level vehicle is typical of all Scions with many standard features including a remote keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, airbags, etc. There are oodles of extras to be had either from Scion or other aftermarket companies. Unfortunately, they're mostly for cosmetics and less for functionality and none of them helps with traveling with our pets.
When we visited the Scion dealership, we were able to look closely at a 2009 xD. The xD has a maximum cargo capacity of 36 cubic feet. It is bigger than the 26 cu.ft. cargo space of the 2009 Toyota Yaris but this is pretty small compared to the cavernous 2009 Honda Fit at 57 cu.ft, the 2009 Toyota Matrix at 48 cu.ft or the new Kia Soul at 53 cu.ft. However, the price is also a bit less, with prices starting from $14,650. The xD's standard safety features include antilock brakes, front and full side curtain airbags. The xD also received an Edmund's award as one of the Top Consumer Rated vehicles in 2008 & 2009, scoring 9.3 on a scale of 1 to 10, so consumers are really enjoying this vehicle.
Some of the positive features of the xD are 60/40 rear seats, a cargo area that folds flat, cargo tie-downs and rear windows that open which would be helpful for ventilation if one were to crate dogs in the car. Note that there is about a 3" lip at the rear cargo area, so crate doors would need to be elevated above that point to open. (The Honda Fit also has a "lip" in the cargo area.)
As a dog car, it seems one could make an xD work for small dogs but it probably wouldn't be a first choice for those with medium to large dogs. The Kia Soul, Honda Fit or Toyota Matrix might be better options simply due to the larger cargo space.
Base MSRP : $14,650
Mileage estimates: 27/33/29 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
|Depth from back door to front seats (2nd/3rd row folded) = maximum depth range (D1)||45.5-55"|
|Depth from back door to second row seats (D2) (Seats slope)||21.5/15.25"|
|Dept from back door to third row seats (D3)||n/a|
|Height from cargo floor to ceiling behind front seats (H1)|
|Height from cargo floor to ceiling behind 2nd row seats (H2)||32"|
|Height from cargo floor to ceiling at entry of vehicle (H3)||28.75"|
|Height of wheel arches (H4)||10"/8"|
|Height from ground to top of bumper (not pictured)|
|Width of cargo area at ceiling (W1)||35.25"|
|Width of cargo area maximum (approx. at 2nd row seats (W2)||49.5"|
|Width of cargo area between wheel arches||39.5"|
|Illustrated dimensions 1 (W1, W2, W3, D2, D3)
Illustrated dimensions 2 (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, D1)
|Back window does not open, but rear side windows do|
|Sunroof not available|
|Cargo tie-downs||Yes - several|
|Electrical outlet in rear||No|
|Electrical outlet in front||
Yes - dc and ipod/mp3
|Location of spare tire||Under cargo floor|
|Tailgate Lifts up||Yes|
|Roof Rack Capacity||Unk.|
|Rear Seats||Fold flat|
|Cargo Volume (cu. Ft.)|
|2nd-row seats folded down||36 cu.ft.|
|2nd-row seats up||10.5 cu.ft.|
|Power windows and door locks|
|Navigation & Satellite Radio optional|