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Toyota's Scion division launched a new car at the Chicago Auto Show, the 2008 Scion xD.

2008 Scion xD

2008 Scion xD

Toyota's Scion division launched a new car at the Chicago Auto Show, the 2008 Scion xD. Scion made room in its model lineup by discontinuing the xA. The new xD looks like a five-door version of the xA, stretched for more interior room. But it also looks like Scion took the boxy xB and made it look more like a regular car. With this strategy, Scion can sell its xD to boring people, who can't stand the styling of the xB. But we're not done here yet. Our third take on the xD's design is that it looks a bit like the Dodge Caliber, combining a practical interior with an aggressive exterior.

2008 Scion xD interior

2008 Scion xD iPod connection

This big tech feature in the Scion xD is its stereo, as navigation isn't available. The car's Pioneer-branded stereo comes standard with an iPod adapter and an auxiliary input, for iPod refuseniks. In previous Scions we've seen, the iPod adapter is about as good as it gets. Plug your iPod into the car and get all your music library information displayed in the stereo display. You can select artist, album, track, and playlists with the stereo controls. And the car keeps the iPod charged, keeping your music playing throughout long road trips. But the press release on the new xD points out it only gets six speakers. That's two tweeters and four full-range speakers mounted in the doors. The car practically begs for a big 12-inch subwoofer, a couple more tweeters, and a centerfill.

Scion puts a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine in the xD and offers the choice of a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The instrument cluster sits in front of the driver, using one big gauge that combines the speedometer and tachometer. Scion calls the instrument design "radar-like". The Scion xD hits dealer lots in August.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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