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2010 Scion xD TRD (photos)

The little Scion xD is a cheap economy car, but dressed up in TRD accessories it, well, becomes a less cheap and better-looking economy car.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
As a cheap platform, Scion models have been favorites for accessorizing. They make upgrading cabin tech easy with standardized steering wheel controls and dashboard openings. Toyota offers a line of accessories from its Toyota Racing Division (TRD) to make the Scion look good, and perform slightly better.
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2 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
The Scion xD is a recent model, having replaced the xA. Although basically a snub-nosed box on wheels, Scion gives its hood a mean-looking bulldog shape, and contours the sides nicely.
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3 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
The engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder generating 128 horsepower. It can make the xD feel peppy if you keep the engine speed high.
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The xD has a practical shape, allowing four doors plus a hatchback. We found the driver seat positioning uncomfortably high, and would have liked a seat height adjustment.
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These wheels are a TRD accessory, one of three types available. The open spokes show the disc brakes in front and drum brakes on the rears.
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6 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
The xD's suspension is typical of economy cars, with a multilink in front to accommodate the front-wheel drive and a simple torsion bar in back. But this car comes with a TRD rear sway bar, the only real performance upgrade. It kept the xD a little more stable in the turns.
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7 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
This exhaust gave the xD a noisy growl when revved, making the car sound much more powerful than it really was.
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The cargo space is reasonable in the xD, with the rear seats folding down to fit even more.
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9 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
Hard plastics cover the dashboard, giving the car a cheap feel, but Scion uses a nice texture that partially ameliorates the effect. Buyers have three head unit options, along with the standard stereo, two with navigation.
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The steering felt vague when we were traveling at speed on the freeway, but this problem was partially because of the car's light weight and the wind.
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11 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
Scion cleverly fits speedometer and tach onto the same gauge face, leaving plenty of room in the side instrument pods.
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The five-speed manual comes standard with the car. It was nothing special, and we were especially disappointed that Toyota did not include a TRD shift knob.
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13 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
This Bluetooth phone button sits behind the shifter. It is not a very good system, with virtually no features, so we would recommend not optioning it, and getting a new head unit with integrated Bluetooth.
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14 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET
This Alpine head unit is the first step up on the option ladder for stereos. We weren't crazy about it, and would consider leaving it off the list and finding a better aftermarket stereo to fit into the xD.

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