2005 xA New Car Test Drive
Built like a Toyota (because it is one), the Scion xA offers solid construction, quiet operation, comfortable accommodations and low maintenance costs.
Unlike the Scion xB and tC, the xA doesn't set the world on fire with its styling, but it comes well-equipped with convenience and safety features. It's comfortable in the front seats, though the rear is a bit cramped, and it offers decent cargo space.
The ride is firm and it handles reasonably well. It doesn't have a lot of power, but nets an EPA rating of 32/38 mpg City/Highway.
A new limited-edition model in bright red is available for 2005 that comes with special seat fabric, a sunroof, and active safety features.
Scion xA ($12,480) is powered by a 1.5-liter 16-valve four-cylinder and comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is optional ($800).
The list of standard features is surprisingly long for a car in this price class: antilock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (which boosts braking pressure in emergency situations); air conditioning; power windows, door locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; tilt steering wheel; tachometer and trip meter; 60/40 split folding rear seat; cargo area cover; and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD Pioneer sound system that reads MP3 files and is satellite radio-ready.
The only factory-installed option Toyota offers on the xA besides the automatic transmission is a safety package comprising front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear seat side curtain airbags ($650).
A limited-edition model called the xA Release Series 1.0 is available for 2005. Positioned as a package ($1,395), the Release Series 1.0 comes with special Absolutely Red paint and is further distinguished by its sports grille and color-keyed rear spoiler. A power tilt and slide moonroof come standard along with vehicle stability control (VSC) with traction control (TRAC). Inside, the limited-edition model is distinguished with black seat fabric with red highlights, along with red lighting in the center storage compartment. Only 1,550 units will be produced and will have individually numbered series badges applied to the interior.
Some 40 accessories are available, installed at the factory or dealership. Many are appearance oriented and include appliques for B-pillars, the fuel door, instrument panel, door sills and rear bumper; license plate frames; mudguards; tail lamp garnish; rear spoiler; removable roof rack; red, blue or clear covers for the remote keyless entry; and sport pedals in choice of red, blue or silver. Functional accessories include a cargo liner, net and tote; carpeted floor mats; auto-dimming rear view mirror; satellite tuner and auxiliary antenna; subwoofer; security system; wheel locks; and alloy wheels. On the performance list are a cold-air induction system; front strut tower brace; and an assortment of bits from Toyota Racing Development, including 18-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero tires, lowering springs, strut/shock set; and a sport muffler.