Introduced as a 2004 model, Scion xA gets a facelift for 2006. Exterior changes include a redesigned front fascia (revised lower intake and headlamps, new honeycomb-style grille), color-keyed rocker panels and bumpers, redesigned tail lamps, and new mirrors with integrated turn signals. Inside are new seat fabrics, a new steering wheel with audio controls, a redesigned audio head unit, and optional iPod-compatible Pioneer-brand audio system.
Toyota launched its Scion brand to appeal to a new and younger generation of buyers. Scion's first two offerings were the xA, a four-door hatchback, and the xB, a boxy-style utility vehicle. Both were introduced as 2004 models.
For 2006, the xA undergoes a makeover with styling changes inside and out. The interior features metal-look instrument panel trim and ventilation controls, stylish gauges, and textured treatments on the doors, dashboard, and seats. A distinctive center-mount instrument cluster is located high on the dash. The rear seat is split 60/40, and it folds to enhance cargo capability. There also is hidden storage under the rear cargo floor.
Mechanically, the front-wheel-drive xA is powered by a 103-hp, 1.5L four-cylinder engine that is rated at 32 mpg in town and 37 on the highway (with the five-speed manual), and 31/38 with the four-speed automatic transmission.
Occupant protection includes what Toyota calls a unique "trapezoidal front body structure," which is formed by the body side member, dash cross member, instrument panel support bar, and pillar brace. Additional steel reinforcements are positioned inside the body around the door openings. Front air bags are standard, with side and curtain airbags available as factory-installed options. The Scion xA is also equipped with standard anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, a technology that detects distributes the appropriate level of braking force to all four wheels based on driving conditions.
The Scion xA competes in the Compact Basic segment, which becomes much more competitive in 2006 with the introduction of the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Toyota Yaris.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM this segment accounted for less than 1 percent of all light-vehicle sales in calendar year 2005. The Chevrolet Aveo led the category with 68,085 sales in calendar year 2005, followed by the Hyundai Accent (41,012), Kia Rio (30,290), Scion xA (28,033), Suzuki Aerio (7,697), Suzuki Reno (6,075), and Toyota Echo (1,544).