The xA was one of Toyota’s first Scions. Outsold by the more distinctive xB, it’s not easy to find used models on the market yet. Still, this diminutive car packs a surprising amount of standard equipment and should have good longevity.
The base model has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission and gets 32 mpg on the highway and 33 in the city. A six-speed automatic is optional ($800). A limited-edition 1.0 series is available for 2005 with special Absolutely Red paint and sporty seat fabric. A power sunroof and vehicle stability control with traction control are also offered.
For its price, the xA comes well equipped with standard features that include air conditioning; power windows and door locks; power steering and mirrors; a tachometer and trip meter; a six-speaker AM/FM/CD Pioneer sound system that reads MP3 files and is satellite radio-ready; and a tire pressure monitoring system. Antilock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution are standard, as are a driver-side airbag, front and rear side curtain airbags and a security alarm.
A small, taut footprint makes the xA fun to drive. The engine has a modest amount of horsepower, and the manual gearbox has slick shifter action and gives confidence-inspiring feedback. Steering is quick and direct, while a soft suspension and narrow tires allow the car to lean noticeably in tight corners. Braking is adequate, with nice pedal feel.