2005 scion xA

Discussion in 'Community' started by raiderz182, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Location:
    north philly
    #1
    I am planning on buying this car, does anyone here have any experience with this car or knows if it runs well? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    ps: also, any tips on finding low-costing insurance would be helpful.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    hcuar

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #2
  3. macrumors 68030

    medea

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madison, Wi
    #3
    I have a 2004 xA and absolutely love it. I don't know what, if anything, is different in the '05 model. It handles well, comes with most everything you need stock, does great on gas (it is number 9 in KBB's top 10 best fuel-efficient cars,) and it made the top 12 in this year's list of most environmentally friendly vehicles, issued by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. 5 people fit easily enough as well. Only issue I've had so far is the rear passenger side window stopped working, the motor went out. This is apparently not a common issue and I have a feeling it has to do with the first of Florida's 4 hurricanes this year. Some debris scuffed up the car and the window stopped working right after the hurricane.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #4
    get the tC, its way nicer looking
    and they are prob pretty much the same inside since its a scion
     
  5. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #5
    Compare it to the Matrix/Vibe on which it based. Scion dealers are supposed to follow the Saturn model of no discounts off of sticker.
     
  6. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #6
    Really? That sucks.

    I don't like the car because it's so weak. For roughly the same price, I'd rather get a Mazda3. But for even more, I'd rather get a Mazda 3 Sport (ie: the hatchback). It isn't bad on gas, the engine appears great, and the car is beautiful.

    But yes, I probably would have looked into the Scion if I were looking for a car.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    I belong to the City CarShare program in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have started to replace their fleet of now 3-year-old New Beetles (which have mostly developed an addiction to eating motor oil) with Scion xAs.

    So far I'm pretty impressed with the xA. They are smaller than the Matrix/Vibe, but seat four comfortably and have a lot of cargo room when you fold down the back seats. They ride higher than the Beetles did (the gearshift on the automatic feels really tall for some reason), but they handle well. Acceleration is decent; you're not going to set land speed records in the thing, but it definitely can get out of its own way. Gas mileage is great, of course.

    City CarShare is a slick program: very nice if you only need a car once a week or so.

    http://www.citycarshare.org
     
  8. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
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    #8
    A few months ago, Road & Track compared the Scion xA and the Honda Element.
    To quote (er, paraphrase...) my favorite line: The Element has noticeably more torque steer, because unlike the Scion, it actually has torque.
     
  9. macrumors member

    fugeelama

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #9
    I usually don't rant, but when someone starts talking bad about my car, I have to get involved. I own a 2005 Scion xA (which is about 4 months old now) and absolutely love it. I have no legitimate complaints about the car. To all the people that talk about the car not being powerful enough, lacking horsepower and torque, I say if you want your car to haul ass go spend the money on a car that will keep you happy. If you're really concerned about 0-60 times, or the fact that the car only pushes a little over 100 horses, then you don't want a Scion.

    I filled up my car today with $21 even and I'd gone a good 350 miles, so that comes out to about 35 mpg. Sure, I'm a little sad that my friend's Mitsubishi Evolution has triple the horsepower my car does, but I don't care about racing people around town. My car is fun to drive, has a sweet turning radius, is fully loaded (power doors/windows/locks)... if you decide to get one definitely go with the manual transmission, the automatic just doesn't shift fast enough for me and with a small car like the xA it's just more fun to drive.

    FYI, the tC interior is completely different from that of the xA and xB. Even though they're all Scions, Toyota went out of their way to design an original car with the tC. And yes, there is a "pure pricing" policy that means you can't haggle the price of the car. But considering everything you're getting, it's an awesome price ($12,995 for the manual xA).

    To finalize, if you're really serious about the car, check out Scion Life, a forum/site where lots of owners share their thoughts on just about everything, not just their cars. Any questions you have can be answered there, or by chatting live with a Scion sales rep at www.scion.com. (No, I don't work for Scion or Toyota. I just love my car!)

    One more thing! If you can make it to Philly this weekend, Scion: Exposed is gonna be out there. It's basically an insane amount of Scion owners getting together, under the official supervision of Scion :)
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    #10
    If you love your car, I'm seriously glad for you. In a purchase of this size, you should count yourself among the lucky few who are actually more than simply "pleased" with your purchase. That being said...

    My concern when I test drove a Scion was its horsepower, but not because I was looking to drag race the thing. When I took the salesman off of the course of normal test drives and hit some hills, the Scion really struggled. It's not light enough to only give you 110 horses, and when I went up a hill, I really felt the car working. Mind you, this car had less than 50 miles on it. After a few years, I can only imagine what it would be like going up the hills. Having the power to go fast isn't all that horsepower is good for. If the engine isn't strong enough to carry the vehicle's weight up a (to be fair, fairly steep) hill, I'm not about to drop 13 grand on the thing.

    Just throwing both sides out there. Good luck to the original poster with your car. I hope it gives you years of driving pleasure.
     
  11. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
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    #11
    I wouldn't buy one even if they did have good performance numbers :D

    Well, I wouldn't complain if someone gave me a tC...
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
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    fennario
    #12
    Actually, The Scion xA and xB are based on the Toyota Echo platform, which is extremely refined for its price/size. The Toyota Matrix/Vibe is based on the Corolla platform, and uses the same 140 hp engine except in XRS form, in which they inherit the Celica GT-S engine.
    Both the xA and xB are extremely well engineered cars and will shurly give you hundreds of thousands of miles of service. But for a little extra cash I would defiantly look at the tC, It's a much cooler car the the other two, IMO. Standard power everything, glass roof, 17 inch alloys, and 160 hp for $16.500.00 US. You cant beat that.
     
  13. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
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    #13
    oh you speedy devil :p

    That's another reason why I wouldn't buy a Scion (the final one is absolute lack of money ;)) There are some pretty steep hills in my area, and I wouldn't want to go around with less than 125HP and the same amount of torque. (My current car has 155/185)
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    fennario
    #14
    And another thing, To the people complaining about the xA's horsepower. My Kia Rio cinco is heaver, longer and wider, than the xA, and only has 98 hp. But it can hold it's own, it's no speed demon and sometimes you have to persuade it to go up a hill but it gets me where I want to go very effectively. We have put two hundred thousand miles on it and she has never let us down. Now if the damn thing was only built better.

    Plus the owners of low horsepower cars reap the benefits of greater mileage.
     
  15. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
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    #15
    Meh, you can get an Impreza for slightly more, plus it has AWD, 5 more HP ( :rolleyes: ), and a real back seat (with doors!)
     
  16. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #16
    Gas mileage depends on MUCH MUCH more than just horsepower.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
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    fennario
    #17

    Thats all good and fine if you can afford a new car that has more than 125hp. But for $12,995 you would be hard pressed to find a car thats worth a damn that has more than the Scion. Add air conditioning, power windows, locks, and mirrors, 6 Speaker cd player and anti-lock brakes standard. I don't care what anyone says, the xA is an incredible amount of car for the money.

    BTW, how much did you 155 hp car sell for new?
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    fennario
    #18
    Yes but with Subaru dealers the way they are, you would be luckey to drive off the lot for under 20 grand. Also Toyota's have a much better reputation for quality than does Subaru, at least in my neck of the woods. And the Subaru is ugly IMO. I owned a Subaru for the better part of the 80's. I was alright but the AWD system was problematic. and dealing with the service center was a nightmare. I liked the Nissan Sentra I traded it for much better. Some day I will get my revenge on the service manager at my local Subaru dealer, but thats another story, for another day.
     
  19. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
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    #19
    There's a long time between the 1980's and now, in terms of car design. I don't think my brother has had any problems with his '04 Impreza wagon, even after putting more than 30k miles on it in under a year.
     
  20. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #20
    Lets face it, Scions are too weak. Again, I'd buy a Mazda3 for a bit more money. No, I'm not a racer/ricer, and I don't care about mods for cars and such, and I don't drive fast like one of those ****head 19 year olds, or 24 year olds who still think it's cool now that they have their first real job and can afford a fast car.

    But when I'm trying to pass someone on the highway, I'd like to be able to quickly and safely. And despite not being a fast driver, I also like to accelerate from stoplights to a decent speed in a quick manner. I'd like to carry 3 friends in my car without my car struggling. Buying a car that can barely do the job is like buying a 2.2 GHz Celeron, in my opinion. It just doesn't have the HP or torque. Even a Focus is better, and it's a Ford. ;)
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Location:
    north philly
    #21
    first i'd like to say thanks to everyone who have been so helpful. i will definitely take into consideration the weakness of this car during my test ride by trying both auto and manual transmission and searching for hills.

    wow, that was a lot of help. the dealer on the phone mentioned something about "pure pricing", i just thought that was a load of bs since this is my first time buying a car and i've read so much about dealers CLAIMING that. but still, do you think there is anyway to "haggle" them into giving extra accesories?

    lastly, i live in philly! since im only at school 200 miles away, i'll be sure to go home this weekend to check that out. hope to see you there if you're going.

    random thought : the xB looks a little bit weird
     
  22. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #22
    Yeah, test it and tell us what you think. Look for hills, like you said, or bring a couple of friends along. They should even be able to tell you how the ride feels from the back seat (comfort and such), and whether there's enough power and such.

    Again, although I just said bad things about the car 3 posts ago, those are my cons. I'm sure there are great things about the cars as well.

    Good luck. :)
     
  23. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #23
    This "Pure Pricing" thing is bothersome to me. At least in the DC area, Saturn cars do not hold value very well. Even though they are supposed to rival the Japanese cars in reliability. It will interesting to see if the value of the Scions hold up over the next few years.

    The other is that when I looked at the Scion when they first hit the area, dealers were "optioning out" the cars on the lot. Not sure if things have changed, but with "Pure Pricing" I was told there would be no discounts off the accessories.

    "Pure Pricing" can be good for the consumer that doesn't know how to buy a car. I just helped my sister buy a 2004 Envoy XUV for "invoice" minus rebates. (Yeah, I know the dealer still had hidden money in the deal.) The night we went down, there were two vehicles identical. My sister nabbed one, and another gal nabbed the other. The other gal ended up buying that one at FULL STICKER (minus the rebates of course - I would hope).

    Before I get blasted for not offering her help. Her salesman saw me working the deal for my sister and made sure that his "mark" never was left alone for one minute. As wrong as his actions were to me, I am not confrontational in that manner. I believe also a consumer should bear some responsibility in being informed. I would have given her my research privately, if I could have.

    Some tools that might help in making sure of "deals" is Edmunds and your Credit Union with their buying service. Consumer Reports use to (not sure they still do) offers an invoice service. Also many dealers have their inventory online so you can see what the invoice is for the car you want.

    You may want to look at your bank or CU for pre-approval on financing before you get to the dealer.

    Some advice after you have done the research (on non-Pure Pricing vehicles of course). First use NADA and Kelly Blue Book to get an idea on the value of your trade. If there is a CarMax in your area, get a trade value from them too. When you are ready to buy, ask the dealer for a trade-in value. They will more than likely ask what vehicle you are looking at buying. Do not tell them, tell them that you have several models that are of interest. Also give them the spare set of keys, keeping a set for yourself. Sometimes the keys on a trade get "lost". As long as you have a set of keys you can leave at any time. They may also ask what you are looking to get for it. Do not tell them. If you still owe on the car, and they ask how much you owe. Do not tell them. If they ask what bank it is financed through, you guessed it don't tell them. Tell them that info you'll give them if their trade value comes in well.

    Now you have your trade value from the dealer (be sure to ask for the keys back when they sit you down to give you the value - I have found good dealers have the keys with them, questionable dealers don't). If it low balled, tell them what you want for it (based on your research - KBB is the source that most dealers use today for the average soul coming in). They may ask again what car you are looking for. Politely tell them you want to first focus on the trade. If you can't get a fair trade-in price, be prepared to walk.

    Now for the car buying. Edmunds TMV (True Market Value) is IMO the most one should pay for a vehicle. From your online research you should have 2 or 3 cars from their inventory that you know what you are willing to buy and at what price. Now you tell them what you want. You take it for a test drive and you are ready to buy.

    You are now at the dealership to work the deal. (Tell the sales person that you only have an hour to hour and half to complete the deal. A game played is to keep someone at the dealership for 3 to 5 hours to wear them down. The contract phase should only take 15 minutes to 30 minutes at most. They may say that their "closers" are busy. Tell them fine, ask for an an appointment to complete the deal -financing and such). The sales person asks you about financing. Tell them if they can beat your banks rate, you'll consider it. Tell them you will not accept a Rule of 78 loan (http://www.tiac.net/~mabaker/rule_of_78.html). Also do not take delivery of the car without a signed finance contract (a game played is to get a person out on a promissory note and hit them with a high interest loan, and since the car is titled you are stuck).

    The sales person will show you a contract with their offering price. At this time you have to decide as to if the deal is good or not. If it is at the Edmunds TMV, you might feel it to be a good deal. No harm is asking for the invoice at this point. If the deal is way higher tell them you want it for the invoice price. If the sale person says they have to go to their manager, politely tell them that is fine, but the manager has only one shot at closing the deal. Be prepared to walk at any time. Plenty of dealers out there that will want your business.

    Keep in mind many dealers are charging up to $200 for processing charges. This processing charge is a profit center if much more than $50 IMO. That might be factored in on the final price. Depends on how deep you want to get the deal down.

    Biggest things are not to give the dealer too much info before the deal. And to be prepared to walk at any time. You are doing them the favor buying, they are not doing you the favor by selling.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #24
    both the tC and the Mazda3 have 160HP. i test drove them both cause i didn't know which one i would rather have (not that i have money for one :D but hopefully someday). i kind of figured from everything i had read online that i might like the tC better and sure enough i did. the tC has a lot more room inside than the 3. the things i did not like about the 3 were the crapped interior and the center console. all red lights are ugly in my opinion plus it just didn't look good. other than that both cars are gorgeous outside. plus the tC has the optional turbo charger coming sometime in the fall to boost it up to 200HP.

    on the subject of small cars. my old Metro could run circles around my Corsica. of course i think my Corsica was only running on 1 1/2 cylinders at the time. :D
     
  25. macrumors member

    fugeelama

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #25
    Lots of people have had sh*tty experiences with car dealers, I won't deny that. As has been mentioned, research everything before you make any purchase of a significant amount. In the purchase of my xA, I waited several months before finally going for it. I asked around and visited all the Toyota dealers in my area, and even harassed a few dealerships out of state just cause I could :p But anyways... Once I settled on a dealership that I had heard nothing but good things about, I went in and talked to the Scion rep about my trade and what I wanted in my car. They were willing to work with me on my trade, as Scion works just a little differently than other dealers I've worked with (don't even get me started on Nissan/Mitsubishi ::shudders::). I actually got a little more than KBB on my trade, cause once I was willing to put a deposit down with the trade they knew I was set. I was surprised to see that the dealer went by KBB, just go by a lesser condition when gauging the value of your car, just to be safe (think your car is "excellent"? Try "fair"!).

    Pure pricing does kinda suck, cause you can't haggle anything. But the way Scion works, they make their money off selling the accessories, which is my one gripe with the company. I want to do a lot of things to my car, but am going strictly after-market. Example: TRD tail-lights from Scion? $270. From the place I'll probably get them online? $190!!!. So yeah, my recommendation to you is that unless you are willing to pay more up front for any mods done to your car by the dealership, get the base model (well, there's only one model but you know what I mean) and add the rims/spoiler/etc after the fact. 9 times of 10 the dealership will do the work for you (meaning it will be under warranty), so long as it's not a blatantly warranty-voiding modification.

    Back to the whole power issue (cause I can't just leave well enough alone). Yes, 5 gears leaves something to be desired when driving on the interstate at 80 miles an hour. But the car has enough pep to get to cruising speed quickly (once again, I'm talking about the manual transmission). Just don't expect to easily pass that Corvette that's cruising along at 95, instead just worry about getting out from behind that damned gravel truck that's in the slow lane... As for hills, the car handles well but not like other cars with more power.

    The bottom line I'm getting at folks is that if you're interested in a Scion, it's probably because your needs will be met by it. If you don't like certain things about the car, that's fine! Buy a car that will give you what you want. It's a big decision, buying a car, and it's something you'll have for years to come, so make a well informed decision before you shell out that much money and time.

    PS: Yes, I too thought the xB was flat-out ugly, but you see it enough and it grows a little on you. I still love my xA more though :D
     

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