Scion xD
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The xD offers a bridge between the pint-sized iQ and the larger xB; small updates keep the xD current, but not exactly fresh compared to new arrivals.

Standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder powerplant puts out 128 horsepower; stick with the manual gearbox (instead of the optional automatic) and impress your buddies with your clutch and shifting skills.

With such a small difference in price between the small xD and its larger cubic sibling, the main reason to choose the former would be its tidier shape and thriftier engines. Size-wise, the xD is more than a foot shorter overall than its more grown-up xB sibling and gets the job done with an engine of more modest output — a 128-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder — coupled to either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. Inside, there’s the usual dash layout although the heating and ventilation controls are slotted in pods along the lower portion of the dash, as if they were installed after the fact. The 60/40 split-folding rear seat can be lowered flat, or can be adjusted forward or back by up to six inches, depending on leg- and knee-room needs. The seat will also recline to one of five different positions. As with the rest of the Scion fleet, the xD is sold with Scion’s “mono-spec” philosophy: one set price gets you one very well equipped car that includes air/tilt/cruise/keyless entry/power windows, locks and mirrors/first-aid kit. Replacing the old and dusty Pioneer audio system is a new 6.1-inch touchscreen display. Just about all that’s left for the purchaser to do is pick a color — which can now be two-tone for an additional $500 — and add any special gear from a meager list of options, some of which include a navigation system, alloy wheels, carbon-fiber engine cover, premium BeSpoke audio package, fancier shift knob and illumination for the cup holders. And don’t forget the two free 5,000- and 10,000-mile maintenance checks offered with every Scion product.