2012 Scion xD

2012 Scion xD gets a price increase but Bluetooth, HD Radio now standard

Toyota USA has announced a price increase for the 2012 Scion xD that arrives in dealers in October but you have to really dig deep into the press release to find the news.

Toyota used the benign headline: Scion Announces Pricing for 2012 xD with Standard Bluetooth® and HD Radio™ Technology. It never used the phrase Toyota announces price increase for 2012 Scion xD for what would be the model's second price increase in 2011.

In March 2011, Scion raised the price of the 2011 xD a relatively minor $65 to $15,910 for the four-speed automatic and $65 to $15,110 for the five-speed manual. The 2012 xD will carry a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $15,345 (an increase of $235) and $16,145 (an increase of $235) for the five-speed manual and the four-speed automatic transmissions respectively. MSRPs do not include a delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee of $730.

What's probably most disturbing about the news is Scion calls its xD "iconic" and that just gives a bad name to truly iconic cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger. Having a jelly-bean shape and four-speed automatic slush box do not make a vehicle iconic except maybe in Eastern Bloc countries.

The move to Bluetooth is smart on Toyota's part because it is targeting a more technologically savvy consumer with its Scion line. Not having Bluetooth could be a deal breaker for a vehicle like the 2012 Scion xD when it is put head to head against vehicles like the Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Fiesta, which both match or beat the 2012 xD's price of $16,145 (because the automatic is still the predominant choice of the American public).

Streaming audio allows compatible phone or personal media devices to pair with the audio system and listen to music through the vehicles sound system. The audio system also features an organic electroluminescent (OEL) screen with a personalized welcome screen, iPod®/USB connectivity, Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR), and a subwoofer RCA output. The USB port and universal auxiliary (AUX) port that are located on the center console allow users to listen to their portable music collection through the xD’s six Pioneer speakers.

Connectivity is achieved by simply plugging the portable music player, including iPod® and iPhone®, into the USB or AUX port. The head unit’s screen displays track number, track name and artist information from select USB units. The audio system provides outstanding sound quality through the car’s stereo system and constant power to select iPods®. Music is controlled through the head unit and the steering wheel audio control buttons for radio, CD and certain USB devices. iPod® users can also use an alphabetical speed search to find a specific artist or album.

The ASR function restores a wide, deep and rich quality to MP3/WMA/AAC sound. Through the subwoofer RCA output, xD owners can add an external amp to drive one or more subwoofers. For easy operation, the system’s multi selector allows for easy control of the head unit.

Unique to the standard Pioneer audio system is the customizable welcome screen that also lets users to create a personal message of up to 16 characters. Not for nothing, but only 16 characters? They couldn't come up with some more characters? After all how much validation can a Scion owner get when the xD can only say things like "Have a Nice Day" at 15 characters or "It Could B Worse" at 16 characters (because using the actual word "Be" puts you over the character limit).

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