Scion Make Overview
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Ah, youth. It is a powerful market, catered to by the film industry, fashion world, TV producers, and of course automakers. Dismayed that its average buyer was 48 years old, Toyota wanted to bring in a younger, hipper Gen Y crowd, to build brand loyalty over the years. To do this, it created the U.S.-based Scion division. Scion's mission is to produce affordable compact entry-level cars that appeal to younger buyers with attention-grabbers such as top fuel economy, copious customizable accessories and a hassle-free, non-negotiable Pure Price sticker concept.
The first Scions debuted at the LA Auto Show in 2003. Both the Scion xA 5-door hatch and xB 5-door wagon had a limited release and were rebadged Japanese cars. Not until they were joined by the first true Scion model, the tC 2-door hatch, in 2004 did the brand go nationwide. The xB is the most popular of the Scions, accounting for 40% of sales, and is the most recognizable, with its boxy, milk-truck look. Though unique at the time, this layout was perfect for hauling cargo or college buddies. The xA featured more traditional rounded lines. Both started out with a 1.5-liter, 108-hp I4 engine. The sportier tC hatch is powered by a 2.4-liter DOHC I4 that gets 161-hp.
What makes Scion notable and appealing to younger buyers is the array of aftermarket options. With a list of 40 accessories both inside and out, drivers can customize their car to their lifestyle. A highly sought after subset of the Scions are the limited edition Release Series, which Toyota offers in small numbers usually as part of a marketing campaign.
Since its debut, the subcompact Scions have inherited a few competitors from the Honda Fit and Chevy Caliber, and 2008 will see its first refresh of the line. In 2008, the xA is replaced by the xD, which carries a longer wheelbase and gets a more powerful 1.8-liter, 128-hp I4 engine. The tC remains the same, but the xB undergoes some restyling. Still boldly square, more cargo space has been added, edges softened, split-folding rear seats included, and it now shares the 2.4-liter engine with the tC, though it only hits 158-hp. As further candy to tempt Gen Y buyers, both the xB and xD will come standard with iPod ports.