In this overview, we examine Scion's history as a maker of cars like the xA, xB, tC and xD.
Scion is one of the youngest brands on the market -- which seems appropriate given that it's targeted at a very youthful demographic. Scion has quickly found a home in the hearts of buyers seeking its winning blend of value and style. The frosting on this cake is that Scion is part of the Toyota family, offering all the quality and reliability you'd expect from a marque with its parentage.
When Toyota realized early in the 21st century that it was losing market share in the younger demographic due to a stodgy image, the company took a chance and decided to spin off a new brand called Scion (its name means "descendant" or "heir to"). The first Scions, the xA and xB models, were introduced for the 2004 model year. These edgy little cruisers were first available only in the California market; after a staggered rollout, Scion vehicles became available nationwide.
Both the xA and xB were immediate hits, snapped up by young (or young at heart) buyers looking for high-quality, fun and affordable wheels. The boxy yet funky styling of the Scions provided a lot of passenger and cargo room for the cars' small footprints, making them ideal choices for campus and urban residents alike. They also coddled the youth market with flashy sound systems; Scion's stereos are among the best in the economy-car segment.
The following year, the Scion brood grew to include the tC. This compact but sporty coupe offered more performance relative to its older siblings, thanks largely to a more powerful engine. The xA has since been replaced by the xD, which carries on the quirky and customizable spirit of its predecessor. By 2012, Scion had introduced the tiny iQ city car and the sporty FR-S sport coupe.
In the interest of keeping things simple for buyers, Scions typically come in only one trim level. However, buyers have the option of customizing their rides with a host of dealership-provided accessories, such as a subwoofer, body kits and custom exhausts. Scion also offers no-haggle pricing wherein buyers pay the list (window sticker) price, thus streamlining the negotiation process.
So far, a simple and well-equipped model lineup, no-haggle pricing and a variety of dealer-added options have combined to make the Scion brand popular with American consumers. The economy car segment isn't typically the first place you'd look for stylish, fun-to-drive vehicles, but Scion has changed all that by offering cars rich with a seductive exuberance that belies their modest pricing.