Yaris 5-dr or Scion xD?

Discussion in 'Toyota' started by Colin Dunn, May 22, 2009.

  1. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Member

    I looked at some Toyotas today - a base Matrix and a Yaris 5-dr hatch.

    The Yaris offers better fuel economy despite being automatic only (29/35).
    The Matrix offers more cargo capacity but at a significant hit to FE (25/31). A stick would do better, but the dealer in town doesn't have any in stock.

    Then as I was leaving, I saw a Scion xD. I hadn't seriously considered Scion before because their fuel economy has been declining since their product line was introduced. But an xD looks like it is mid-way between a Yaris and a Matrix, including fuel economy (27/33). And I could get a 5-dr. hatch with a stick (unlike the Toyota product).

    I also like that Scion doesn't charge $1,500 extra for power windows and locks. Toyota really gouges buyers with extra-cost options on their lower-end cars.

    So the question is:

    Will my overall economy be better with an automatic Yaris or a manual Scion xD? Most of my driving is in the city, though not always stop-and-go.

    The Scion is likely more practical because it is slightly larger than a Yaris (more room / cargo capacity) and almost as fuel-efficient by EPA estimates, though I really want to exceed 30MPG in the city.

    Looks from mileage logs here that even an automatic Yaris trounces the xD for MPG - but I'm not sure if that's because of the drivers or the cars.

    Any thoughts?
  2. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    Only you can answer this question.

    From what I've seen on this site; especially in city driving; if you're willing to do a lot of work a MT will always destroy an AT.

    If you're not willing to do a lot of work the xD will probably still come close or even pass the Yaris if you're a safe, conservative driver.

    When it comes to a decision like this, IMO it comes down to what you want. Get the vehicle you like best and you'll be the happiest. I'm going to guess you like the xD more and then you should get it.

    I personally would not be willing to do the extreme work a MT demands in heavy city driving and would probably opt for a hybrid or AT depending on finances.

    If you like all the vehicles the same, I'd get the vehicle with the lowest up front cost as there really isn't a lot to give between your choices.

    The major reason we bought our Yaris is because we wanted the lowest TCO. I would have bought a MT; due to mostly hwy driving; but we got an AT to make the car more drivable to my wife. We were also considering cars like the Prius, FIT and Civic, but ergonomics and most importantly cost, always led us back to the Yaris.

    I personally don't love the Yaris, but I do love it's fuel economy and low maintenance cost thus far.
  3. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 Well-Known Member

    See if the dealer will let you take them both for an extended test drive. Maybe 24 hours? Then you could drive all you want, see how each car feels, get a quick assessment of FE, etc.

    My choice would be the xD simply for the MT. MT's open up additional doors for hypermiling.
  4. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Member

    I'm going to do a brief test drive of an xD over my lunch hour today.

    The crux of the issue is how much of a difference there is between AT and MT for fuel economy. It usually makes about a 1-MPG difference in the EPA ratings.

    I usually drive with basic hypermiling techniques (keep RPMs around 2,250, light acceleration, coast to minimize braking, etc.), but I don't FAS or shut off the A/C (Texas summers are just too brutal to go without A/C).

    Am I gaining much, especially for city MPG, with MT? Enough to offset the 2-MPG difference in the EPA estimates between an xD and a Yaris 5-door?
  5. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    IF you FAS, and really work it, expect 25 to 50% extra for MT over AT in city. (Check Fit's in the logs, for example).

    Since you don't FAS, I'd put it at 10 to 20% in favor of MT, just by controlling the gear selection in accelerations, plus the ease of gliding and re-engaging at speed.

    Steady state highway, the EPA #'s are pretty good, but lower than one can achieve, in other words, the cars would be about equal.
  6. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    I have not checked lately, but contrary to your post, in my area a 5-door 5-speed manual Yaris is not available. When I plug in my zip on the Toyota site, a 5-spd/door is not an available configuration.

    Just say no to center mounted gauges.
  7. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    5dr 5mt yaris is not available, agreed. But the xD has a 5 dr 5mt option.
  8. hhooks

    hhooks Well-Known Member

    A MT offers a much greater potential for ultra-high FE, IMO. You have much better control over what gear you are in, and even the RPM's, I think.
  9. Daox

    Daox Well-Known Member

    Go with the manual xD. When I drive my Matrix (vs the wife) in summer I've hit high 40s with pulse and glide with engine on coasting. I don't think you would ever see that with the auto Yaris.
  10. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    Go with the manual XD. Shift sooner and you'll be on par with most yaris' at lower speeds( up to about 40mph)
  11. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Member

    There is no 5-door Yaris with a 5-speed MT, which is a tremendous disappointment to me as that was the car I really wanted. I guess Toyota didn't want to cannibalize xD sales, and left the 5-door hatch / 5-speed MT combination to Scion.

    I'm leaning toward the MT Scion over the Yaris unless my test drive reveals serious disappointments. I wound up missing my test drive appointment at lunchtime today and will try again right after work.

    Toyota is obnoxious about selling Corolla / Matrix / Yaris stripped-down (not even power windows/locks, a tach, or a rear window wiper in the base model!) and then charging a hefty premium to add features back ($1,500 MSRP). At least the Scion comes with all the stuff I want (a decent stereo, power windows/locks, tach, rear wiper, etc.) and comes in about $1K less (MSRP) than a comparable Yaris. The current Yaris incentives could make up for that price difference, but there may not be a car with the configuration I want on the lot.
  12. The Fridge

    The Fridge Well-Known Member

    Manual transmission is far better for hypermiling.
    There's no way I could be getting the mpg's I've been getting lately with an automatic.
    My current tank is 48MPG:Banane42:
  13. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Member

    I went for the Scion xD with 5MT and take delivery of the car next Tuesday. So I got my wish for a 5-door hatch with a stick, something that seems to be getting more and more rare with each passing year. There were lots of manual hatches on the roads in the 1980s, before the gas-guzzling SUV craze set in...

    Hopefully in 7-10 years' time, my next car will be a hybrid or an electric. I'd really hoped to abandon traditional gasoline engines by now, but I couldn't quite swing $25K for a Prius this time.

    More in a couple of weeks once I get an idea of the real-world FE on this car. A lot of people are reporting getting mid- to high 30s in the xD with a mix of city/highway driving and little special effort.
  14. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Member

    One more thing I'm wondering about...

    Over at fueleconomy.gov, the Scion xD gets a much worse "air pollution score" than a Yaris or Corolla, even though it has a similar engine.

    Any ideas why, or how to reduce air pollution emitted by the Scion? And can I barely expect to pass emission tests because of the higher pollution emissions?

    Or maybe the EPA just got bad samples to use for their tests?
  15. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    One thing to keep in mind with a new car(green engine). You will need to put a few thousand miles on the car before you will see the it's FE capabilities. Do not be discouraged if you have poor economy on the first few tanks.
  16. te00294

    te00294 Member

    Congratulations on the xD. I've had my 5-spd since March 2008, and I've put 34K on in. I didn't learn about hypermiling until July, but since then I've raised my average mpg from 34 to 40. Almost all highway travel.

    Good luck with it!

  17. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Member

    My first tank was 31.05 MPG (295 miles with 9.5 gallons of gas). Most of it was city driving, though about 80 miles out of that tank was on the highway.

    Hopefully the economy will improve a little more as the engine breaks in. So far on the second tank, it looks like I'm on track to about match the MPG from the first tank, though there's been less highway travel on this tank.

    I do think my highway MPG may be somewhat limited by the gearing. The engine turns around 3,000 RPM at 65-70MPH. That's better than my old car, which turned 3,750 RPM at those speeds - but I haven't had a long highway trip yet to see what the highway MPG potential is. But I remember reading some posts here about Toyota Camrys having an overdrive that allowed 70MPH at about 2,500 RPM.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  18. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    What tire psi are you running? What average trip length on these city drives?

    Low psi and short trips are killers. Try FAS at the longest of your stoplights. If you like it, gradually FAS at shorter stops down to as little as 7 seconds.

    I assume you are DWB? Focus on conserving momentum: slow down earlier traffic permitting, and keep rolling through the lights on green.

    You will significantly improve results with practice. To really hit the high numbers requires FAS P&G IMHO.
  19. te00294

    te00294 Member

    I agree with ksstathead. My psi is at 50 now. The ride is a bit bumpier, but the handling is tighter.

    The stuff that seems to work best for me with all my highway driving is DWB, NICE-on coasting, even some ICE-off coasting, and FAS when I get into the city. There are a few traffic lights where I work that can last a solid 3 minutes (commuter train crossing). I've been trying pulse-and-glide, but I-78 in NJ is basically rolling hills from start to finish.

    Anyway, enjoy the xD. I found it hard to beat for $15,150.

  20. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    Agreed. The MT xD should do better than the AT Yaris for mileage.

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