2008 Nissan Versa vs Scion xD?



I’m car shopping, and it’s been a long process and I think I’ve come down to a decision between these two new vehicles: the 2008 Nissan Versa S hatchback and the 2008 Scion xD. Does anyone have any advice, suggestions, etc. about the Nissan Versa or the Scion xD? Which is a better choice?

In looking for cars, I want a 4-door hatchback (good cargo space a desire), manual transmission, and good fuel economy. I had in my list of cars to compare the 2008: Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, Scion xB, Honda Fit, and Nissan Versa. I liked the drive and I felt I had more space in the Scion over the Matrix, so that eliminated the Matrix, and the Vibe by association (since I found out the two vehicles are essentially the same). I tried the Nissan Versa and loved it so much. My concerns with the Versa are possible blind spots in the rear, and I was wondering about the styrofoam material that seemed to compose the structure that covered the spare tire. I then thought I’d try the Fit, since I found out that it has the dashboard of my dreams (I love the colors, I could just look at a Honda’s dashboard all day and night). I didn’t much care for the drive and ride in the Fit. I know that, at least with the Scion, I saw online that you can get all the LCD lights to be custom designed afterward, and there’s even step by step instructions on how to do it yourself, but I hardly trust myself with something like that, and that would probably void any warranty I’d imagine.

Also for me to consider is that I live in Northern Vermont, so being able to handle steep dirt roads and snow and ice are what the vehicle will have to go through. I currently drive a 2WD '94 Subaru Legacy Wagon with some cheap all-season tires, so it’s not like I’m used to anything amazing–if anything, my current car is a hazard in the winter.

I hope I can receive some advice about the cars I’m interested in!



Can you afford a RAV4…drove one for years in Northern Vt and never needed snow tires.


Nissan Versa and the Scion (I believe you mean the xB?)are very different vehicles. The Scion is a very reliable, ultra-utilitarian box and is extremely popular in my area (near the mountains) with campers, mountain bikers, etc. It has a lot of inside room, and you can store several bike upright in it. In this respect it is similar to the Honda Element, also a very popular machine with the outdoors set.

The Versa gets high compliments for easy handling, versatile cargo space, and styling. However, it is a new and unproven vehicle, and Nissans have not been as reliable as in the past.

If I lived in Vermont, I would buy an AWD mid size vehicle, such as the Honda CRV, Toyota RAV 4, or Subaru Forester. Having spent some winters in this area, I would always be sure of getting to my favorite ski hill with one of these. I would avoid the Versa, since it is an unknown quantitiy at this time. The Scion is a great vehicle, especially if you need all that interior space, as is the Honda Element. If you don’t need 4 wheel drive, chose between these two!


The Scion xD is new for '08. I actually didn’t know about it until I went in to test-drive the Matrix and then I saw it, and it looks pretty much like the Matrix (the 2008 xD isn’t boxy like its predecessors). Actually, most of the hatchbacks I’ve been looking at look almost the same on the outside…


Buy the one you like more. The Scion may be more reliable but Versa is just too new of a design to tell.

The traction in all honesty will be no better than a 94 Subaru (2wd) since factory all-season tires typically are not wonderful in the winter conditions. Whatever you buy I would also seriously consider the purchase of 4 winter tires/rims(check tirerack.com probably $600+).


It’s interesting you felt that you had more room in the Scion xd, on paper the Matrix is longer, wider, taller and has more cubic feet of storage than the other models. The Matrix also has a $1,000 dollar rebate until October 31. I’ve been shopping the same models, but my wife is not in agreement about purchasing a new car. Good luck.


…a RAV4…drove one for years in Northern Vt and never needed snow tires.

Remember that 4WD and AWD help you get going and keep going in snow and ice. They Don’t help you stop or stay on the road. In short they can be counted on to get you out of the ditch you slide into.


I’ve looked at the xD and test driven the Versa. I prefer the xD, but it’s purely a matter of taste. The xD seemed to have a little less of an econobox feel. Both are good choices.