Seating: Four in reasonable comfort, five maximum
Fuel mileage: 29 mpg overall with manual transmission, according to new EPA testing method
Power: 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission
The xD's 128-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine does a fine job of moving the xD. This is no pocket-rocket, but it's plenty fast enough to keep up. The four-speed automatic, likewise, does a decent job and shifts smoothly.
That engine is awfully noisy though. In steady driving, it provides a constant harsh tone. It sounds even harsher, of course, under hard acceleration.
When equipped with the four-speed automatic transmission, a touchy gas pedal presents another major annoyance. Step gently on the gas and the car tends to wait a bit until the engine revs build before it launches itself forward in sudden leap. Stop-and-go traffic becomes a head-tossing lurch-fest.
Add in a jouncy highway ride and the xD is a car you just can't wait to park. Fortunately, with a car this small, parking's a breeze.
The xD's not bad. But small cars have come a long way. Economy cars that feel and sound like economy cars are definitely not cool anymore. Check out the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa before jumping into the xD.