Why Buy a Scion?Buying Guides Advice Reviews
Produced by Toyota, the world's current leading automobile manufacturer, Scion was born in 2002 from the automaker's desire to target younger buyers in the North American market. The name, Scion, is derived from an old French world with German origins and means "descendant" or "heir." The name implies that both the Scion cars and the vehicles' owners are descendants of the same Toyota family. The brand made its debut in the marketplace promising short product life cycles and value partly based on low auto dealer margins. The following timeline illustrates how the Scion has evolved over the years.
1) 1999 - Project Genesis
In 1999, Toyota began an effort to attract more young buyers in the United States to Toyota vehicles. The project, entitled Project Genesis, aimed to create a "marque within a marque" and would focus on advertising Toyota-produced compacts and coupes to younger buyers. Introduction of the Toyota Echo, late generations of the MR-2, and the Toyota Celica were marketed as part of the targeted effort; however, these vehicles were discontinued after being deemed unsuccessful. After what Toyota considered to be an initial failure, the automaker launched Project Exodus, under which Toyota hired a Los Angeles digital design company to a new brand, logo, and website. Eventually, Project Exodus became known as Scion.
2) 2002 - Scion is Introduced
The new Scion made its debut in March 2002 at the New York Auto Show. The brand featured two concept cars: the bbX, which was later sold as the xB, and the ccX, which became the tC. In January of 2003, xA and xB were unveiled at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. These two models were made available at only 105 California dealerships on the date of their June launch later that year.
3) 2004 - Introduction of the tC Sport Coupe
Scion's tC sport compact couple was introduced to the United States market in June of 2004. Toyota hoped to appeal to Millennials by giving the tC many standard features with numerous options as well. Standard equipment included keyless entry, mirror mounted turn signals, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, panoramic moonroof, air conditioning, CD player, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Sharing its chassis with the Avensis, the vehicle's first generation used a MacPherson strut front and double wishbone rear suspension. In 2007, the tC received only mild revisions to its grille and head and taillights. A Spect model, which included fewer of the standard features, was offered and eventually became Scion's bestseller until the Spec was discontinued for 2009.
4) 2007 - xD Replaces the xA
Toyota debuted the xD in 2007 at the Chicago Auto Show as a replacement for the xA. A five-door hathcback sub-compact, the xD was well-equipped with standard features that included power locks, power windows, tire pressure monitoring system, seat mounted airbags, Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, and curtain airbags.
5) 2009- xD Named Most Reliable New Automobile
In 2009, the Scion xD was named by Consumer Reports as the Most Reliable New Automobile. The xD's distinct 1930s-inspired styling was a major draw for young drivers in addition to the sleek, futuristic appearance of the interior. A 1.8-L 128 hp engine gave the xD a more substantial feel on the road when compared to other small economy cars.
6) 2010 - Scion Launched in Canada
After debuting its new Scion models at the Montreal International Auto Show in 2009, Toyota Canada Inc. launched the tC, xD, and xB models at 45 Canadian dealerships in September 2010. Launch cities included Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver; other cities were later added.
7) 2011 - Scion iQ is Launched
Based on the Toyota iQ, was initially unveiled as a concept car at the New York Auto Show in 2009. The vehicle featured a four cylinder engine, 18 inch wheels with widened wheel arches and 11 airbags. The production version of the iQ became available in 2011.
8) 2012 - Scion FR-S is Launched
Exclusive to the U.S. and Canada, the Scion FR-S received its name from its platform, a front-engine, rear-wheel drive, sport. The FR-S is a derivative of the Toyota 86 and was introduced with no trim levels. For Scion's 10th anniversary in 2013, the vehicle was offered in a limited edition Ignition Silver paint on only 2,500 vehicles.
Today, Scion attempts to regain the level of consumer excitement the vehicles received in years past. As more manufacturers have introduced vehicles to flood the compact and sub-compact categories, competition has stiffened, and Scion's ability has become increasingly challenged in its ability to distinguish itself.