Word Has It
The love-it-or-hate-it boxy styling of the four-door xB wagon stands out in a city full of vehicles and makes for one of the roomiest cabins available in the compact-car segment. Powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder gas engine, the front-wheel drive wagon is best suited to urban jaunts thanks to its power steering and a tight turning radius, which makes navigating parking lots, narrow alleys and parallel parking easy. Couple these features with the xB’s roomy, yet hard, rear seats and headroom, and it’s no stretch to see why some cities have enlisted the xB into taxi service. However its 22 city/28 hwy fuel economy, which was competitive five years ago, is considered mediocre today.
The latest iteration of the xB, introduced in 2008, features a rear seat that actually fits six footers, but still comes with the laundry list of upgrades and available accessories that have become a Scion hallmark. And interior cargo room totals a competitive 70 cubic feet with the rear seats down.
- Roomy cabin and compact exterior make it good for city driving
- Five-speed manual transmission maximizes 158-hp engine
- Easy to customize with numerous optional equipment available
- Large rear hatch/low floor height make for easy cargo loading
- Lots of airbags, traction control and stability control are standard
- Ride comfort and performance handling leave long-distance drivers wanting
- Centrally mounted primary gauges on dash are hard to read
- Antiquated automatic transmission in today’s world of 6-plus speed options
- More fun to sit in than to drive
- Optional high-performance Toyota TRD suspension makes for choppy ride
The original “box car” is still a solid go-to choice for buyers looking for the cargo capacity of a wagon in a budget-priced vehicle ($17,555 base model, 5-speed manual). They’ll find that the Scion xB suits their practical needs, assuming they can fall in love with the xB’s polarizing boxy style and instrument cluster on the dash.
The Car Connection
Kelley Blue Book