Power is excellent. MPG better than EPA numbers. Numerous safety, convenience and "handling" features. Solid construction. 100% reliable. Now the Mr. Hyde side: I got the 5-speed. Unfortunately (since day one), the gear-shifter clunks when I change gears, the accelerator pedal has no feel- nor does the clutch- so I can't engage gears smoothly. And the brakes grab. Most of the remainder of the Mr. Hyde side of the xB's personality has to do with all the gauges being too far to the right. It takes too long to find and read them (I won't take my eyes off the road for more than one second at a time). Summary: Solid and reliable car at a great price, but don't get the 5-speed stick.
Reliability, power, MPG, spaciousness, safety features and, strangely enough- its looks (it's ugly in a way that I really like).
Make the 5-speed driveable! Put the important gauges directly in front of the driver! Change the single backup light that's located IN the bumper to two backup lights that AREN'T in the bumper.