2008 Scion xB Long-Term Road Test

2008 Scion xB: Where's My MPGs?

July 07, 2008

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I know it's barely been a month since the last fuel economy update for our long-term 2008 Scion xB -- but with California gas prices having increased by about 34 cents during June alone, MPGs were on my mind as I puttered around in the xB this weekend. While our lifetime average is holding steady at about 23.5 mpg, I recorded a meager 20.75 mpg when I filled up this morning. Remarkably, aside from one rogue 32 mpg tank way back in October, we've never gotten over 30 mpg in the xB. And it's not like we haven't tried -- Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds racked up 261 miles at an average speed of 70 mph en route to Arizona, and he only saw an even 28 mpg (which is exactly what the EPA predicts).

Granted, the xB can haul a lot of stuff -- those 69.9 cubic feet of cargo volume make our 23.5 mpg average easier to swallow. But it's still a little disappointing that this four-cylinder econowagon can't do better on gas. The primary culprit is Toyota's torquey 2.4-liter four; I bet a lot of xB owners would gladly sacrifice some of that underhood punch for a few extra MPGs. Alternatively, Toyota could produce its own version of Mini's turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger for best-of-both-worlds performance, though that probably wouldn't come cheap.

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 20,425 miles

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