January 05, 2009
Our giant jogging stroller spent much of my holiday break in the back of the xB, partly because we needed it for various outings and partly because I was too lazy to take it out. I was impressed by how well the stroller fit in the 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space that's available with the rear seats up. Just had to take the front wheel off (which we have to do with most of the cars we put it in) and slide it into the nice, tall space. It tucked right in there with no groaning, angling or cursing necessary. As you can probably see, there wasn't a millimeter to spare, but the rear hatch didn't crunch it at all. And we were able to store plenty of additional cargo in the nooks and crannies in and around the stroller when necessary. Trips to the grocery store and carrying unexpected holiday gifts weren't a problem, as long as they weren't very large or long. Overall, a very convenient companion for our family of three.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 31,833 miles
February 25, 2008
The Scion xB is, like the Kia Rondo, one of the long-termers that, although it doesn't give me heart flutters when I drive it, is nonetheless a nice car to take. The xB is peppy, and both easy to park and easy to drive in city traffic, thanks to its subcompact dimensions. Yet like the others of its ilk (e.g. Honda Element, Pontiac Vibe, Chevy HHR), it offers a large, comfortable cabin. A few other features endear it to me as well...
Like other folks with parking garage cards, an iPod and a cell phone, I appreciate storage cubbies. And the xB's got a couple that are perfectly shaped and located for those items, as shown in the pics. The compartment on the top left of the dash is ideal for my wallet -- being in my line of site I don't forget to grab it as I exit the car, unlike if I stow it in the door pocket or console box. Thumbs-up also for the flip-down driver's armrest and the back seats that take but a few seconds to flip down (provided the front seats are up far enough that you don't need to remove the headrests). The latter feature is unlike some others that require you to also flip the bottom cushion forward before flipping the backrests down.
What don't I like? The two-step procedure for shutting off the stereo: there's no "off" button on the face plate -- you have to press the "mode" button and then "audio off" on the touch screen. And the styling, which is similar but somewhat bloated compared to the first xB, doesn't strike me as being as being cool as the original.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 13,469 miles.
February 20, 2008
I've been coveting a red wool rug at Pier 1 for the past six weeks, patiently waiting for the floral beauty to go on sale.
On Sunday, after a month of watching me stalk the store, my husband had enough.
"Just buy the thing already, wouldja?" he begged. "Buy it now, today, while you have a car big enough to haul the rug, you, and your crazy obsessions home at the same time."
Just the words of encouragement I needed... In the Scion xB I raced to the store and forced the weary sales woman to remove the 6 x 9-foot area rug from the overhead display. (Of course I had waited so long, all that was left was the display model).
I easily dropped the xB's rear seat backs and loaded the rug into the car.
A pefect fit. Both in the Scion, and in my home office.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 13,233 miles
January 22, 2008
Here's a shot of the xB's cargo area. And below is a list of everything I put in it this weekend...
Three mountain bikes. Big ones. Twenty-nine inch wheels and such. Loaded them at the same time, but couldn't stand them up as the xB's cargo area isn't tall enough -- even with the front wheels removed. Few full-size SUVs can accommodate a load this tall so it's not surprising or disappointing. It's kinda ugly when they're stacked up with padding between them, but they do fit. Probably could have rammed another one in there if I was determined.
Then the wife and I went shopping for a bathroom remodel we're starting. The Scion swallowed two 15x18x12-inch sinks, two 20x26x6-inch mirror/medicine cabinets, two sizeable light fixtures and two towel racks. There was still enough room to fit a toilet and third passenger (no relation).
I'm impressed. Much as I don't like the goofy-box styling of this kind of car, I can't argue with its utility. The best part is that the xB provides this much utility without the unruly driving character of many SUVs which offer similar usable space. Minivans are really the only vehicles which can match the xB's usable space/decent-to-drive ratio. But I'm guessing there's a reason the kids don't swarm to the Chrysler Town and Country like the do the xB.
Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 12,526 miles
November 26, 2007
I used our 2008 Scion xB last week for the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend. This meant driving to the in-laws' house with my wife, a four-month-old baby in a reverse-facing carseat and a significant amount of stuff for 600 miles roundtrip.
By stuff, I mean two suitcases, the baby's Pack 'n Play play-yard, two duffel bags, a cooler, a garment bag, a computer laptop bag, a tennis racket, a backpack, an SLR camera bag, three tote bags, two cake holders, two pillows and other accoutrement.
The xB managed the load, though I did have to pack everything pretty tight... I don't like blocking the view through the rearview mirror, so I didn't fully utilize the 21.7 cubic feet of luggage space. Total interior volume is listed at 122.5 cubic feet.
I like the idea of being space efficient, but having something a bit bigger would have been nice. For comparison, a Toyota RAV4 has 36.4 cubic feet of luggage space and 144.6 cubic feet of interior volume.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 10,096 miles
September 10, 2007
Here's the thing: you can't judge a book by its cover and you can't judge a 2008 Scion xB by its outside dimensions.
A few weeks ago I bought a twelve-foot kayak at a yard sale for seventy-five bucks. I drove it home in my Honda Fit. The next day I borrowed our 2007Chevrolet Silverado LT thinking it would be perfect for hauling the kayak to the beach... Well, a twelve-foot kayak in a six-foot bed leaves six feet of kayak ready to impale cars behind me. But in the Fit and the Scion there were only about two feet hanging out. Not only that but my two sons sat in the rear seat and we all took a turn on the water.
Philip Reed, Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor, 6,400 miles