2009 Scion xB Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Scion xB Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Scion xB Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 158 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Scion xB

  • The 2009 Scion xB is a capable compact people mover and cargo-hauler that packs a decent underhood punch. Fuel economy is lackluster, however, and the unconventional styling isn't for everyone.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Peppy four-cylinder engine, roomy interior, funky styling, numerous available add-ons.

  • Cons

    Distracting center-mounted gauges, so-so fuel economy, steering wheel needs telescope function, plasticky interior.

  • What's New for 2009

    After a full redesign last year, the Scion xB is unchanged for 2009.

Full 2009 Scion xB Review

What's New for 2009

After a full redesign last year, the Scion xB is unchanged for 2009.


At its core, the 2009 Scion xB is an eminently practical compact wagon. With adequate room for four adults, a cavernous cargo bay and a robust 2.4-liter engine, the xB doesn't disappoint when it comes to daily driving duties. But we suspect few people exclaim, "Oh, it's so practical!" when they spy this Scion. The xB, you see, is the vehicle that made it hip to be square.

The Scion xB is a product of parent company Toyota's strategic effort to win the hearts and minds of younger buyers. The first-generation model was a surprise hit, and Scion redesigned the xB just last year. Though not quite as right-angled as the first xB, the current model is larger in useful ways while retaining the upright angles that made its predecessor so distinctive. The 2009 Scion xB is 1 foot longer, 3 inches wider and 2 inches shorter in height than the previous model. By American standards, this makes it more of a "real car" than an undersized novelty.

Another place where the xB has grown up is in the engine bay. Thanks to a 2.4-liter, 158-horsepower four-cylinder engine, the xB moves out smartly from a stop or around town. But shoppers expecting high fuel economy will likely be disappointed, the culprits being the larger engine size, four-speed automatic transmission (some competing models offer five-speeds) and, at highway speeds, all the aerodynamic efficiency of a toaster (albeit a stylish Michael Graves one from Target).

There are a few disappointments on the inside as well. Ergonomics leave something to be desired, and many of the interior plastics seem a bit low-budget even for this class of car. However, the xB will impress you with its utility. With the rear seats folded down, an SUV-like 70 cubic feet of cargo volume is available; flip the seats up and there's enough room in back for a couple of average-sized adults.

On the whole, the 2009 xB comes recommended. It's affordable, stylish and roomy, and it can be customized easily through Scion's dealer-sourced accessories. But if the xB has a few too many "rough edges" for your liking, you might also consider the Honda Element or more fuel-efficient (but less roomy) hatchbacks like the Mazda 3 or the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix twins.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Scion xB compact wagon is available in only one trim level. Standard features include 16-inch steel wheels with a choice of three covers, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel and a six-speaker Pioneer CD stereo. Audiophiles will appreciate the standard dedicated iPod jack, which allows one to control iPod playback through the head unit controls.

One of Scion's trademarks is dealer-installed customization options, and the xB has plenty. Buyers can add a rear spoiler, 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels, faux carbon-fiber interior trim and interior mood lighting in a choice of four colors. The optional premium audio system allows images and video to be downloaded onto the head unit display. Other options include a touchscreen navigation system, TRD performance parts, satellite radio and a rear DVD entertainment system with LCD screens mounted on the back of the front headrests.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Scion xB is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that makes 158 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a four-speed automatic with automanual control is optional. In performance testing, an automatic-equipped xB hustled from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds.

Given the xB's compact dimensions and four-cylinder power, fuel economy is underwhelming, clocking in at 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway, or 24 mpg combined.


The 2009 Scion xB comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Unlike its Scion xD sibling, however, the xB does not have active front head restraints.

Interior Design and Special Features

We've never been pleased with centrally located gauges, and the xB's haven't changed our mind. At least the speedometer is an easily read digital display, although monitoring the diminutive tachometer requires far too much of the driver's attention. Other than the upgraded stereo's uniformly tiny buttons, most controls are straightforward, though some are a stretch for tall drivers. The steering wheel is nicely shaped but rests at a peculiar buslike angle and lacks a telescope function.

The xB's upright posture allows for a roomy cabin with pleasing passenger accommodations front and back. Boasting 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 70 cubic feet with those seats folded down (only 3 cubes smaller than the Toyota RAV4), the xB is a legitimate fair-weather alternative to compact SUVs.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Scion xB feels fairly stable at highway speeds, although its slab-sided styling makes it vulnerable to crosswinds. Thanks to a relatively high center of gravity, the xB rolls significantly during cornering; low-speed maneuvers, however, feel quick and confident. Over rough surfaces, the suspension transmits ample road noise and impact shocks into the cabin. All in all, though, Scion's youthful target demographic should be pleased with the xB's driving demeanor.

Read our Scion xB Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2009 xb fun even for

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Vehicle: 2009 Scion xB 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car for my daughter in Aug. of 08 after she moved to Colorado in '12 and needed a AWD I took it off her hands, since I'd need a car in a year or so. I love driving it. Very quick off the line and @4000 the VVT kicks in and it's on. For a 2.4 L. 4 cyl wagon it's a blast to drive. Toyota quality is all over this car. 83,000 + and no maintenance issues. One recall for coil packs R&R was it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

For me, it's perfect

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Scion xB 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Bought it off showroom floor 5 years ago and it has never given me even the tinyest problem. It averages 25 mpg in town and 32 on the hwy. I'm an old guy and performance is no longer nearly as important as ergonomics. It is the easiest car I have seen to get in and out of. The ride could be a tad smoother, but it is a minor enough complaint. Handling and performance are not Porsche-like, but are crisp , and are fine for what it is.


by on
Vehicle: 2009 Scion xB 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Ok so I owned a 2004 scion Xb and I bought it when it was brand new. It had 130,000 miles on it. Never had a problem not one with any part of the car. Earlier this year I got into an accident and my car was totaled. I decided to go with what I know and love. The Xb is a reliable car, great on gas, roomy. I know every one complains about the arm rest but after owning the original I'm ecstatic to have one at all. I would recommend this car to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Oldvet53's '9 scion xb

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Vehicle: 2009 Scion xB 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

i love this little car! it get's good mpg. and love's twisty back roads. i drive to the V.A. at Little Rock, Arkansas which is 100 miles away and usually spend about $20.00-$22.00 on the round trip. i am able to get 24 mpg. around town.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Something different

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Scion xB 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I've driven a Camry for the past 6 years; a nice but terribly boring car in every way. I was looking for something safe as my oldest just turned 16, and the Camry had no side airbags, ABS or traction control. The XB is fun to drive, very safe, better in the snow than the Camry, incredibly roomy, has a small turning radius, and a reasonably smooth ride. I drive 30 miles each way to work, and I'm averaging 28 MPG at about 70 MPH. On long trips I've exceeded 31 MPG. The car is a like a Tardis, small on the outside but huge on the inside. And I'm very confident in the safety features for my new driver. I like having a car you don't see everywhere.

Can't complain

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Scion xB 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

This car is super reliable and practical. That's why I bought it and it didn't disappoint there. But I just don't find it very fun to drive, which is turning out to be more important to me than I thought. Also the interior feels a bit cheap and I find the ride to be jarring over rough pavement.

Talk About The 2009 xB

2009 Scion xB Discussions See all Started By

Just got my 09 1 month ago. 10 days later the dashboard started to creak (mostly left side) whenever I hit a bump in the road. I took it in for service and the local dealer tried a fix that didn't w?...

I am looking to buy a 2008 xB but it is so late in the year I figure if I hold out maybe until May the 2009's will be out and any remaining 2008 should get a good discount? What do you say? Thanks!...

Recently the check engine and VSC indicator lights came on my 2009 Scion XB. It has 150,000 miles and automatic gearbox does not shift into 4th gear only. Anything from gear 1 to 3 goes fine. Does any...

Read more about the 2009 Scion xB

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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