2012 Scion xB Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Scion xB Wagon

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Scion xB Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 158 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Scion xB

  • The 2012 Scion xB is a compact people mover and cargo hauler that packs lots of high-tech audio features. Fuel economy is lackluster, however, and the unconventional styling isn't for everyone.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Responsive four-cylinder engine; spacious interior; numerous optional add-ons; audiophile-friendly; funky styling.

  • Cons

    So-so fuel economy; distracting center-mounted gauges; funky styling.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Scion xB gets standard HD radio and new sound systems. There's also the latest Release Series trim level, the 9.0. Highlights of this limited-edition xB include unique Hot Lava paint and faux suede upholstery.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Bring back the funk!

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Vehicle: 2011 Scion xB

Used to have a 1st generation 2006 xB in 5-speed manual. It was my favorite car I owned. I outgrew it, and wanted something a bit more mature, and sleek. I also wanted to go for a VIP-style luxury-look this time around, and you canít be VIP and shift your own gears! ;) That led me to pick up a big-body 2011 xB in automatic. The 2nd generation xB in manual is pretty silly, anyway--itís just too big for a manual. I do love the car, but Iím not in love with it. It lost itís groove, and seems as though the Kia Soul is the newer version of the 1st generation xBóit has all the funk that the new xBs lost. I still like the 2nd generation xB more than the Soul, but just saying.

4 of 19 people found this review helpful

Great space

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Vehicle: 2011 Scion xB

I wish that they would put a 6-speed Auto transmission in the XB. Because the gas milage isn't so great. After you fill it up it seems that in a couple days your down to 1/2 tank. I was used to my Camry, I would get about 200 miles when it reached half tank. I get about 20-22 mpg city. I don't know on highway yet. But I really like the car. So maybe a bigger tank and 6sp A/T. That would be really nice. And also High back front seats please. I'm 6 foot and the back of the seats hits my lower shoulder blades. Don't take my wrong their is pleanty of front room for leg and headroom. And a rearseat armrest with cup holder like the camry.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Small price for a great

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Vehicle: 2011 Scion xB

We have had the car for a week now and we just love it. Especially my wife whom I didn't think she would take a liking to it. But she did and it is hard to get her out of it. We are both retired and were looking for something to replace to the two cars we had. (sold them both on the same day over the internet). I have been driving an Infiniti for the past 10 years, and I cannot believe all the euipment that comes as standard on this car. I was surprised how quiet it is and the amount of space that you have, espercially with the back seats down. I just read that "Kiplinger" has rated the xB as on of the top ten 2011 cars for Best New Car Resale Values.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion xB

had to return my last car and was checking for 1 month every dealership i could think of. ended up at Toyota and test drove the Matrix. Came close to signing but saw the Xb close by and had to try it. i loved it, and a week later am driving it. Nice looks, fully loaded, and smooth to drive.

3 of 53 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion xB

Nice car at first then it hits you. Put just the rear windows down and the vortex sucks your eardrums out. Scion say that is normal in all cars. We all know that is not ture. Set the crusie contol on a long flat road and watch it speed up on it own. Scion claims that normal for all cat as well. Brakes have to be pumped to get it stop with out a jerk. Also listen as it down shifts and hear the clunk. Oh ya the windows rattle and the plastic comes lose as well.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

My gocart with an a/c

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion xB

Just that, it preforms like a 158 hp go cart, , I chose the White color with Gray/black interior, , the center dash does take some getting used to, but I got over that as soon as I plugged my iPod, , and my iphone in, I even use my iphone as the iPod and can get calls, the cargo area is large enough to slid my 3 wheel bike in I get 30.2 mpg in the city, , thats great, , went from a murano, with only 64 cubic feet of storage to this, , 70 cf, it's great

Gas Mileage


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

Full 2012 Scion xB Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Scion xB gets standard HD radio and new sound systems. There's also the latest Release Series trim level, the 9.0. Highlights of this limited-edition xB include unique Hot Lava paint and faux suede upholstery.


Back when the first Scion xB debuted in 2004, it had the hip and cool factor down pat. In contrast, the second, present-generation xB has lost much of that initial mojo to time, familiarity and a greater emphasis on functionality. However, there's still enough to the 2012 Scion xB to make it appealing.

Although the xB's space-efficient boxy form doesn't enjoy the same uniqueness it once did (thanks to copycats like the Kia Soul and Nissan Cube), it still has a few advantages. The xB boasts more maximum cargo space than most rivals and even some midsize SUVs. Passenger space is just as impressive, with enough head- and legroom for a quartet of tall adults. In fact, the rear accommodations are so spacious that some big city cab companies have traded their Crown Vics for xBs.

The 2012 Scion xB keeps up the tradition of offering what "the kids" (or anyone who appreciates the latest audio gizmos) want nowadays. As such, the xB comes standard with a six-speaker Pioneer sound system with an iPod interface, Bluetooth, an RCA output for additional speakers and a customizable head unit display. An upgraded system from Alpine adds a touchscreen interface and a knob that mimics an iPod's controls, while a "media expander" improves digital music quality. This year also brings the xB Release Series 9.0, whose unique features include Hot Lava paint, illuminated "Scion" badges and faux suede upholstery.

The main drawback to the 2012 Scion xB is its fuel economy relative to other small cars such as the aforementioned Kia Soul and Nissan Cube. That said, the xB's 158-horsepower four-cylinder is surprisingly punchy and achieves fuel economy that's about the same as or better than crossovers like the Chevy Equinox. Furthermore, the xB is cheaper and offers similar interior space, so it's still a smart alternative to those popular family vehicles.

Of course saying "Scion xB" and "family vehicle" in the same sentence is like mentioning Barry Manilow and Ke$ha in the same breath. But rest assured, for those who are so hip they're square, the xB still has undeniable appeal.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Scion xB is a four-door, five-passenger wagon that comes in base and Release Series 9.0 trim levels. The latter is a limited edition, as only 1,500 will be made.

Standard features include 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, rear window tint, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, driver seat height adjustment, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a trip computer and a six-speaker Pioneer sound system with a CD player, HD radio, an iPod/USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio jack, a customizable display and an RCA output for additional speakers.

The Release Series 9.0 adds several unique features, including Hot Lava paint, a honeycomb lower grille, illuminated front and rear exterior "Scion" badges and faux suede upholstery.

Options are plentiful and mostly added at the dealer. Among them are 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels, a variety of performance upgrade parts, foglights, a rear spoiler, remote ignition, ambient multicolor lighting, a selection of shift knobs, an auto-dimming mirror, headrest-mounted DVD entertainment system monitors, satellite radio and a premium Pioneer audio system with a compact touchscreen faceplate, additional RCA outputs and Pandora Internet radio connectivity when used in conjunction with an iPhone. A back-up camera, navigation system and a large touchscreen interface are also available.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2012 Scion xB is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that produces 158 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is the xB's lone factory option.

In Edmunds performance testing, an automatic-equipped xB hustled from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. EPA estimates are below average for this segment at 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.


The 2012 Scion xB comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In braking tests, the xB came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet -- a solid performance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the xB its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

We've never been pleased with centrally mounted primary gauges, and those on the xB haven't changed our mind. At least the speedometer is an easily read digital display, but it's way over to the right rather than in front of the driver, and monitoring the diminutive tachometer requires far too much of the driver's attention.

While the climate controls couldn't be any simpler, both of the xB's available radio faceplates are clearly intended for a younger generation used to iPhones and other high-tech gizmos. In other words, they aren't exactly user-friendly, but audiophiles should appreciate their extensive range of adjustability.

Added last year, a telescoping function to the steering wheel provides a much better driving position for taller drivers who otherwise will find plenty of leg- and headroom. Boasting 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 70 cubic feet with those seats folded down, the xB is a legitimate fair-weather alternative to a compact SUV.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Scion xB feels fairly stable at highway speeds, although its slab-sided styling makes it vulnerable to crosswinds. Due to a relatively high center of gravity, the xB rolls significantly during cornering, but it feels responsive and confident at lower speeds. Over especially rough surfaces, the suspension transmits impact harshness into the cabin, and road and wind noise are constant companions at high freeway speeds. All in all, though, Scion's youthful target demographic should be pleased with the xB's driving demeanor, as should older folks simply looking for a space-efficient runabout.

Talk About The 2012 xB