2008 Scion xB: Functional Lite Brite?
December 08, 2008
With the winter solstice nearly upon us, the short days create more darkness in which to approach the Scion xB, helping its nifty illuminated door sills stand out (a $249 option if you want to pay to help advertise the brand). Our xB has a number of luminous options, but the standard digital speedo turns out to be the one of the few welcome and functional items.
The multi-market friendly, center-mounted gauges mounted high on the church-pew dash puts the digital speedo in a perfect spot for keeping an eye on your velocity. The digital fad that erupted in the eighties thankfully disappeared for a while as real gauges made a comeback. It didn't help that those early fluorescent setups, especially at night, tended to be more blinding than informative. They might find some purchase again if they're half as legible and well placed as the xB's.
Not that the xB, with its armored-car looks and foamy seats, inspires wild bursts of speed, but this speedometer's legibility and placement could serve as model for a new wave of LCD gauges. I'll still take a set of VDO clocks, but is it heresy to like this crisp and concise non-analog display?
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 31,071 miles