2008 Scion xB: What Makes A Wagon?
July 14, 2008
The Scion xB is kind of like the automotive equivalent of the Rorschach inkblot test . Different people see different things when they look at it. This became clear to me after a conversation I had with my neighbor this weekend.
We'd crossed paths in my apartment building's carport. He'd asked about the xB, and I was telling him how roomy its interior is. He described the xB as a "really cool SUV." That threw me. I mean, sure, it makes sense that people would cross-shop the xB against compact SUVs, because it's of a similar size and offers similar amounts of cargo room -- we even published a post that offered some relevant specs for those interested in running comparisons. But I didn't think that people looking at the boxy little Scion would ever actually mistake it for a sport utility vehicle.
When the members of the Edmunds.com data team look at the xB, they see a compact wagon -- that's how this Scion is categorized on the Edmunds site. I mentioned this to my neighbor, and his jaw dropped; clearly, the xB doesn't fit his definition of a wagon. Our data team defines a wagon as "a car with a roof line that extends past the rear doors in addition to having four doors and rear quarter windows." To make the SUV cut, a vehicle needs to have higher ground clearance -- a minimum of 5.7 inches. The xB comes in at 5.1 inches.
Others consider the Scion xB a hatchback. What do you see when you look at the xB?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 20,545 miles