2009 Scion xB Review

Pros & Cons

  • Peppy four-cylinder engine, roomy interior, funky styling, numerous available add-ons.
  • Distracting center-mounted gauges, so-so fuel economy, steering wheel needs telescope function, plasticky interior.
List Price Range
$3,999 - $9,795

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2009 Scion xB models

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.

2009 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.


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


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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Scion xB.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Highly recommended
My Black xB2 was amongst the first available in CA. It came with Alloy wheels, illuminated Door Sills and upgraded iPod stereo. I test drove it and fell in love with it. It's easy to live with, has been totally reliable, not even a rattle or squeak and has never needed to go back to the Dealer for anything!! I am a Cyclist and the xB will carry two full-size Roadbikes along with all the Gear. My Daughter and I took it on a 1,000 mile roadtrip to SF and back with 2 Bikes and all our luggage. 80+ mph all the way and it flies up and down the Hills of SF! The xB also carries 4 Adults comfortably, everyone compliments it on how much Legroom there is in the rear.
2009 XB Fun even for an old guy
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.
For me, it's perfect
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.
Something different
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.

Features & Specs

22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed shiftable automatic
158 hp @ 6000 rpm
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
158 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2009 Scion xB features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2009 Scion xB
More About This Model

A high level of personalization through dealer-sold accessories has always been part of the Scion formula, but with the 2009 Scion xB RS 6.0, the company has done the customization for you. The RS here stands for Release Series, a designation Scion gives to various special editions of its vehicles, and one way it manages to keep the brand fresh without reinventing the lineup every few years. Mechanically, the RS 6.0 is no different from a normal xB, but to ensure buyers stand out in the crowd (beyond the fiery paint), Scion says only 2,500 RS models will be produced.

For $18,443 ($1,743 more than a base xB) the 2009 Scion xB RS 6.0 features a numbered dash-mounted plaque, a unique grille minus the Scion logo, Absolutely Red paint, a touchscreen Pioneer audio-navigation system (one that's not available on other xB models), illuminated red door sills and special red-and-black seats. Also included are unique wheel covers that don't look nearly as special as the other upgrades, but our xB RS 6.0 had optional 17-inch rims that added $1,595 to the price, plus the TRD lowering kit ($400) that drops ride height about 1 inch.

There are plenty of competent small cars that compete with Scion's xB but only a few direct competitors with the Release Series. The stylized Honda Element SC, new Kia Soul Sport and the Nissan Cube Krom are probably the closest, although the Element is considerably more expensive.

Scion's approach to keeping its cars fresh by allowing customization at the dealer means you won't often see two identical Scion xBs on any given street corner. In fact, that may be the main reason to get one. Still, the car's appeal is more than skin deep. With a reasonable price and Toyota quality, the boxy little car's value is undeniable. Just as with the base Scion xB, the RS 6.0's interior space and high feature content at this price point make it an excellent little car that just happens to look cool.

Used 2009 Scion xB Overview

The Used 2009 Scion xB is offered in the following submodels: xB Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A), and 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Scion xB?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Scion xB trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Scion xB Base is priced between $3,999 and$9,795 with odometer readings between 107918 and156909 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Scion xBS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Scion xB for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2009 xBS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,999 and mileage as low as 107918 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Scion xB.

Can't find a used 2009 Scion xBs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Scion xB for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $23,505.

Find a used Scion for sale - 3 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $23,162.

Find a used certified pre-owned Scion xB for sale - 4 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,183.

Find a used certified pre-owned Scion for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $23,107.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Scion xB?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Scion lease specials
Check out Scion xB lease specials