The Good: Huge interior. I am 6'3" and have plenty of headroom. Legroom for the driver is average. Front Seat passenger legroom is good. You can lay the back seats down and haul a bunch. Peppy engine and sound system is good. Handles really well. Toyota Camry engine so it is a reliable engine.
The Bad: - The seats. Horrible. Arm rest for the driver is way to low and slender. Worthless. The passenger arm rest is... wait, there is NO armrest. Really??
Only 1 power adapter in the entire vehicle. The center console is tiny, too low and pretty much useless. The trim is cheap. The weather stripping on the driver's side window lost its felt (or whatever it is) and the window bound up on the stripping when lowering it. Car Max extended warranty would not cover. Had to take a razor and cut it out, else spend $500 for a new door panel.
The ride is horrible. You feel every bump. If you are just using this for a trip here and there around town or for short commutes then it is ok. I am using for a daily commute and it is abysmal. There really is no intermittent wiper. The intermittent setting can't be adjusted so it is just a lower low setting. There is a horrible blind spot on the passenger side when backing out of parking spaces. The fenders, hood, etc will dent if a leaf falls on it. I barely leaned up against it and accidentally dented it.
Overall: If you want a car for short commutes or a safe car for teen drivers then this is it. Otherwise buy a Camry or Corolla.
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.
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.
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.
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.