2011 Scion xB Review

Pros & Cons

  • Peppy four-cylinder engine
  • spacious interior
  • numerous optional add-ons
  • audiophile-friendly
  • funky styling.
  • So-so fuel economy
  • distracting center-mounted gauges
  • plasticky interior
  • funky styling.
List Price

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2011 Scion xB is a capable 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.

Vehicle overview

The Scion xB started life dripping with hipster cool. It was a box among curves, a fashionable rebellion from the norm if there ever was one in the automotive world. Driving an xB was like wearing skinny jeans, wrapping a scarf around your neck in the middle of summer and donning a thin-brimmed fedora. Yet just as those fashion trends will inevitably lose their cool, so to speak, the 2011 Scion xB has lost some of its hipster image to time, familiarity and a second generation that sacrificed some funk for functionality.

But just because something's a fading trend doesn't mean it's not without merit. That boxy shape may not be as unique as it once was thanks to copycats like the Kia Soul and Nissan Cube, but being shaped like a box has other advantages. For one, the xB boasts more maximum cargo space than most rivals and even some midsize SUVs. Passenger space is just as impressive; there's enough headroom for you to don that fedora, and the backseat is so spacious relative to the exterior proportions that cab companies in Chicago have added xBs to their fleets. For 2011, a new telescoping steering wheel makes finding a comfortable seating position easier for taller drivers.

Despite losing some of its cool vibe, Scion hasn't abandoned its goal of trying to stay ahead of the game in those areas that matter most to young buyers. The main way to do that: audio systems. Standard on every xB is a six-speaker Pioneer sound system with an iPod interface, a regular auxiliary audio jack, 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.

The main drawback to the 2011 Scion xB is its fuel economy. Though surprisingly punchy, the 158-horsepower four-cylinder achieves fuel economy that's the same or better than crossovers like the 2011 Chevy Equinox and 2014 Toyota RAV4. The xB is cheaper to begin with and offers similar interior space, so we think it's still a smart alternative to those popular family vehicles. Of course, it's a safe bet the Scion xB was never meant to be mentioned in the same sentence as "family vehicle." For those who shudder at those words and proudly wear that scarf in July, the xB still has undeniable appeal.

2011 Scion xB models

The 2011 Scion xB is a four-door, five-passenger wagon available in two trim levels: base and the low-volume Release Series (RS) 8.0. 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, a trip computer and a six-speaker Pioneer sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio jack, a customizable display and an RCA output for additional speakers.

Options are plentiful and mostly added at the dealer. Among them are 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels, 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, a subwoofer and an Alpine Premium audio system with a touchscreen faceplate, HD radio, additional RCA outputs and a "media expander" that improves the sound quality of digital audio files. A back-up camera and a navigation system can be added to the Alpine setup.

The xB Release Series 8.0 adds to the base car's equipment exclusive Voodoo Blue paint, a sunroof, a four-piece lower body kit and blue-accented upholstery. A unique rear spoiler is available on the 8.0.

2011 Highlights

The Scion xB gets some key changes for 2011. The exterior gets revised styling, while the interior gets some welcome new features like a telescoping steering wheel, a separate clock, more visually interesting upholstery and a center console bin with sliding armrest. This year's special-edition Release Series is now in its eighth iteration (hence the name 8.0) and features unique Voodoo Blue paint, a sunroof, blue-accented upholstery and a special body kit.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2011 Scion xB is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that produces 158 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic with automanual control is the xB's lone factory option. In 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 2011 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 xB has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) saw it earning four stars (out of five) for both driver and passenger in frontal impacts, and a perfect five stars for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the xB its highest rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact crashes.


The 2011 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 be older folks simply looking for a space-efficient runabout.


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.

For 2011, the previous temperature gauge has been replaced in favor of a separate clock, which used to be buried among myriad trip computer functions. Also new is a telescoping function to the steering wheel; it 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 compact SUVs.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Scion xB.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great basic transportation.
4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
I bought one of these as a trade in to get out of steep minivan payments. We have two other small electric cars, so this car is for longer trips/ back up. I bought #960 out of 2000 of the release 8 series. It has a lowered body kit and is a cool blue color. Initially there was HORRIble rattle coming from the windshield whenever I went over bumps. I found out from the internet that this was the cowl rubbing against the windshield due to inadequate insulation and that it was an easy fix. I am not mechanical and it was indeed an easy fix. People online suggested using weatherstripping from home depot to install between the cowl and the windshield. I used the fuzzy part of a velcro strip which is working well. It went from sounding like a car with 200,000 miles on it to sounding like a new ride. I am coming from a minivan, so this car handles well. On the twisties it handles well for the box that it is. Anyone who is hung up by the center console or the buzzing sound that the exhaust makes doesn't have a sense of humor. This is an economy box that has a huge amount of room. I am 6'2" with a long torso and I have at least another 8" over my head. And my model has a sunroof. It keeps transportation cheap and simple. If I drive it hard I can get 22 mpg city. If I decide to go for good gas mileage I can get 26 city or 38 highway. I got a great deal certified used.
Great Car, Lots Of Fun To Drive
I wanted an SUV or a minivan, but they were way too pricey. This car feels like an SUV when you are inside it. I feel higher up then a regular car which I love. It has a peppy engine, great handling and is fun looking. I also love the standard features that came with it (USB, AUX, power windows & locks, automatic door lock & unlock on key, etc.. The car also feels very sturdy & is not cheaply made. It feels spacious inside and I like the head and leg room too. It is a small car that feels bigger than it is and has plenty of room for my 2 kids, husband, dog and I. I just love it!
Surprisingly awesome
Carolina T,11/03/2010
I went to the dealership to test drive the Toyota Matrix, and saw the XB sitting there. After test driving the Matrix and being unimpressed with the handling, I asked the dealer if I could test the Scion. I was amazed at how zippy this car is, especially for its size. I fell in love with the car right away, and bought it, and now I am a total convert. The car handles like a sportier, smaller car, but it has all the room in the world, and it's got personality. Win.
Small Price for a Great Car
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.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2011 Scion xB features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2011 Scion xB

Used 2011 Scion xB Overview

The Used 2011 Scion xB is offered in the following submodels: xB Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M), Release Series 8.0 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A), and Release Series 8.0 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Scion xB?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Scion xB trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Scion xB Base is priced between $4,995 and$4,995 with odometer readings between 166021 and166021 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 2011 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) 2011 Scion xB for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2011 xBS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,995 and mileage as low as 166021 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 2011 Scion xB.

Can't find a used 2011 Scion xBs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Scion xB for sale - 1 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $10,931.

Find a used Scion for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $7,384.

Find a used certified pre-owned Scion xB for sale - 3 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $9,145.

Find a used certified pre-owned Scion for sale - 3 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $21,584.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 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