2012 Scion xB Review

Pros & Cons

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

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 Scion xB is a 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

Back when the first Scion xB debuted in 2004, it had the hip and cool factor down pat. In contrast, the second, present-generation xB has lost much of that initial mojo to time, familiarity and a greater emphasis on functionality. However, there's still enough to the 2012 Scion xB to make it appealing.

Although the xB's space-efficient boxy form doesn't enjoy the same uniqueness it once did (thanks to copycats like the Kia Soul and Nissan Cube), it still has a few advantages. The xB boasts more maximum cargo space than most rivals and even some midsize SUVs. Passenger space is just as impressive, with enough head- and legroom for a quartet of tall adults. In fact, the rear accommodations are so spacious that some big city cab companies have traded their Crown Vics for xBs.

The 2012 Scion xB keeps up the tradition of offering what "the kids" (or anyone who appreciates the latest audio gizmos) want nowadays. As such, the xB comes standard with a six-speaker Pioneer sound system with an iPod interface, Bluetooth, 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. This year also brings the xB Release Series 9.0, whose unique features include Hot Lava paint, illuminated "Scion" badges and faux suede upholstery.

The main drawback to the 2012 Scion xB is its fuel economy relative to other small cars such as the aforementioned Kia Soul and Nissan Cube. That said, the xB's 158-horsepower four-cylinder is surprisingly punchy and achieves fuel economy that's about the same as or better than crossovers like the Chevy Equinox. Furthermore, the xB is cheaper and offers similar interior space, so it's still a smart alternative to those popular family vehicles.

Of course saying "Scion xB" and "family vehicle" in the same sentence is like mentioning Barry Manilow and Ke$ha in the same breath. But rest assured, for those who are so hip they're square, the xB still has undeniable appeal.

2012 Scion xB models

The 2012 Scion xB is a four-door, five-passenger wagon that comes in base and Release Series 9.0 trim levels. The latter is a limited edition, as only 1,500 will be made.

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, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a trip computer and a six-speaker Pioneer sound system with a CD player, HD radio, an iPod/USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio jack, a customizable display and an RCA output for additional speakers.

The Release Series 9.0 adds several unique features, including Hot Lava paint, a honeycomb lower grille, illuminated front and rear exterior "Scion" badges and faux suede upholstery.

Options are plentiful and mostly added at the dealer. Among them are 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels, a variety of performance upgrade parts, 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 and a premium Pioneer audio system with a compact touchscreen faceplate, additional RCA outputs and Pandora Internet radio connectivity when used in conjunction with an iPhone. A back-up camera, navigation system and a large touchscreen interface are also available.

2012 Highlights

The 2012 Scion xB gets standard HD radio and new sound systems. There's also the latest Release Series trim level, the 9.0. Highlights of this limited-edition xB include unique Hot Lava paint and faux suede upholstery.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2012 Scion xB is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that produces 158 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is the xB's lone factory option.

In Edmunds 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 2012 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the xB its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.


The 2012 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 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.

Added last year, a telescoping function to the steering wheel 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 a compact SUV.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Scion xB.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Traded from Rav4 - Surprised and Satisfied!
4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I had an 04 Rav4 that blew a head gasket with 120k miles. Unfortunate and unlikely, but it happened. This brought us to the dealer to repair the Rav4 or buy a new one. After considering a new Rav, and much deliberation, we decided on a 2012 Scion xB instead. I must say it was a good decision. It's hard to get the cargo, features, and quality for under $20K. We are very happy with our decision. Cargo is not much smaller than an SUV in the Rav4 class and the TCO is much lower. Smaller tires and engine, similar MPG's, cheaper oil changes, insurance rates, etc.
Perfect for every Day and Trips!!
4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I traded my Black 2007 on a white 2012 I liked the last one so much!! Granted, I only had 24k miles on it but never once did I have any kind of problem. The 2012 is a huge improvement, the instrument Cluster is much better, they have made much better use of the available realestate by showing the outside temperature and time without having to toggle through the display. Also, the sliding Armrest is way better than the skinny drop-down one. It's a perfect cummuter, although city mileage isn't great, I get a 22.4 average constantly, but that's with a 1.8 mile commute with 5 traffic lights. The standard is awesome with HD Radio, Bluetooth and iPod connection etc. Great sound.
Made the Jump from XA to XB--Love My Scion!
Release Series 9.0 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
With my little Scion XA paid off, I figured it was time to go new car shopping. My daughter is tugging me on one side to look at a RAV4, my fiance is tugging me on the other side to look at a Honda CRV, both are tugging me to check out the Nissan Rogue. So, I go to test-drive a Rouge. Nice, but for me, it just seemed a tad too wide--and since I am blind in my right eye, it could be --well, kinda not that good. OK? So I firmly put my foot down and went to look at the Scion XB. I test drove. I immediately felt comfortable. The car is deceptively large--it appears to be not that roomy from the outside, but once you get in, tons of room. Smooth Ride. Great Car!
Great Vehicle!
4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
We had to purchase a 2012 because I unfortunately totaled out my wife's 2008. We loved our 2008, but this 2012 is alot better. It seems to be a little quiter than our 2008, but has more features. It's nice to have the room of an SUV, but the driveabiltiy of a car - we fit 2 car seats pretty easily! It rides pretty good, but you can feel the bumps (sport tuned suspension).


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 2012 Scion xB

Used 2012 Scion xB Overview

The Used 2012 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 9.0 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A), and Release Series 9.0 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Scion xB?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Scion xB trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Scion xB Base is priced between $7,988 and$7,988 with odometer readings between 128798 and128798 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 2012 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) 2012 Scion xB for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2012 xBS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,988 and mileage as low as 128798 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 2012 Scion xB.

Can't find a used 2012 Scion xBs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Scion xB for sale - 6 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $11,585.

Find a used Scion for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $8,010.

Find a used certified pre-owned Scion xB for sale - 3 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $11,646.

Find a used certified pre-owned Scion for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $8,547.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 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