Attracting the coveted 18-to-34-year-old age group is job one for Scion, the youth-oriented division of Toyota, and its xB wagon is the fashion centerpiece of the brand. Although the Scion xB has the body of a miniature delivery truck, even in its second generation this box still casts a distinctive silhouette.
We liked the first-generation xB for its distinctiveness; after all, it was little more than a rebadged version of a Japanese-market Toyota. Scion had the American market specifically in mind when it made the second-generation model bigger and more powerful, though some of the original's character was lost in the process. But overall, a new or used xB is a fine pick for a small and stylish wagon.
Current Scion xB
The Scion xB is offered in two trim levels: base and limited-production Release Series 10.0 (or RS 10.0). Standard features include air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker Pioneer sound system (with a CD player, HD radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an RCA output). The RS 10.0 adds unique exterior and interior trim, a rearview camera and wireless charging of applicable smartphones. Options are limited to transmission choice and dealer-installed items such as upgraded audio systems, a navigation system and different wheel designs.
Every xB sports 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 optional. Fuel economy is disappointing, however, as it is similar to that of many compact SUVs.
Inside, the xB's boxy lines translate to a surprisingly roomy interior that allows you to transport three to four friends with no complaints from the backseat. It's so roomy that some cities even employ xBs as taxi cabs. When the time comes to haul stuff rather than people, the 60/40-split rear seats fold flat, revealing an impressive 70 cubic feet of space. That's actually bigger than many compact SUVs.
In road tests of the current xB, we found it feels fairly stable at highway speeds, although its slab-sided styling makes it vulnerable to crosswinds. The xB is responsive and confident at lower speeds, though over rough surfaces the ride can get a bit bumpy. We've never liked the centrally mounted primary gauges, but the climate controls couldn't be any easier to use and the standard touchscreen interface is fairly user-friendly ? especially if you belong to Scion's younger, target demographic.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Scion xB page.