Click above for a high-res gallery of the Scion xB from our own review

Apparently, bigger is not necessarily better for Toyota's youth division Scion. The two original Scion models that launched with the brand were replaced by new models last year – the xD and xB – that are larger, heavier and less efficient. The buyers who made Scion a success in its first few years of existence have not been impressed, as sales have taken a dump over the last year and a half. A long gap between the end of production of the previous models and availability of new models certainly didn't help, but the new models have gotten decidedly mixed reviews including our own drive of the new xB. Even with the new models having been available now for six months or more, sales compared to the previous year have dropped for 16 months in a row. More Toyota dealers are selling Scions now, but sales per dealer have dropped from 11.9 in January 2006 to 8.1 in 2007. The Scions now have a bunch of new competitors in the subcompact class that they didn't have in 2003 when the brand launched, including the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa. Worse news still for Toyota is that more new competition is coming, like the Ford Fiesta transplant from Europe. Perhaps Scion's initial success was less a factor of offering attractive products than the fact it was the only game in town for small, efficient and hip econocars.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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