Day 4-5

A few days ago one reader said the only thing he wanted to know about the xB was if it blew around the highway like its econobox shape suggest it would. After a two hour trip north yesterday, the xB handled the highway like a champ.

Of course the 108-horsepower does not allow rapid merging and takes some time to get up to speed. At a toll stop my unscientific 0-60 time was around 12 seconds. And that's being generous. But with the speed up to 70 mph the xB handled the highway superbly. It was surprisingly quiet despite the open cargo area. There's no better area than Chicago to test crosswinds and on a moderately windy day the xB did not feel any effects from wind. I think that's due to the low ride of the car and not it's boxy and un-aerodynamic shape. The only noticeable problem was slight body shudder over extreme bumps on the highway.

After a long weekend behind the wheel I'm still impressed with the interior fit and finish and the solid build. Doors feel significantly heavy, seats are supportive and the handling is deceptively responsive for such an awkwardly shaped vehicle.

Lots of people point and stare at the xB. Some even laugh at it. But when driving it you become protective of the little car. Sure it might be homely and doesn't go too fast but it has plenty of other good qualities.

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