This is the final post for the most talked about car I've reviewed to date. Who knew the little Scion xB would spark so much discussion, dissent and praise. In the end there are a lot of pros and cons associated with this cubical vehicle.
First and foremost are the looks. If you can't see yourself driving it then stop reading. Well, maybe not stop reading but if you can't get by the looks there's no way you'll want to drive one. Those that do like the looks will get an extremely solid car that just happens to have a very puny engine. 108-horsepower moves the car efficiently (30/34 mpg) but not at breakneck speeds. With the pedal to the metal the xB still struggles. I literally hammered the gas pedal as far down as it could go on the tollway and it struggled to get up to speed.
So if performance maniacs won't be thrilled who will? Anyone in an urban area will find the car's size, economy, handling and utility welcome traits. Like I said yesterday I've been driving almost exclusively with the rear seats folded flat. I like the visibility that allows, along with being able to throw whatever I want in the back and it looks practically flush.
For those that have been diligently following the series, here is a picture of the dimpled plastic pattern I mentioned early on. Sorry to take so long to upload a picture of it. It's just one of the many fit and finish features that are top notch. I also planned an entire review of the stereo but never got to it. The 6-disc Pioneer system is bass heavy but offers real power. I was impressed with the fidelity and found the color changing display a bit superfluous.
In the end the xB is a nifty niche vehicle that will have its supporters and detractors. But the elements that are shared with every car can be held up to anything in the economy class. Oh and about 5 days in I did finally get used to the center mounted speedometer. Although I still hate the left blinker being so far to the right.