2011 xB New Car Test Drive
The Scion xB is a box on wheels. Completely redesigned for the 2008 model year, it is now in its second generation, a bit less boxy looking than the first generation models (2004-2007). For 2010, the only changes are to the audio systems.
When it comes to interior space, you can't beat a box. Utility-wise, the xB is somewhat like the Honda Fit, with front-wheel drive, five doors, room for five passengers, good cargo space and lots of versatility. But it looks nothing like the Fit.
Inside, there is lots of cargo capacity, and versatility is enhanced with front seats that fully recline and 60/40-split rear seats that drop flat with one pull of a lever. So, not only does the Scion xB do a good job of hauling passengers, it quickly converts into a little utility van, as well.
Power is from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, and utilizes Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to help deliver a broad torque band and good fuel economy; the xB is EPA-rated at 22/28 mpg City/Highway with either the standard five-speed manual transmission or the optional four-speed automatic.
The xB features electric power steering, which does away with belts, pulleys and hydraulic fluid. All in all, the xB is nimble, responsive and fun to drive around town.
For 2010, new audio systems include a standard Pioneer unit with iPod/USB connectivity, a programmable welcome message screen, and an RCA output. An optional Alpine Premium system includes a 4.3-inch color touch-screen monitor, HD Radio technology, and optional navigation.
The Scion xB comes with a choice of manual transmission ($15,850) or automatic ($16,800).
Standard equipment includes charcoal fabric interior, air conditioning, cruise control, information display, 160-watt Pioneer audio system with iPod and auxiliary connection, tilt steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, power side mirrors with turn signal indicators, power windows, and door locks, halogen headlamps, tinted glass, 16-inch steel wheels with wheelcovers.
Options include alloy wheels in 16-inch ($795) and 17-inch ($1,595) sizes, a rear spoiler ($423), Alpine Premium audio ($449), Alpine Premium audio with navigation ($1,198), and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($1,599). For those desiring high performance, Scion dealers sell many TRD (Toyota Racing Development) parts, from superchargers to suspension items to aerodynamic kits.
Safety features include Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, a tire-pressure monitor, frontal and front side airbags, and side-curtain airbags.