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Scion xB - Hip to be square



  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Edmunds gives the two Scion vehicles, the xA and xB, very favorable reviews. It also gives the whole Scion concept a thumbs up!

    "One thing is certain, Scion is the real deal and, based on product alone, it should be a runaway success. Scion cars will go on sale June of 2003."

    Read it here: .html?*
  • I lived in Japan for a while, I never loved the Scion. You have so many other cars that are a better deal than the Scion. For around the same price as a base Scion, you could get a more powerful Nissan Sentra or Hyundai Elantra, change the stereo (and get A/C for the Sentra), and still be able to beat a modified Scion at a stop light. (I'm going by HP here, correct me if I'm wrong). Scion should have a "Runaway" success.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Actually, I think the price is very competitive.
    The Sentra and the Elantra are two of the blandest cars available. And if either car is faster, it's marginal - not that it is the point of any of those cars. I'd rather take the Scion's engine, which has reasonable torque and outstanding gas mileage.

    But I think the point of the Scion is the unique look. If you don't like it, don't bother, if you do, it's the only game in town.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Folks- Check out Edmunds' First Drive of the 2004 Scion xA and XB and let us know what you think! Thanks for your comments. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • dsantiagodsantiago Posts: 13
    As a 25 year old, I am tired of corporate america trying to pry into our wallets with shallow schemes like this scion crap! I like the Xb and Xa alot, but I feel the creation of this brand is a crap because its supposed to grab kids that aren't into brands that have mass appeal....WHAT!!!

    let's see: WRX, Lancer Evo, supra, celica, prelude, BMW3, Mazda protege, p5, M6, any german roadster, civic, accord (yes even accords)the matrix and corolla...I'll stop now the list is long....

    in all honestly this brand was created because of the pricing of this vehicle. Just as VW's prices will be going up thanks to the W8 and whatever else they got cooking, or as Hyundai wil have to do if their reliabilty holds water, the lowering of prices negatively affects the brand image.

    Also I believe that with all its options, these two newcomers will find themselves among the list of "cars stolen and stripped" very quicly. Its just too tempting to do it to a car with "disco lights" on the inside.

    Its a shame that all these companies are trying to keep it real when keeping it real requires no effort or intent....

    just my 2 centz
  • dsantiagodsantiago Posts: 13
    Read the "first drive" article. It explains the brand, the strategy the brand will use to sell its product, and the image the brand hopes to portray.

    Scion is not a brand aiming for older drivers, it is specifically aiming at younger ones, hoping that a hopped up echo will attract their target market.
  • True, Scion may have the most unique look and it may be gas-efficent, but I also think that teens like me care about performance. Wouldn't it hurt a teen's pride if a friend's parents' Odyssey beat his Scion at a stoplight? He would probably be jealous too that his Scion is just an econobox and can't be used to go offroad like his friend's Element.

    Then again, it does depend on what you value most in a car, but I wouldn't be expecting to see very many Generation-Y ers buying a Scion.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    You have a point, but at the same time, think about how many fixed up cars you see that are all show and no go? You put 18 inch wheels and a supercharger on a Civic DX and you've shelled out a lot of money and can still barely beat that Odyssey. Yet it happens all the time.

    A lot of people (kids included) buy cars for looks. Maybe the bX can be one of those cars. (or maybe not)

    But I think it will sell, because if nothing else, it is unique. And it's nice to finally see some cars with personality.
  • kroliphkroliph Posts: 75
    I think that the xB is a very interesting vehicle. It certainly comes w/ allot of standard options for a reasonable price. Would it have killed Toyota to offer the Corolla's 1.8 L instead of the 1.5 L from the Echo??? I think that the extra hp and torque from 1.8 L would have been perfect for the 2400 lb. xB. I think I would reconsider a Corolla purchase for an xB w/ the same motor. The xB w/ 1.8 L motor, and 17-inch wheels from Matrix would be a pretty fun vehicle to own. I think I would just get too frustrated w/ only 108 hp and 105 torque. If you are driving w/ 4 people and their things, you could get killed pulling out into traffic.
  • estevesesteves Posts: 12
    What's funny is that I'm 33 and I'd buy the xB for its room and gas economy. Already got a sports car, so I need a vehicle that is more frugal as the gas pump. Most of the econo cars out there (Echo, Insight, Civic HX, etc) are all bland in styling or their proportions just don't appeal to me. They're also tight on space (which I can understand because smaller cars get better gas mileage). The xB gives you good room, great mileage and a little bit of character from the rest. Just my opinion.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    "Men pulled up alongside it to say how sexy it was."


    Read the complete story here: Full Test: 2004 Scion xB, by Caroline Pardilla.

    Thanks for your comments! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I like what I've seen from the articles and photos. And I'm 50. Guess I like the price too.

    (Hi Revka!)

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    I can't wait to test drive one.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    0-60 in 9s is reasonable, about what the Element would do.

    The key here is price, wow, $14k for a 5 speed, with ABS and CD? Unbeatable.

    However, I saw one in NY, sat in it. You can feel the Echo DNA, it's obvious to me where they cut costs. But to a college grad looking for roomy cheap wheels, that's just fine. I would have considered it in that phase of my life.

    Cons: speedo in center, cheap materials, no cruise
    Pros: price, passenger room, did I say price?

    Element is the closest competitor, sort of. xB is FWD and has less cargo space, but seats 5 not 4. It is much lighter to despite less power acceleration should be about even.

    I dunno, fix the speedo locale and it's a winner.

  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    But is the xB supposed to be an SUV competitor? I think of it more as a hatch/small wagon or something.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    The xA is a small vehicle and the xB isn't that much bigger when put next to it.

    I've seen several articles claiming that the vehicle has higher grade materials than competing vehicles. Those who say the plastics are cheap, to what do you compare them? Obviously they aren't going to be Lexus-like but as long as they are durable and not ugly, they should be fine for an economical car. Hopefully they aren't hard...crossing fingers...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's hard to classify. I think of the Matrix when I think small wagon. xB is a big boxy bread van, boxier than anything before it. Element is a bigger box, and they do have a FWD model.

    Scion was smart and priced it like a wagon, not an SUV, so it should sell well.

    I sat in the xA and xB back-to-back. The xA is cuter, I like the style better, but it has a tighter back seat by far and much less cargo room. If space is a concern at all, for the money the xB offers a lot more cubes-for-the-dollar, no doubt.

    I have a family and always moved myself from dorm to apartment, apartment to house, plus the space would help move things like a big screen TV.

    Materials? Hard? Mostly yes. Ugly? No, I didn't think so. Not as nice as the Element or Matrix, and about par with an Echo or Aerio. Except for the carpeting it all looked durable.

  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    just me, or do the headlights and grille remind one of an older VW?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The thing stands out so much that it doesn't remind you of anything, at least in person. It more closely resembles a phone booth. :-)

  • caneaucaneau Posts: 14
    Not to sound egotistical, but Toyota designed a car to appeal to me and my generation. I was born in 1985 which places me in the dead center of Generation-Y. This car is supposed to appeal to me and quite simply, it doesn't. Do I mind boxy cars? Not at all, I drive a Jeep Cherokee and I love the car. I think the only boxier production car today is an H1 and it too, looks good. So what's wrong with cars such as the xB Scion or any of the similarly inspired boxes on wheels such as the Honda Element?
    For starters, they're UGLY! I can't explain why they are ugly, but why is Carmen Electra better looking than Rosie? The Scion is the more hideous of the two in my opinion. The Element at least sort of looks like a CRV with a bad hair day, but the xB, well just look at it, need I say more?
    Second, power anyone? 105 horses? 1.5 liters? I don't care if I can break windows with the 1,300 watts of audio power if I can't run away for the cops who want to arrest me for violating a noise ordnance (just kidding, my Jeep has a 2 speaker audio system that starts to crackle if turned up anywhere close to loud, but I purchase cars for different reasons than audio systems). Honestly though, having what I think must be the least powerful car available in the US is downright dangerous. Why? Try merging from an off ramp in front of a semi traveling at 80 miles per hour with a Scion. I speak in the second person tense because I don't want to be anywhere close when someone attempts this. I have better things to do than spend an afternoon testifying in court after the car is flattened. 105 hp - there are 600cc motorcycles that have more power than that. Next, mass anyone? 2500 lbs? What? I can't imagine what would happen if that collided with a 6,000 lbs. 3/4 ton truck.
    Finally, if anyone has read my posts, I almost always ask or imply why someone should buy this car? Why should a 17 year old want an under powered, ugly car made by the same company that makes the oh so exciting Avalon and Camry? About the only reason I could find was to stand in one place and blast the stereo. I don't think the engine could handle driving, AC, and having the stereo turned on. No kidding, I've seen old Honda Civics with comprable power nearly die with the AC on. I cannot speak for every 16 or 17 year old out there, but from my experience, $17,000 of metal and rubber that sits in one place is useless.
    All things considered, I'd rather buy a used Mustang GT with a Mach 460 sound system. In day to day usage, it sounds just as good, and what do you know, it has nearly three times the power.
    If I am right, and I probably am judging from my experience with cars and being a teenager myself, who is going to buy this car? First, parents who want to seem "hip" to their kids. The parents and kids have to both be completely oblivious to anything automotive and buy into the greasy Toyota dealer saying, "Oh, this car is the latest 'rage', everybody in California is driving one..." The other demographic that possibly could buy this car are people who want to be, for reason or another, "with the times". This could be an older person who wants to revitalize their youth (think same demographic who were on the waiting list for VW Beetles) or teenagers who are outcasts and want to improve their status in the high school hierarchy.
    Are these two groups enough to keep Scion going? Maybe, but I think they will eventually realize how awful this car is and the resale value will tumble after the first year. Toyota will have to be forced to improve the engine (much like Chrysler is doing with the PT) or lower the MSRP.
    In either case, I'm not trading in my Jeep anytime soon, even if I do have to listen to my crackling speakers.

    '97 Jeep XJ 4.0L
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    108 horsepower is not underpowered in a SMALL car. My brother drives a 1977 Toyota Celica ST with a whopping 92-horsepower engine (the famous 20R I4) and it is loads of fun to drive. I think the weight of the car, the gearing of the trans and the handling can make a big difference. Initial reviews seem to indicate that the Scions do not feel slow, and I am inclined to believe them.

    -Andrew L
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's not underpowered for its weight. The two go hand-in-hand. Edmunds reached 60 in 9 seconds, that's not bad by any means for this price class. $14 grand, remember, this is not a $25k RSX Type S or WRX.

    I really don't see Gen Y buying used Cherokees and Mustangs. How can you afford to gas 'em up at $2 a gallon?

  • caneaucaneau Posts: 14
    Agh, my previous message didn't post and I don't feel like rewriting it. Essentially, this car is great for stop and go driving around town. I will not dispute that point. The way the car is geared though make it suitable for just that though, nothing else. If I had to pick between that and my Jeep for traveling any distance on the freeway, I pick my Jeep, or any other car for that matter, over the Scion. First, wind resistance is calculated by squaring velocity. That translates into a car traveling at 60 miles per hour using about half of its power to overcome wind resistance, and in the case of the box on wheels in question, probably more. Second, I highly doubt this car can exceed 85 miles per hour simply because it maxes out its gearing. Although I do not regularly drive at 85 mph, occasionally when I need to merge or pass on the freeway, I need to accelerate to that speed, fast. We can only pray that some first time driver doesn't have a rude awakening on the grill of a Kenworth T2000 because his or her car could not get up to speed fast enough.
    As for gas, considering this vehicle probably uses premium gas when compared to a Mustang that gets 17-18 mpg, it is not that big of a difference. I'm an exception to the rule by doing about 25k-30k miles per year, but most teenagers drive closer to 8k-10k. When you work it out, the difference in gas price is relatively small per year.
    Regarding Gen Y buying big cars, parents are buying bigger and bigger cars to protect their children in the event of an accident, and rightfully so. Crash tests can say whatever they want because they are testing against a wall where nearly 100% of the energy in the accident is returned back to the vehicle. In real life, mass wins. If I had a choice of what vehicle to be inside during an accident, this would rank right between a Ford Pinto and a Geo Metro.
    Maybe I'm wrong and maybe there will be plenty of young excited buyers waiting to buy the boxiest car on the block. All I know is that I will not be among their masses.
  • RinoCRinoC Posts: 2
    Why didn't they stick Corolla engine in Scion xB? Corolla engine has more power and gets better mileage than Scion's. Cost is not a good explanation. There is not that much difference in price between low-end Corolla and Scion xB.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can't just look at retail prices of different platforms like that. The xB costs more than the Echo, so it would similarly cost more than the Corolla with that engine, putting it up against bigger competition in that price range (CR-V, Escape, Forester, Outlander).

    The Scion is based on the Echo, and uses the Echo engine. That costs a lot less then re-engineering the chassis to handle a bigger block. New engine probably means new tranny, bigger engine mounts, beefier suspension, and pretty soon you end up with a RAV4. :-)

    I think they'll address power in other ways, they already offer a 10hp upgrade for 118hp fully under warranty.

  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Some sort of forced induction is also going to be offered.
  • RinoCRinoC Posts: 2
    Because it looks blocky doesn't make it a pseudo-SUV. It doesn't offer an all-wheel drive nor have high enough clearance. I can see how people could look at cars like Matrix and think it as a kind of SUV but I look at Matrix and its ilk such as xB as more of a tall wagon. Also xB is way too small to be considered as anything close to a SUV. It's not even 160" long!

    I see your point about the cost of re-engineering the Echo platform. But I still don't understand how smaller engine with less power has worse fuel economy, considering how light xB is.

    I was thinking about xB as a commuter but I guess I would be better off getting an used Corolla or Civic. They are cheaper, bigger, roomier, has probably better reliability and better gas mileage!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It is very short, but interior room is amazing for its size. So it's similar in space to just about any compact SUV.

    Fuel economy isn't bad by any means, IMO. Maybe it could be better with the 1.8l but again that would cost a lot more most likely.

    Civic and Corolla are sedans, no way no how could they fit even half of what you could in an xB with the seats folded.

    But I bet they'll be more refined, quieter riding, handle better, i.e. have other advantages.

  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    The xB is just the next of the wagon-type cars, Matrix, Aerio SX, PT Cruiser, etc.
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