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Scion xB - Hip to be square

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    scootertrashscootertrash Member Posts: 698
    A Lincoln is made by Ford and yet is registered as a Lincoln--because that's what brand it is.

    A Lexus is made by Toyota and is registered as a Lexus.

    A Scion is made by Toyota and is registered as a Toyota.

    Even a stinking Geo (Isuzu, Toyota, Suzuki) was registered as a Geo.

    If as we all know, it's made by Toyota.
    Why play games calling it a Scion when it's sold by the same lousy dealers and still registered as a Toyota?

    I think Toyota's commitment to this concept is pretty weak.
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    scootertrashscootertrash Member Posts: 698
    Yes, it's an easy process when you get there but you still have to do your shopping!

    The dealers can ask any price they want and prices wary widely.

    With the "fixed price" concept, I got 6 different prices from the 6 different dealers I approached.
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    tcpip1tcpip1 Member Posts: 121
    To get a good deal, comparison shopping is most likely required. It's just like buying groceies and other stuff: same item may have different prices in different stores. If the price difference for a gallon of milk is $0.50, then I might just buy it from the store which is the most convenient for me. There is a trade-off here.

    Scion's pricing model seems to be a "new concept" in car shopping (buying a car is as easy as buying a gallon of milk).

    Now, the key is how easy it is for buyers to do comparison shopping? If most of the Scion dealers post their prices on the net or answer price-quote emails quickly, then buying a Scion and getting a good deal will be very easy for the Internet savvy folks.

    But they can also make comparison shopping tough by using tricks to get buyers in the dealership first and then reveal the real price.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Hey, even Saturn backed off and now offers rebates and financing incentives.

    -juice
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    s852s852 Member Posts: 1,051
    Saturns had to get the rebates because their products are so weak. They were ok when the first came out, but they aged with few changes for several years. When they finally came out with new models, they were very mediocre with poor styling. When people say some new model "looks like a Saturn" it is an insult.
    Toyota messed up on the Scion brand if they did not have specially trained salespeople separate from the normal Toyota salespeople and that whole mentality and did not make a completely separate brand.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The Vue is fairly new and has rebates.

    Any how, the point was you never know what to expect. Maybe Scion won't be able to stick to a no-haggle policy. I think Toyota was just telling dealers to price them up-front, without game playing.

    -juice
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    i had a decent experience with the actual salesperson on the scion lot. however, once you do the deal with that person, it goes to the toyota dealership, and you had to deal with their shortcomings.

    the thing i've always hated about dealerships--and this is no exception--is that you get at least three parties involved on the dealership side, and each one can claim ignorance to what the other two did. for example, the salesperson gives you the test drive and explains the features. that person is inevitably nice, because they gotta get you to sign on the dotted line. it all goes downhill from here, IMHO.

    you are then handed off to the finance guy, who then haggles with you over monthly payments and a down payment amount. they start with lines like, "forget about the price...what kind of payments are you comfortable with?" for me, this is irritating, because i trade bonds for a living, and i'm dealing with a shark in a suit who just monkeys with variables until he gets the answer he wants to see.

    once you get past this point, you end up in the finance manager's office, who is the guy who makes you sign all the paperwork. it's here that you get really screwed because then they tack on the undercarriage coating, the extended warranty, and all these other things you never asked for. you gotta keep an eye out for this stuff, or otherwise they try and slide it in.

    so, as far as my scion experience...it was good on the very front end and completely crappy in the rest of the experience.

    now, my BMW buying experience, on the other hand, was entirely pleasant. but i guess you get what you pay for, right?
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    biggie2biggie2 Member Posts: 45
    My girlfriend and I, age 16 at the time, were looking for a new car for her parents to buy her. Went to the Toyota dealership trying to look, and probably buy, a new 2001 Celica. Drove on the lot, passing a group of dealers at the entrance to the dealership. Got out of the car, walked passed the dealers about 100 yards from them, waiting for a dealer to happily welcome us. Found the celica she liked and looked at it interestingly. Looked over at the group of dealers, watched them laugh and talk and take no interest in us. Walked back, passed the dealers, got in the car, and drove to the Honda dealership. A day or so later she got a Honda Civic EX coupe. Pretty sad when the dealers clearly see you standing there looking at the car and they do not come to help.
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    were the exact opposites. as soon as you parked your car on the curb, they immediately started walking towards you. you had to keep on the sidewalk and off the lot to give them the signal to stay away.

    congrats to your girlfriend on her honda. shame on the salesmen who didn't even give you guys the time of day.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    The dealer was next to a restaurant we were headed to, so I stopped in to look at the xb. It is definitely nicer than the Echo (which I once owned) - the interior materials are quite nice. I am impressed to see traction control at this price level, standard. I think that plus ABS add a lot of value to the car. The proportions look good, too...doesn't look tall and tippy like the Echo. On the other hand, it looks like a shrunken utility van...

    It is a very efficient use of space, except there isn't much storage behind the back seat due to the short length of the car. Fortunately the rear seats fold down very easily, absolutely no fuss, so if you view it as primarily a two person car with 4 (actually 5 seat belt positions, but that would be crowded) passenger capability (for a movie, not a camping trip) it's ok. The trunk on the Echo was actually larger. However they pushed the wheels back on the xB(five inches longer wheelbase than the Echo) and as a result there is a lot of rear seat leg room.

    I had been to the Honda dealer earlier that day, and actually liked the xB better than the Element. It certainly seems more efficient (much better gas mileage, five passenger instead of 4, but a lot less luggage space). In some ways the xB seems like a more functional "mini" than the real mini, the Cooper. I think it is the "real" descendant of the practicality of the originaal mini. If acceleration is comparable to the Echo I had, it should be fine - comparable to the Civic.

    The only negative I worry about the xB, is how it will look to the eyes in 3 years when we have gotten used to them. Will it look strange, small and cheap? Or will it get a following and carve out a niche, like it has in Japan?

    BTW, I don't think "tuners" are going to do anything with them in this country. In Japan the drivers seem to like to accessorize their cars a lot, not with speed items but with "cute" stuff. That isn't too much a part of American car culture, is it? :-)
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Roomy cars are always practical.

    Trendy cars like the Beetle have poor resale because when the trend stops, you're stuck with a cramped and slower Golf.

    The xB is better than an Echo in every way, so I doubt it'll suffer a similar fate.

    Just my opinion.

    -juice
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    you can imagine what kinda of jabs i took when i drove the xB into work the monday following the weekend i bought it. to give you some context, i work as a bond trader, and our garage is pretty much a porsche, BMW, and benz dealership.

    i myself drive a BMW 325ci that i love, but which has become very expensive to maintain because i put on 30,000 miles/year. plus, i carry around musical equipment for weekend gigs and sessions. it actually all fits in the BMW, but you have to shoehorn everything in. needless to say i've already dinged some of the upholstery in moving stuff in and out.

    the xB was the perfect solution. it has good gas mileage, lots of features, lots of room, and of course it's cheap.

    anyway, i digress. i got nothing but jabs that first day unless the guys came down to see the car in person and saw the practicality of the car. when i told them it was $14K with pretty much everything standard, not one could say that it was a bad deal. in fact, most were flabbergasted by the price.

    i think the xB will at least get beyond the trendy status if only because it has so much practicality going for it. there are certainly a lot more xB's on the road these days in LA. i saw a camouflage one on the 101 today, and the other day i saw a silver one outside my building, as well as another silver one at the gas station.

    plus, the xB is a good conversation starter. AND...you know that a girl is gonna dig you because of you when you pull up in that thing! :)
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    benevolence6gcbenevolence6gc Member Posts: 19
    My neighbor has a camoflage xb with gunmetal rims, exhaust, springs, and decals. Also hes in his 40's.
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    that doesn't surprise me at all. it's just such a practical car as a second car that probably lots of people in that age bracket are gonna pick one up as a daily driver.

    the occasional buyer will dress it up, too! i have to admit to having entertained the thought of putting a big exhaust tip on the thing!
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    My former Echo was an automatic...it was relatively quick, but of course the Echo weighs about 500 pounds less than the xB. So how is the acceleration on your xB? Not "floored," but in routine driving? (In my experience, NO car is fast enough if you floor it - because at that moment the driver's expectations are too high; on the other hand, if you "feel" you have to work the accelerator pedal too hard to keep up with traffic, then imho a car is underpowered even if, when "floored", it is actually quicker than most cars. In other words, I don't like cars with high power bands, and do like cars that have some pull right off the bat....)
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    scootertrashscootertrash Member Posts: 698
    I'm off to San Jose to pick up my Xb, Automatic, in "Thundercloud".
    I'll let you know how the 700 mile "break in" trip goes
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    vinceburlappvinceburlapp Member Posts: 64
    At:
    http://www.thehollywoodextra.com
    Go to the "vince burlapp car page"
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    nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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    tcpip1tcpip1 Member Posts: 121
    I saw your xA test report on your webpage. Is there an xB report?
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    it's relatively peppy, but it's no racer. but that's not what i'm looking for with this car, either. i think 0-60 floored was something like high 10's or low 11's, according to car & driver.
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    i wish i had held out for that one, but evidently that is the most popular finish. i wanted one in a stick, but the dealer said it would take over a month to get one.

    congrats in advance. i look forward to hearing your report.
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    eandlcubedeandlcubed Member Posts: 78
    does anyone know if the dealer is willing to sell the xb to a non-west coast customer? i live in washington dc area and the car is not available until spring of 2004. is there a waiting list or one just pick it out of the lot?

    i saw a review on a tv show and it said the engine is from the echo and it even has the toyota symbol on the engine cover. is this true? i don't mind that the car is registered as "a toyota" but i thought the company wanted to bill the car as a brand new product aims at gen-y customers. i think toyota underestimated their demographic since i am in my late 30s and love the car!

    i want to trade in my prius for a mini cooper but it was too small to shuttle my 2 kids and their seemingly endless stuff. i wanted to stay under $20k but also wanted something unique to drive to work.

    may i ask what is the demographic of those who now own an xb? i can't wait to go the california and look at one....
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    a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518
    eandlcubed-

    My understanding is that many California Scion dealers are willing to help people from other states. Just make sure you find one that knows what paperwork needs to be done, and doesn't try to rip you off with accessories you don't want (it seems that TMSUSA is having a hard time convincing its dealers that the BUYERS are supposed to PICK what they WANT on these cars). Good luck.

    -Andrew L
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    mikusmikus Member Posts: 109
    When Toyota is going to get the simple thing: plastic spoilers and skirts are not for everyone's liking. One cannot get Matrix XRS without skirts, the same thing with xB: it cannot be had without them, while it is obvious that they are bolt-on pieces of plastic. Just do not put them on! Hey, Toyota, I hate this stuff!

    Well, I guess I have to wait another year, when hopefully the new package/options configuration kicks in. They say, that one would be able to configure the exact options for personal liking and Toyota would build the car exactly to the specs. Hope I make it till that day.
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    tcpip1tcpip1 Member Posts: 121
    I believe an XB buyer has to pick two options: auto/manual and wheel cover. That's it.

    If a Scion dealer forces buyers to buy other options, then that dealer is not dealing by the rules. I'll call Scion to complain about it:

    1.866.70.SCION
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    nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    are keeping a small stock of vehicles, even though the system is designed so that each buyer orders exactly what they want. If you buy out of dealer stock to satisfy that need for instant gratification, then you will be forced to pay for accessories you did not necessarily want, a la the usual car-buying experience.

    If you order through their computer system and wait the week it takes for them to accessorize the car the way you want and ship it to the dealer, then you will get exactly what you want. I think there is one other option for Scions - side air bags or something, right? Beyond that, everything is accessories.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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    tcpip1tcpip1 Member Posts: 121
    I am not sure the 2004 xB will have the side air bags as an option. The xA does have it as an option. The side air bag is the only option that I must have, if there is such an option.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    The salesperson there sold two the Saturday I was there, to east coast customers.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    Posted here, since the xA site is closed (archived).

    New Owner Impressions (500 miles) xA, Stick, Part 1

    I went to look at the Scion xA and ended up trading in a 2003 Honda Civic LX stick and getting the xA (also with stick). My trade-in was admittedly very new, with only 10,000 miles on it, but it was a two door coupe and it was driving me nuts trying to access the rear seat (on the @#$!# Honda, the seat doesn’t “remember” its incline, so there isn’t an easy way to tip it forward without having to fidget it with it afterwards). Ok, that’s just looking for excuses. The truth is I like new cars and the xA is really appealing. The Civic might be proven, but the xA is fresh and new.

    Here are my impressions after 500 miles of driving:

    First, this is NOT an Echo. Ok, it IS on an Echo platform, and very similar in exterior and interior dimensions to the Yaris version of the Echo sold in Asia and Europe, but I owned an Echo and I can attest to the fact that it is NOT an Echo. Why not? Well, first it weighs a lot more. It feels solid and substantial on the road. The xA weighs 2,335 pounds with stick. In comparison, the Echo weighs 2,035 pounds. In comparison, the Civic Coupe weighs 2,557 pounds, and the VW Golf 2,771 pounds. So the xA is lighter than similar cars, but nowhere near the ultralight Echo. My Echo was very susceptible to cross winds, and got buffeted when passing semis. Even after upgrading my tires to Bridgestone 950’s in a slightly wider profile.

    Second, the Echo handled like a “toon” car, but the xA handles like a sports car.

    According to published reports, other “Echo” differences are that the xA has a rear stabilizer bar (none on the Echo) and recalibrated suspension (read: “sport”). The result is that the xA really handles like a sports car, with a taut ride. Unlike the test drivers at Car and Driver, I had no comfort problems with the car on a long drive. However, if you are on extremely heaving sections of road, the short wheel base and firm suspension can cause the car to “bobble.” Overall, though, I like it, and consider it a significant improvement over my former “short wheel base” favorite, the old Honda CRX (only 87 inches wheelbase!). The xA handles the way a VW Golf should handle (instead the VW Golf has been “chevroleted”).

    How does the xA handle compared to the Honda Civic I traded in? In my personal opinion much better, even though you sit much higher in the xA (center of gravity issue) and the track is slightly narrower. The standard Goodyear LS 185/15’s stick like glue, thanks to the suspension and light weight. Honda switched from its famous double wishbone front end to a normal McPherson strut set up in 2000, ostensibly to open up some interior space, but a lot of people have complained that they don’t handle like they used to.

    Ok, now for the engine. The engine is the jewel like center of this car. It is way better than the car “deserves.” Ok, way better than the Echo deserves. It is 16 valve with variable valve timing (VVT-i). This means the valve timing change is continuous, not based on a fixed change at a certain rpm level like on the Honda EX and Si. Also, the “i” (or “intelligence”) part means the valve timing is linked to other conditions such as acceleration, going up hill or down hill. Here is an interesting link (scroll to the bottom of the page when you get there) on VVT-i: http://autozine.kyul.net/technical_school/engine/vvt_3.htm
    In addition to the 16 vales and the VVT-i, the car has a solenoid actuated plunger in the exhaust to change the flow in the muffler (which affects low end torque response).

    The problem with putting this engine in the Echo, was that it was overkill based on the Echo’s handling. The problem with putting this in the xA is that it is a little small for cars these days – even the notoriously penurious (in displacement size) Honda Civic is up to 1.7 liters, Corollas are 1.8 with 130 horsepower, etc. So the xA has the stability needed for the engine, but you are lugging around an extra 300 pounds, or 15% of the Echo’s base weight.

    There is good news and bad news to what Toyota did to “fix” the bhp/pound issue. They lowered the gearing. The gearing is relatively close ratio, and at 80 mph the engine is turning around 4100-4200 rpms. This is fast these days. It is well within the engine’s capability – the engine just purs – but it is awfully fast. My old Honda Civic Coupe with 5 speed was “only” 3500 rpm at this speed.

    That is the “bad” news. The good news is, the car is very responsive – I seldom needed to downshift to get passing speed in the 50-80 mph range. With the Civic, I was hung out to dry unless I downshifted. Also a problem with the 2.0 liter Ford Focus. VW, with the normally aspirated, ancient design 2.0 liter they still run, also gears the stick shift models low, and turns over at 4,000 rpm at 80 mph, with resulting responsiveness on the freeway. However, the zA is smoother and quieter than the VW.

    The low gearing, combined with the good torque, means the xA can be driven on the street in 5th gear. There is no need to keep it in 4th, either for normal passing or because the engine is about to lug due to the low road speed.

    The close ratios and free-revving engine mean the car can be driven hard and fast – in the stick version! It doesn’t get too loud or sound “cheap” when driven aggressively.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Interesting insight - I haven't been following the xA much at all.

    I'll ask Revka to reopen the Scion xA discussion so you can crosspost this info over there.

    Steve, Host
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    New Owner Impressions (500 miles) xA, Stick, Part 2

    [See part 1 above.] Finally, while talking about shifting, the xA is a little “notchy” – you can feel the gates and have to “baby” the stick through the “notchy” points. I am hoping this aspect of the xA transmission will break in a little. On the other hand, the clutch is short and sweet, the ratios are superb – first is neither too high nor too low. The stick shift, on my small frame, is situated very close to the right hand corner of the seat – a traditional sports car position. Since the clutch is not long-throw, I can “double de-clutch” – rev up the box before downshifting to ease the downshift (and to better match speeds when downshifting at higher revs) very easily.

    A nitpick: Toyota needs to adopt a reverse lock out collar. I really like them on cars that put reverse below 5th gear, instead of over near 1st gear where you are less likely to downshift accidentally. I’d really hate to miss third gear and try to put the transmission into reverse….

    Driving ergonomics: You sit up like a van driver, and the steering wheel is a little like a bus. I got used to it quickly on the Echo and re-adapted quickly on the xA. You either accept it or don’t. There isn’t any “liking” to it, except that I acknowledge the outstanding rear seat legroom, and roominess of the car, depends a lot on this “upright” sitting position. I DO like “upright” now, compared with “sports car low” which is more common on the Dodge Neon, Honda Civic, etc. The upright position (as opposed to low slung on sports cars) is a longstanding design feature of Golfs/Jettas, but the Ford Focus, Echo, and now Scions are including it as well.

    Visibility is very good. No squat passenger seat windows (like on the Focus ZX3 and Honda Coupe) that impair lane changes to the left. I can quickly scan the left lane now and make a lane change.

    There isn’t an arm rest on the xA. I miss it. Only one glove box (unlike the Echo) but there is a sneaky under-stereo compartment that’s big enough for maybe cd’s or sunglasses etc. It has a translucent window, and I discovered that if the sun is shining on it, you can see a (brown) wallet inside, so don’t assume the translucent window always assures privacy. There is a nifty ledge under the glove box that fits cell phones very well. The door storage compartments are pretty narrow, the price of this narrow European/Asian spec (width) car. (Yes, the car is narrow and short. If you live in an urban environment and have to park on sidewalks or in really short, otherwise illegal parking spots, you’ll love it.)

    There are nifty “grocery bag” hooks on the backs of both front seats (towards the center, not towards the doors, so you can reach back from the front) and also on each side of the “trunk,” or rather on each side of the laughably small area that passes for a trunk. I don’t even think my Civic hatchback was so dimensionally challenged in the trunk area as the xA. On the other hand, the “hatch” opens completely to a flat floor, and if you are like me and seldom have more than a single passenger, you can very, very easily flop down the rear seats and, voila, “micro-wagon.” Actually, if you don’t carry as much junk as me (never know when you need a spare sleeping bag and winter jacket), the trunk is very usable for grocery etc. shopping; if you have to, you can drop the seats for the occasional large appliance (tv?), and of course AS A FOUR DOOR the space behind the front seats is always fair game. I carry a backpack for my day stuff (who doesn’t) and unlike the two door cars I have, it is SO easy to just open the back door and take the backpack out.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    New Owner Impressions (500 miles) xA, Stick, Part 3

    A certain very popular car, whose symbol does NOT mean “Hyundai,” won’t let you unlock both sides of the car with your key; although this model (the LX) has power door locks, you first have to open the driver door, then use the power door lock switch to open the passenger side. If you start from the passenger side, it’s even worse, because the poor passenger doesn’t have a power door lock switch that controls the driver’s side at all (which means my wife has to lean over and lock/unlock my door when I stop at the local ATM).

    On the xA, one twist of the key gets you in, two twists unlocks the passenger and front and back doors. (Keyless remote, with alarm, is a $495 option.) The hatch is electrically operated, which is also neat, because it doesn’t actually “pop” part way (leaving you in trouble if you do so accidentally – you would then have to get out of the car to slam it shut). Instead, like on the VW’s, the power door lock switch also unlocks (but doesn’t partially release) the rear hatch, and when you go back there you just operate the unlatching mechanism. If you drive away without accessing the hatch, it relocks when you lock your doors.

    All is not perfect in xA world. Although we have had some admittedly hot weather recently, I have a light colored xA and yet the aircon was still almost ineffectual, even after miles of driving by which time the car should have cooled down. If I turned up the fan, instead of getting more cool air, I got more air, but NOT as cool – in other words, the amount of cool air was just diluted when I turned up the fan. The aircon is so weak I will ask the dealer to check it out, and report back if they discover a problem. My former Echo was no giant of frost, but it wasn’t THIS bad (but then the Echo did have a light colored interior, so that might be a factor; the black dash on the xA is big, and the front windshield very sloping).

    The dealer I purchased my xA from stuck to the list price (Toyota’s published price) but “overallowed” my trade-in. They were very decent about not pushing accessories or “finance department” extras on me.

    The radio that comes with the car is quite good for a stock unit (the single CD). It has THREE problems: it is incredibly easy to install and remove (so the dealers can “accessorize” the level of radio you want) which means it is regrettably steal-able (and is the right size for Toyotas); it has no “anti-theft” serial code (keeping with Toyota’s apparent policy of keeping things easier for the owner, if also easier for thieves); and there is no “skip ahead” function on the tuner portion – you can increment the tuner by 10mhz segments, but it won’t jump over “empty” slots or weak stations. To do that you have to “scan” which only goes one way (forward), and won’t stay put (on that channel) unless you push it again. The stock speakers are good, but, surprisingly, not as good as I would have expected in a premium unit that includes front tweeters.

    To actually appreciate the value Toyota has put into the Scions, you have to see them. They aren’t “cheap” but they have excellent finish and materials, with VW the closest to compare to. For example, the plastic on the dash and top door panels is “pebbled” and looks very neat, and there are some nice brushed steel effect trim panels. Clearly this wasn’t designed for Midwest Mom. The “fixed price” represents a good value, imho. On the other hand, you can’t get a “cheap” under-optioned Scion, like you can with Echo (where even power steering is an option). I think this will bode well for resale value. The “accessorization” route is also a good idea – at least for cars that are ordered and not bought off the lot. Most of the accessories are installed at the port of entry, where it is cheaper and faster to do so, instead of at a dealer with the associated training/inventory/etc. issues that drive up costs. For example, I could have ordered my xA with side air bags and aluminum wheels at no additional cost.

    The dealer I bought from told me that recently sales of xA’s have picked up. They thought this might be because xB’s are a little scarce, but I am pretty convinced that someone with their mind set on the xB will wait for one. Initially I liked the xB too, but I came to like the better aerodynamics of the xA. If you are committed to folding the rear seats flat, the xB and xA both have a lot of storage space. With the seats up and a three people in the car, the xB’s extra rear seat storage becomes an advantage. (The xB also has a slightly longer wheel base.) Otherwise it is probably more of a “style” issue (although I think the stability control is a very, very big xB “plus”).

    Finally, the Echo (with light weight and high gearing) gets the best EPA mileage rating; the xA gets 31/37; the xB 30/33, with the xB paying a severe highway penalty for its lack of aerodynamics.
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    revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    micweb - We look forward to hearing all about your new Scion xA in our Scion xA discussion. You should use your copy/paste so you don't have to re-write all your messages. Thanks! ;-)

    And now, back to the subject of the 2004 Scion xB!

    Revka
    Host of Hatchbacks & Wagons
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    scootertrashscootertrash Member Posts: 698
    I picked up my Xb in San Jose from Piercey Toyota.

    This weekend I drove home through San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, Las Vegas and Phoenix. It performed perfectly on it's 1000+ mile break in trip.
    I am very impressed with the quality and the attention to detail.

    Man-does this thing get the attention!
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    tpat3tpat3 Member Posts: 119
    I was very surprised and of course stopped to check it out. It (xB, blue, some fancy wheels, auto, about $15K sticker) was for "display" only but the dealer was taking orders. There was an xA on the lot, too, but I didn't look at it.
    The salesman I spoke too was pretty laid back about it. Said it had gotten lots of attention but he wasn't even trying to sell it to me. He said the dealer had it shipped from California.
    I didn't drive it, but sat in the front and back and opened up the rear. My overall impression was really positive.
    No where near as small, even on the outside, as I expected. Maybe it's just a visual trick of the height. Inside, you could have a party. It feels like you're sitting outside. Most impressive was rear legroom. I'm not small and my knees were a foot from the back of the front seat. It also seems pretty well put together. Nothing cheap-feeling about it at all.
    The only down side for me is the almost nonexistent cargo room with the rear seats up. Fold the seats down though and there is plenty of room.
    This would be a second car for my family (wife and two real young kids) so small trunk maybe not much of a problem.
    I didn't get a sense of the kind of treatment to expect from the dealer, but since the guy wasn't working me and the sticker seemed in line, think it should be pretty straightforward with no BS. This is one cool, utilitarian car/van/whatever.
    Oh yeah, the sales guy said he knows a kid in Boston who bought one who had it dropped, put suicide doors on the rear, added a bunch of decals and I don't know what else. Sounds like what Toyota was hoping for.
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    moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    A dealer in Chicago (Midtown?) has the Xa and Xb on display but not on sale. Don't know if Toyota is providing the vehicles for advance publicity or if the dealer obtained them from CA on their own.
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    a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518
    I think the main reason for the initial popularity of the xB as opposed to the xA is that the first batch of Scion buyers have been customizers who had been following the debut of the car and wanted one right away. The xB, being the more distinctive of the pair, was the natural choice for the big-wheels-and-decals crowd. As Scions become more common and migrate through the other 49 states, I expect that the xA sales as a percentage of total will increase notably, as "mainstream" buyers (possibly still younger ones, just not serious enthusiasts) discover the car.

    -Andrew L
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    tcpip1tcpip1 Member Posts: 121
    I think boxy cars are becoming popular. I saw a Mercedes-Benz G-Class car today.

    Picture
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    scootertrashscootertrash Member Posts: 698
    The square shape of the XB is not just a gimmick.
    It is absolutely huge inside. Not only does it look distinctive--It is. No other car of it's size ahs near this room inside.
     
    The Xa is just another economy car.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Tcpip1, if only more SUVs would imitate those rain gutters on that G Class!

    Steve, Host
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    ...and the Scion xA is more fun. Admittedly the xA is smaller (the trunk! what trunk!), but it is smart looking inside, vs. the dull quality of the Civic LX, the seats have better fabric than the Civic LX, the surfaces have a more interesting texture, and the sound system is better.

    Don't forget the xA is a Japanese/European car first and foremost - thus the narrower width than we are used to, the shorter length, both because Europe and Japan have narrow streets and shorter parking spots. Also, in Europe it's hard to get this car - the Yaris in Europe - with more than a liter engine.

    To get it over here with ABS and a VVT-i 1.5 liter engine - well, that's relatively upscale, and downright sporty. Until recently Honda Civics were 1.5, growing to 1.6, and only hitting 1.7 liter in 2000 (as I recall).

    I think Civics are more mainstream. In a four door, they have a more traditional sitting position - lower - but the xA is more fun. What the Toyota Matrix should have been, imho, in terms of appearance, until it got overly complicated, in visual terms. (The Matrix is to the xA what a "clad" Pontiac is to an Intrepid - if that makes any sense.)
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    the last two weekends i had to play out (i play guitar). i have a HUGE guitar rig. we're talking three speaker cabinets, a big effects rack, an amp in a flight case, an 18" x 36" pedalboard, another power amp, and then two guitars plus a little bag for all my cables.

    the xB was form-fit for my rig. you just can't imagine the amount of cargo space this thing has.

    even with the car fully loaded, it wasn't dreadfully slow on the freeway, and handling was very predictable.

    if anyone is curious to see pics of the thing totally loaded up, e-mail me at andergtr@aol.com.
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    mikusmikus Member Posts: 109
    <a_l_hubcaps>The xB, being the more distinctive of the pair, was the natural choice for the big-wheels-and-decals crowd.</a_l_hubcaps>
    There is a guy from the company located in the builing next to ours, he is about 55, and has cherry xB, no decals, no 18-inch wheels. Hi likes it a lot. He smiles when he drives and nods when others show him the appreciation of his car.

    <tcpip1>I think boxy cars are becoming popular. I saw a Mercedes-Benz G-Class car today.</tcpip1>
    The G-wagen itself is about 30 years old. It was an army jeep first, now it is a luxury box on a frame with front and rear solid axles. Totally poitless buy if you do not need an infantry transporter. Especially with gasoline V8. Archaic luxury.

    About xA/xB quality: xA has small plastic covers inside the trunk on the sides, apparently for rear light bulb access. I pulled one out, it sits on the plastic clips. I could not stick it back, the plastic panel was bouncing. On xB I pulled up the passenger cushion and could not stick it back on the lug, even hitting it. Too much plastic, too many clips.

    <andergtr>the xB was form-fit for my rig. you just can't imagine the amount of cargo space this thing has.</andergtr>
    If only it had folding front seatback like Matrix has...
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    scootertrashscootertrash Member Posts: 698
    The XB does have a flat folding front seat
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    you can go here:

    http://www.ofoto.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?UV=411278520949_33378262605- &collid=59487262605

    the longer i have this car, the more i like it!
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Your xB rocks, literally!. :o)

    -juice
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    andergtrandergtr Member Posts: 101
    it's a cool car. i drove my BMW for the first time in two weeks today, and honestly i don't really miss the power of the BMW in the scion.

    sure, it's a noticeable difference, but the scion is more than enough power for scooting around town...particularly when you are stuck in LA traffic.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    0-60? Who ever reaches 60 in that traffic? hee hee

    -juice
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Nice pics. Cars are definitely getting more fun to look at again.

    Steve, Host
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    sickboyjgsickboyjg Member Posts: 1
    Hey all. Last sunday (9-28) We took delivery of our xB in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dark Cherry with 18" wheels added at the Southbay Toyota Dealership in California. Just thought I'd let you know that we broke the seal on ohio!
    -JG
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