By KBB.com Editors
When Scion set out last year to redesign the original xB, it asked current owners and fans of the brand what they would like to see on the next generation. Their feedback revealed that people wanted the box-like styling to stay, but also wanted the car to be larger, with a more powerful engine and more standard features, such as cruise control. The result is the 2009 xB, a vehicle that should appeal to both Scion enthusiasts and other potential buyers, all at a reasonable price. Scion's straight-forward "mono spec" basic equipment level continues, encouraging customization and making the car-buying process more personal.
If you want a versatile four-door car that is easily customizable, comes with loads of standard features and is affordable, the xB is a great choice. With 60/40 fold-flat rear seats and 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space, it could also be ideal for those with a small family or simply lots of stuff.
The xB's box-like styling, although less extreme than it used to be, may not appeal to all tastes. And if you love cars that are performance-driven, you may be happier in something a little sportier. The xB also does not offer a V6 – even as an option.
Other than a new color, there are no major changes for the 2009 Scion xB.
Driving Impressions The 2009 Scion xB, with its relatively long wheelbase and wide stance, seems to be most at home on urban roads, handling the asphalt with a smooth and noticeably quiet...ride, thanks to an improved suspension and noise-damping materials. On rural roads the xB seems a little sluggish, feeling slightly top-heavy through curves and corners. However, the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower is a definite improvement, producing 55 more horsepower than available in the first generation xB and giving it some extra power on hills and freeways. Large disc brakes on all four wheels aid in stopping the vehicle more quickly.
Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) Screen
This screen, built into the audio faceplate on the dash, allows you to display personal "skins" to customize the interior of the car. Skins can be created and downloaded on a special site produced by Pioneer just for Scion owners.
Where most cars only offer an auxiliary audio input jack, the xB also features a standard iPod interface. Plugging an iPod into this port allows it to be operated through the radio head unit. The plug also simultaneously supplies power to the iPod.
Although it may not look like it from the outside, the interior of the xB has seating that is both roomy and comfortable, even in the second row. The vehicle offers 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space when all seats are up and 69.9 cubic feet when the 60/40 rear seats are folded flat. For the driver who loves listening to music, satellite radio, auxiliary MP3 jacks and a customizable audio faceplate that can display images and short video clips are all within reach.Exterior
The 2009 xB is noticeably rounder and larger than the rolling breadbox that was the original xB. The latest xB touts a rectangular grille flanked by multi-reflector halogen lamp clusters with low projector beams that curve along the car's sides. Echoing these wrap-around headlamps are side-view mirrors with LED turn signals that illuminate in each mirror when activated. Wide pillars at the back end of the car create a bit of a blind spot that some drivers may not like. Standard 16-inch wheels – an inch larger than those on the previous model – do a good job of filling the wheelwells in style.
With only one trim level, the xB comes pre-loaded with many features that make it particularly attractive for the asking price. Inside, some of these features are air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a Pioneer audio system with six speakers, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), vehicle stability and traction controls and a first-aid kit. For music lovers, the lower dash houses an iPod interface and auxiliary audio input that allows song information and manipulation through the main unit and steering wheel controls. Gracing the exterior, a chrome exhaust tip and the choice of three wheel-cover designs are included as well.
Since the xB comes with so many features already, many of the options are geared more toward personalizing the car. Such interesting options include color-customizable interior lights with matching cup-holder illumination, sport pedals, illuminated door sill enhancements, in-pillar storage, a subwoofer, 17-inch alloy wheels and a color-keyed rear spoiler. There are a few more practical options that people may choose as well, such as carpeted floor and cargo mats, a navigation system, remote engine start, fog lights and an auto-dimming mirror. For those who want a more "upscale" feeling inside, an interior trim upgrade kit is also available.
The xB shares its 2.4-liter dual overhead-cam (DOHC) four-cylinder engine with its Scion sibling, the tC. Buyers have the choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic with sequential shifting, a first for Scion and parent company Toyota. Both transmissions help the xB get slightly better gas mileage than the similar Honda Element and the PT Cruiser, which should make it extra appealing to anyone concerned about fuel consumption.
2.4-liter in-line 4
158 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (manual), 22/28 (automatic)
By Jeff on Saturday, November 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfort, stereo, versatile space, resell value"
Cons: "road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car fits my lifestyle perfectly but above all the reliability is what sold me. Almost anyone will tell you the most important feature in any vehicle is reliability and after glowing reviews on reliability from friends with Xb's I decided to make this my first new car purchase ever. So far I have had no mechanical issues with the exception of some grinding when shifting into reverse (manual) but it's done that since day one and I've had other cars that did without any failure. Almost every feature delivers exactly what you would expect for the price with no disappointment. I have versatile space, decent pickup, average fuel economy and convenient appointments. My favorite design feature is the ease of getting in and out. The ergonomics of the seats are great and the upright posture keeps me alert while driving (I can fall asleep driving on long trips). Overall I would buy one again since the cost to own has been low and the used value has remained high."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Thunder Boy on Thursday, September 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable and well built & fun to drive roomy too!"
Cons: "gas milage could be better"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is a excellent all purpose car. great seating BIG room & nice handling and extremely well built. Many great features are included. For the money it has NO real equals Most owners truly praise and LOVE this car for a very good reason. A proven drivetrain and proven long term quality & reliability ... perfect? ..no ...good? YES! ..very! LLJ"
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Nate on Saturday, September 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "HD radio, space galore, mechanical quality"
Cons: "Noise, interior quality, comfort level"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I bought this car a little over two years ago and traded in my 1997 Buick Regal. Main reason for buying it was the desire to move larger items without having to borrow the neighbors truck or rent a moving van and the reliability of Toyota. It works great for utilitarian purposes, but comfort is much farther down on it's list of strong points. It has a fairly stiff ride, which can be bad for long trips. The interior over the past year has started to develop a lot of very annoying rattles and creaks, which are a pet peeve of mine. MPG is decent for this car but with better transmission it could be soooo much better. Engine noise, due to the transmission, is always running high rpms, but has pretty good power around town. The audio system is a very good unit, with aux jack, USB charging and connectivity, and HD radio that I have become so use to having that it hurts a little to consider parting with it. I get very use to having static-free reception for news and music. Overall, I love the space that it has and the looks are clean and definitely unique. I am thinking of replacing it for something with a bit more refinement since I do drive a lot, but it has been a very good hauling and multi-purpose vehicle. As a primary vehicle it may not be a good everyday car, but could definitely serve as a wonderful secondary utility vehicle."
9 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Debbie on Thursday, June 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive because it's so funny looking"
Cons: "Seats aren't the most comfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought this car in 10/09 and have had no issues with it at all. It has great pickup on the highway and good gas mileage. Except for oil changes and new tires, I haven't had to spend any money on it!"
17 people out of 30 found this review helpful
By Jimbo on Saturday, May 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Plenty of room, dependable."
Cons: "road noise and gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am tall, 4 inches shy of 7feet, and fit in this car nicely. However my wife of 5'1" can drive it as well. We have owned this car since '08 and it has been extremely trustworthy. It rides and handles well and is zippy. The only drawbacks I can mention are the road noise and the fact that the manual transmission needs a 6th gear as at 80mph, legal here on the highway, it runs past 3500 rpm and the gas mileage suffers. Expect anywhere from 22 to 30 mpg depending on load and driver. I have loved this car and would buy another."
17 people out of 35 found this review helpful
By Mick on Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "EASY TO DRIVE"
Cons: "TRADE IN VALUE"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"HAD BOUGHT ONE OF THE FIRST XB`S AND SOLD TO BY THIS ONE. TRADE IN VALUE HAS DROPPED MORE THAN I EXPECTED. PAINT EASY TO CHIP ( SHOULD SELL ALL CARS WITH PLASTIC PROTECTOR COATING ON WHOLE FRONT OF CAR) DRIVES GREAT GOOD GAS MILAGE 27-31 MPG. WIFE DRIVES THIS CAR TO WORK AND SHE LOVES IT. EASY TO DRIVE AND PARK. NO PROBLEMS."
15 people out of 23 found this review helpful