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2011 Scion xB

Overview
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2011 Scion xB Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.1

Much is made in the press about funky little cars such as Nissan's Cube and Kia's Soul. But it was the Scion xB that introduced Americans to the shoebox-on-wheels concept. Now in its second iteration, the 2011 Scion xB isn't as sharp-edged as the original, or as underpowered. In fact, next to the Cube and Soul, the xB looks a bit conservative, a strong testament to how rapidly consumer tastes change. Unlike its competition, however, the xB's list of optional accessories is unusually long, allowing an owner to personalize the xB with everything from carbon-fiber trim pieces to TRD performance parts.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Scion xB is not much bigger than most compact cars and SUVs, yet its versatile interior and miserly fuel economy give it the best attributes of both. Numerous add-on accessories allow for the kind of vehicle personalization once reserved for pricey custom shops.

You May Not Like This Car If...

With its low ground clearance and lack of a V6 engine option or all-wheel drive, the 2011 Scion xB's usefulness beyond the paved road is pretty much nonexistent.

What's Significant About This Car?

Changes for the 2011 Scion xB are limited to some minor exterior revisions and a new trim: The Releases Series 8.0 Sport Wagon. To make the Series 8.0 even more special, Scion will spray Voodoo Blue paint on a limited run of just 2,000 cars. Also new this year is the addition of a tilt/telescopic steering wheel.

Driving the xB

Driving Impressions Perhaps because of its wide stance and long wheelbase, the 2011 Scion xB seems to be most comfortable cruising along newly-paved freeways and urban side streets. Small cars are usually...

not as smooth-riding and quiet as the xB, but additional sound proofing and a competent suspension allow the xB to shield its occupants from rude jolts and noisy goings on. With only 158 horsepower on tap, the xB can't be expected to perform like a sports car, and the car's tall greenhouse and narrow tires conspire to make it feel slightly top-heavy in curves and corners. While we love the feeling of the manual shifter, we imagine most owners will opt for the four-speed automatic which, while adequate, could really do with another gear.

Scion Accessories Catalog
With so many cool things to add to the xB, one can easily push the price well beyond the $20,000 range. From audio, to suspension parts, to interior and exterior enhancements, the xB's accessories list is the ultimate car junky's play toy.

iPod Interface
Where many cars offer only 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.

2011 Scion xB Details
2011 Scion xB photo Interior

The 2011 Scion xB's boxy interior helps create a huge interior, one that can easily accommodate four adults or two people with a whole lot of gear or groceries. With the rear seats folded, the xB offers an impressive 70 cubic feet of cargo space; with the seats in place, there is still more than 21 cubic feet of usable storage space. While we like the xB's interior layout, the plastics feel a bit hard and cheap and there isn't much in the way of additional color or contrast, as there is with the exterior. Available options, such as the 200-watt Alpine navigation radio, add a bit of color to the xB's dash as well as a rich sound to its cabin.

Exterior
2011 Scion xB photo

The 2011 Scion xB artfully blends 90-degree angles with soft, rounded edges to create a practical economy car with maximum interior volume. Up front, a rectangular grille separates multi-reflector-beam headlamps with low-beam housings that curve along the car's sides. Around back, wide C-pillars create a look of solidity and strength; unfortunately for the driver, the xB rear pillars also create two large blind spots. In its most base guise, the xB runs the risk of appearing simple and, frankly, unattractive. But load on the available wheels, trim, paint and other Scion-sanctioned accessories and the xB transforms itself into one very cool ride. It's a neat trick no other car in the category can replicate, and one that makes the xB such a great find.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 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 via the steering-wheel audio controls. Gracing the exterior, a chrome exhaust tip and the choice of three wheel-cover designs are included as well.

Optional Equipment

Since the 2011 Scion 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, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, Alpine audio upgrade, fog lights and an auto-dimming mirror.

Under the Hood

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. Both transmissions help the xB get slightly better gas mileage than the similar Honda Element, but not quite as good as the Nissan Cube and Chevrolet HHR.

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)

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2011 Scion xB Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 248 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Best car for the money I ever owned

By on Thursday, June 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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!"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

A good quality car with room for a family.

By on Saturday, May 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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."

8 people out of 19 found this review helpful

GOOD CAR!

By on Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

The 2014 Xb is the Perfect ride

By on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A little extra cash, gets you a lot more."

Cons: "The car's AC unit takes about 2 minutes to kick in"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned a 2000 Ford Explorer, 2003 Oldsmobile Alero, a 2003 Hyundai Accent, and lastly a 2010 Toyota Corolla that I'd borrowed for months from my brother. Nothing compares to the space and comfortable driving dynamics of the Scion Xb. Before choosing the 2014 Kia Soul or the Nissan Cube, consider these questions and then make a decision: Do they come standard with Bluetooth technology communication that allows you to make calls and use your cell device on an on screen in cabin touch interface? Will the dealership offer a 5 year 60k warranty at no additional charge with a 3 year 36k maintenance and a 2 year (no miles applicable) Scion Road Side assistance (standard on the Scion)? Does it have a Stereo system that outshines both cars by an additional $1500 at no additional cost(standard on the Scion)? Are they any larger then the Xb? Lastly, but not least: Do other cars guarantee quality resale value for your vehicle such that the Toyota Scion brand name has given their consumers? It can go without being said that I believe the Scion Xb is a bit underrated. The car is not perfect, but it is not the car everyone may think it is due to overall reviewing. I love KBB and what it has done for me to put me on the right roads and steer me in the best direction for my new car. I wish that many of the things I have mentioned would effect the overall rating of the vehicle, but for some reason there is not a category and it is escaped or missed by many people. If you read this, and it is available for viewing, please take these things into consideration and make the most educated choice. I don't mind the Kia Soul. Hey, the thing comes with a panoramic sun roof, that's cool! I just want the full gravity and weight of your decision to be put on the scale properly; something that KBB has been great at. Thank you KBB and thank you reader. PS: The Scion Xb comes with a wheel that can move towards or farther away from you (great for tall drivers like me) along with an Average MPG meter with a display to see how you are doing on MPG in real time. Very useful to finding out how to drive the car in the most efficient way. I am a young driver with a heavy foot and I have averaged 26 city and highway miles. This car is amazing."

10 people out of 12 found this review helpful

not a single problem

By on Friday, April 18, 2014

I want this car

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"i drove from San Antonio Tx to San Francisco Ca not to conferrable but good gas vs my GMC truck fun ride"

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Drives like a sports car, hauls like a big SUV

By on Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great acceleration and handling"

Cons: "Interior is a little cheap and develops rattles"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I owned my Xb for 6 years and have driven it all over the country (including some rough roads it wasn't designed to drive on)and it has been mechanically bulletproof. All I've ever done is change the oil and rotate the tires. The little boxcar handles like its on rails and I love the acceleration! Only downsides is it sits very low to the ground and being an avid hiker I often hear the undercarage draging over rocks on unpaved roads and because its so low to the ground I've had to replace the windshild numerous times, seems if theres a rock or bolt flying off a big truck it will find the Xb's big windshield. The only other complaint I could have is it has developed a number of interior rattles, which is unusual for a Toyota product. My old Tacoma had over 200K hard miles and didn't rattle at all. Still I'd highly recommend this car to anyone who needed space to haul a lot of stuff but still wanted to feel like they are driving a high performance sports car."

14 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?