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2011 Scion xB

Overview
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2011 Scion xB Review

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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 263 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Bought 9/2013 & driven locally by Senior

By on Thursday, May 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 553

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Great for City Driving"

Cons: "Miss my old cushy ride & plush touches"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"When my 1984 4-door long & heavy vehicle died I needed a car ASAP since I cannot use public transportation. Chose this Scion for ease of entry/exit with my knee/back problems, I am only driver so folded down rear seats for roomy luggage compartment for walker and groceries. Easy to park in tight spaces. Less than 600 miles for local errands in my center-city neighborhood. Indoor garaged; non-smoker."

14 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Great vehicle for the price

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Easy to get in & out of, Easy to park, Reliable,"

Cons: "Road noise, Small armrest, High RPM at Interstate Speed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Da Box

"Not young, or hip, or even cool, in fact a Baby Boomer. Just wanted a car that was good on gas, hauled a lot of stuff, was reliable, and inexpensive This car is all that. I am 68 years old and have a nice pick up truck that I seldom use anymore because this car gets better gas mileage, and does 90 percent of what I need done. The truck is now regulated to hauling appliances, and occasional trailer towing. I think what was originally designed for the young who wanted to be cool and different has now fallen from their favor, but has evolved into a great vehicle for the more practical older set due to it's usefulness. It is easy to get in and out of, for those with limited mobility. Toyota needs to stop trying to market this vehicle to the young, and market to the older set. They do not care what they are seen getting out of if they like it."

9 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Da Box

Great value.

By on Friday, April 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,898

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: "fun, great value."

Cons: "no 5 or 6 speed auto transmission."

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

"After owning a BMW and MDX, my 2014 XB is very refreshing. Had nothing but problems with my 2014 MDX. Got rid of it after 10 months. Bought my 2014 XB in 2/2015, it is a great value. Very easy to get in and out of the car. Wish it had a 5 or 6 speed auto transmission and would gladly pay the higher cost of one or two gears. Otherwise, it is a very good car."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

This is a perfect vehicle for camping.

By on Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,300

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"For me it is usually VW or Toyota. I owned a Corolla for 15 years, but wanted a better vehicle for camping. This one is perfect."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Very Happy

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I bought this new and am very happy with it. I have taken it on many road trips of 150 miles or more, it is very comfortable on long trips. It is very quiet at highway speeds. I love the fact it has lots of room. Gas mileage is pretty good, I average about 27 that's both city and highway driving. My only complaint is the 4 speed transmission, I would much rather have a 6 speed automatic. But for the price it is a great car. I have had no major problems with it."

14 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Great Car - Love this Car

By on Friday, February 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Roomy, Reliable, Great to Drive"

Cons: "Items not avail: Leather, electric seats, sunroof"

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

"I bought my 2012 certified preowned xB about a year ago I've put about 10k on it. This car is easy to drive, good pick up power and very roomy on the inside. I am only 5 foot but have several friends that are 6 foot and over and they can ride anywhere in the car comfortably and even enjoy driving it. The room in the back with the seats up is great but with the back seats down you would be amazed what you can put in the car. I love the hands free phone and the blue tooth. My only wishes... leather seats, electric seats, sunroof."

17 people out of 24 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

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