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2011 Scion xB

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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 New for 2011

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 271 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
    9.2/10

Great, reliable sporty car

By on Saturday, April 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,850

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great fun car for the price."

Cons: "Just plain in the inside, no options to make it ni"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"This car is great cruising around town or driving down the freeway. Nice peppy 4-banger. Not so good driving around the mountains, going to trade it in."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Best car I have ever owned

By on Thursday, November 12, 2015

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: "Great car, fun to drive with Toyota reliability"

Cons: "none"

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

Lookd great in white

"My wife has a 2006 xB and it is such a great car I decided to replace my 2009 RAV4 with a new 2015 xB. This car has more room and cargo capacity than the RAV4 did and it drives and rides better and is quieter that then RAV4. Scion has improved this car every year since its introduction in 2008. It is now so quiet and smooth that it feels and sounds like a very expensive car. The sound system is great, better that my RAV4 which had the optional JBL sound. Gas mileage to date with only 1,000 miles on it has been better than advertised with 23 MPG city and 30 Highway. My wife and I are both over 65 and find the higher seating position makes entry and exit very easy. This car is a great dollar value and giving more for your money than many more expensive vehicles."

26 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Lookd great in white

Huge Interior Great Price 29 MPG city and highway

By on Sunday, November 8, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Low Price, Roomy Interior, Unique Look"

Cons: "None"

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

Scion xB with aftermarket window tinting, fog lights, upgraded NAV unit

"Just purchased 2015 Scion xB and I am averaging 29.3 MPG for the first 3500 miles on the road. The vehicle is a manual transmission model. Not sure why others are reporting poor MPG. I live in the midwest with very few hills and I have a manual transmission so perhaps that might be the reason. Plenty of stop and go traffic and some highway driving and still achieve 29 MPG. I actually like the center gauges. At night I do not have the annoying gauge lights below me while viewing the road. It is quite easy on the eyes. Also the digital speedometer is a big plus over dial gauge. We place an iPad on the passenger side dash and lays there flat nicely. I am a 6'4" person and this vehicle is unbelievably roomy (headroom and leg room are stellar) even in the back seat. I initially was not keen on the boxy look of the vehicle but after tinting the windows and installing fog lights myself the exterior is very appealing. I have several comments on the look and the BIG interior. Reliability with Toyota Camry engine should be well above average. I do not observe the road noise as others have stated. I looked at a Kia Soul. You will be very disappointed in the interior size. Very small. Initial features of the car are not great. Get the vehicle for $17K with no options and then add aftermarket or the Toyota options yourself. I added fog lights, window tinting, and upgraded to apple car play receiver and navigation unit."

17 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Scion xB with aftermarket window tinting, fog lights, upgraded NAV unit

This is a bullet proof box

By on Monday, October 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 211,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "very reliable efficient automobile; huge interior"

Cons: "rear sightlines are poor"

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

"Have just turned 211,000 on the odometer and have only changed brake pads and tires when needed. With regular maintenance, this vehicle refuses to break. About 40,000 miles ago, had a yen for a new car, but the Xb was running well, so invested in a "wall paper woody kit" from stripeman.com and it added a new personality. Design wise it is elegant in that it has everything you need packaged in an efficient configuration. Would gladly pay a few $K more for updated interior materials. Too bad 2015 is the last year for this model."

13 people out of 16 found this review helpful

119650 miles later and still strong (2008xb)

By on Friday, October 2, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,620

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: "great gas mileage/room and dependable"

Cons: "exterior shell is flimsy"

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

"Bought this car in 08 and parked the truck during the high gas prices of 2008. Started traveling as an ER RN across the country with it. Never had a breakdown/let down from it. Its not flashy but extremely dependable. exterior is flimsy and ive lost alot of the rubber exterior molding. It just flew off on the highway. Put some fresh plugs in it at 115000k and the motor returned new form! Very low maintenance vehicle. Love it. Its a great commuter car that fits in some tight places with ease. Looking at buying another scion in the near future"

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

If you like keeping it simple, buy it!

By on Friday, September 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,300

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Just a great car."

Cons: "Really, haven't found one yet."

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

"This is an excellent machine. We looked at the Kia Soul and were debating between the two. What made us buy the XB were the following: 1. Simplicity of the controls and dash. The odometer is easy to get used too. In fact, I now look there in my Sienna and Outback for the speed. I find it easier to use once you drive it a little. All the other controls are super simple to use and non-complicated. The Soul seemed very complicated and clustered. 2. The rear gate is wider and and I believe taller than the Soul. It lifts out of the way so you will not hit your head if you are tall (6'4" here). More cargo space is a huge advantage. You can easily fit 2 mountain bikes in the back with the necessary equipment for the day. 3. Interior space is tremendous. There is plenty of room for any size person in the front and back. The rear seats have vastly superior seating than the Soul. If you want to be cramped-up, go with the Soul. The front seating arrangement in both cars, are near the same with the edge to the XB. It just seemed a little more spacious even though the XB is 2 inches narrower. 4. Gas mileage has been near 29 miles per gallon on 87. I am not sure about the Soul as the government has forced them to adjust their mileage down do to overstating. 5. It is very simple to get in and out of both cars. In fact it almost scary on how easy it is. If this is a problem for you, look at either one of these cars. You will be very impressed. 6. Lastly, you have an airy feeling driving the car. Plenty of headroom. We have found limited blind spots and decent acceleration with the XB. Sort of like driving a go cart. It is relaxing and fun. We did buy the weathertech mats and they fit like a glove. My only negative about the car is that I am unable to drive it as much as I would like. My kids love it and are constantly using it. This simply is a great car in this price point."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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