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2013 Scion xB

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2013 Scion xB Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.4

The Scion xB is the vehicle that started the rolling-box renaissance a decade ago. Now, nearly 10 years after its introduction and five since its last major revamp, the xB is starting to show its age while competing with vehicles such as the Kia Soul and Nissan Cube. In addition to those fresher rivals, the xB faces stiff competition from scads of crossovers such as the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape. The xB 5-door hatchback isn't made for off-highway use and doesn't have the most powerful engine out there, but what it continues to do well is pack a lot of space in a small package. The xB also retains its youthful attitude, strong resale value, and the quality build that comes from having Toyota as Scion's parent.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want the interior room and versatility that comes with a compact SUV but not the tall ride height or marginal fuel economy that often comes with them, check out the 2013 Scion xB. The xB also appeals to the tuner set and those who like to customize their ride with distinctive wheels and body work.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need all-wheel drive for extra traction in foul weather or the ability to tow, look to one of the many competent compact SUVs out there, such as the xB's cousin the Toyota RAV4. The Kia Soul, meanwhile, has a fresher powertrain, lower starting price and longer warranty.

What's New for 2013

For 2013 the Scion xB receives minor exterior and interior tweaks that include a redesigned front bumper and new seat fabric. Available as an option is the BeSpoke Premium Audio system that is compatible with iPhones and can run apps such as Facebook and Yelp, and stream Internet radio stations.

Driving the xB

Driving Impressions The 2013 Scion xB is neither a tarmac burner nor mountain-road carver, but it's relatively comfortable and nimble, and – because of its compact size – easy to park. The...

Scion xB is front-wheel drive, and its sole engine is a 4-cylinder. The engine's 158 horsepower is adequate for getting this carryall up to speed, and fuel economy of 22 mpg city/28 highway are pretty good, but not quite as high as what you can get from a Cube, Soul, or Mini Cooper Clubman. In a world of 6-speed automatic transmissions and CVTs, the xB's 4-speed automatic is antiquated. A 5-speed manual is also available, and it's enjoyable to use. We appreciate that the xB is well insulated from road noise. Its suspension does a good job soaking up road imperfections. A height-adjustable seat and tilt/telescoping steering wheel, meanwhile, help drivers of various shapes and sizes find a suitable position behind the wheel.

ROOMINESS
The idea behind a boxy vehicle is the same as, well, as box: Sharp angles maximize interior space, and thus what you can put in it. If you regularly carry passengers in the rear seat, they'll appreciate ample room in the xB. Or, fold the rear seats and presto – you've got SUV-like storage space for your gear.

CUSTOMIZABILITY
Scion's lineup is aimed at more youthful drivers, and that demographic takes particular care in making sure they stand out. Why should their car be any different? With that in mind, Scion offers numerous options for personalization, from carbon fiber window trim to hardware from Toyota's TRD performance division.

2013 Scion xB Details
2013 Scion xB photo Interior

Despite the 2013 xB's tidy exterior dimensions, there's no lacking for interior space thanks. If you or your friends are tall, all parties should feel at ease in the xB. When not holding your buddies, the Scion's 3-person rear seat folds in a 60/40 split to open up a tremendous amount of cargo space – nearly 70 cubic feet. Back up front, controls are simple to see and use. There's little complexity here: If you want to adjust the fan to blow warm air on your feet, you can do it in about two seconds. With lots of hard plastic material and flat, simple surfaces, you won't confuse the xB for a Lexus. One interesting visual is the gauge cluster mounted at the top center of the dash.

Exterior
2013 Scion xB photo

Hunkered and squat, the xB is more like a low-rider wagon than the typical utility vehicle. With its blunt 90-degree angles and massaged edges, the 2013 Scion xB is akin to a rolling bread box. Above the high and broad side doors are windows whose blocky shape mimics that of the xB as a whole. The xB's wide C-pillars just aft of the darkened rear windows convey a powerful image in the aesthetic sense, but in the pragmatic one create blind spots. Along with the redesigned front bumper for 2013 xB models come a glossy black grille and LED accent lighting.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Scion xB comes in just one major trim level and with a choice of manual or automatic transmission, making the selection process simple. Thankfully this car is pretty well equipped for the price. All xB models come with remote keyless entry, cruise control, and power windows. The standard audio system has six speakers and a 160-watt Pioneer AM/FM/CD player with HD Radio, USB/auxiliary inputs, and Bluetooth compatibility. On the safety front, the xB has traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and a bounty of airbags. Also included with new xB models is complimentary maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles and two years of roadside assistance.

Optional Equipment

Most options for the xB have to do with personalizing the car or bettering its performance with parts from Toyota's racing division, TRD. Among them are sport muffler, lowering springs, a high-performance brake kit, and a limited-slip differential that works with the 5-speed manual transmission. Wheel options include 17-inch alloys or, for those who really want to roll big, 19-inch versions. New this year is the optional BeSpoke Premium Audio system that pairs with iPhones to harness app-based features including navigation and Internet radio. Twin screens mounted in the front headrests, meanwhile, can bring entertainment to rear-seat passengers. A limited-edition Release series offers enhanced interior and exterior treatments.

Under the Hood

The 2013 xB uses a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower and runs on regular unleaded. Transmission choices are a 5-speed manual or rather a antiquated 4-speed automatic. Both transmissions help the xB get good gas mileage, but not quite as good as the Nissan Cube or Kia Soul.

2.4-liter inline-4
158 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 mpg

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2013 Scion xB Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 270 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

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."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Lookd great in white

Huge Interior Great Price 29 MPG city and highway

By on Sunday, November 08, 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."

7 people out of 11 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."

12 people out of 15 found this review helpful

119650 miles later and still strong (2008xb)

By on Friday, October 02, 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"

9 people out of 13 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."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Good car

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,555

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good driving car and easy to get into and out of."

Cons: "Used as taxis in cities lowers the trade in value"

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

"I have over 55k on my Scion XB and it is my wifes car. I get 29-30 mpg even in the heat of Arizona. It is a very easy car to get into and out of and is very good to drive. Value is not great. Have had no mechanical problems at all. Has started to give some rattles or two the the dealer fix under warranty. They are no longer made (Scion went to new models) so value will drop. I like the car alot because of the ease of driving it. My wife and I will drive this car for the next 5 years or so."

4 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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