By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.3
Ten years ago, the Scion xB was revolutionary for its time. But today, the current model hasn't changed all that much from the original, while newer and fresher faces have shown up to challenge Scion's boxy 4-door compact. Without the option of all-wheel drive (AWD) or a more powerful engine, the 2014 Scion xB can't compete with the wave of compact crossover SUVs now flooding the market, and it even has a tough time when placed up against rivals such as the Kia Soul or Nissan Cube. However, the xB still has a few things going for it, namely its strong resale, decent fuel economy and roomy interior. There are plenty of aftermarket upgrades for the xB, making it a favorite with those who like to personalize their rides.
If you're looking for an inexpensive compact with loads of space, the 2014 Scion xB makes a great choice. Good fuel economy and strong resale are two more key selling points, as is the wide variety of available aftermarket parts.
If you demand a powerful engine, AWD or the ability to tow, the 2014 Scion xB isn't going to cut it. Those looking for cutting-edge styling, electronics and audio will find more to like in the Kia Soul or Nissan Cube.
There are no major changes for 2014.
Driving Impressions The 2014 Scion xB isn't fast or furious, but it is reliable and dependable. The feeling from behind the wheel is one of stability and comfort, nimble in tight city...... confines yet more than capable when the road begins to twist. With only 158 horsepower under the hood, the xB isn't going to get into much trouble, at least not quickly. However, the xB does afford enough power to permit quick sprints up an onramp or when jumping into traffic from a dead stop. Fuel-economy figures of 22/28 mpg are far from best in class, but most will find them acceptable. On the road, the xB does a good job absorbing road distortions and keeping most wind and tire noise out of the cabin. A height-adjustable seat and tilt/telescoping steering wheel, meanwhile, help drivers of various shapes and sizes find a suitable position behind the wheel.
Scion made the xB boxy because the shape allows for the most efficient use of space. Those who carry a lot of cargo will love the low and level loading floor, while those with tall friends will be happy their buddies don't have to slouch when relegated to the back seat.
Knowing their audience is primarily youth-based, Scion makes the 2014 xB easily customizable with a number of dealer-installed options including carbon-fiber trim and hardware from Toyota's TRD performance division. There is also a broad aftermarket for the xB.
Despite the 2014 xB's tidy exterior dimensions, there's no lacking for interior space. 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 nearly 70 cubic feet of cargo space. Up front, controls are simple to see and use: If you want to adjust the fan, you can do it in about two seconds. With lots of hard plastic 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
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 2014 Scion xB is akin to a rolling breadbox. 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.
The 2014 Scion xB comes in just one major trim level and with a choice of manual or automatic transmission. 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 Display Audio AM/FM/CD/HD system with streaming Bluetooth and aux/USB ports with iPod connectivity. 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.
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 a 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. The optional BeSpoke Premium Audio system 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.
The 2014 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 a rather 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.
158 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 mpg
The 2014 Scion xB has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $17,725 for models with a manual transmission. For those with an automatic transmission, likely the choice of most buyers, the price rises to a still-reasonable $18,675. With options, an xB can reach into the low $20,000 range. For comparison, the slightly smaller Kia Soul starts at just over $15,500, while the Nissan Cube nearly matches the xB's base price. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the xB. In terms of resale value, Scions enjoy above-average figures, and the xB is no exception, with its long-term value expected to be higher than that of the Soul and Cube.
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."
2 people out of 3 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!"
11 people out of 20 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."
9 people out of 20 found this review helpful