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 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!"
3 people out of 6 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."
6 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Mick on Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By David on Tuesday, April 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By bocho on Friday, April 18, 2014
I want this caroverall rating 10 of 10rating details
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
By sci-fi on Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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."
13 people out of 17 found this review helpful