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2014 Scion xB

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2014 Scion xB Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2014

There are no major changes for 2014.

Driving the xB
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.

ROOMINESS
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.

CUSTOMIZABILITY
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.

2014 Scion xB Details
Interior

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
2014 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 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

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 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.

Under the Hood

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.

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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