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2015 Scion xB

Overview
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2015 Scion xB Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

The days are long gone where the Scion xB could be considered revolutionary. Today, it faces stiff competition from the Kia Soul and Honda Fit, and without the option of all-wheel drive (AWD), it can't hold a candle to newer compact crossover SUVs like the Hyundai Tucson, Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V. Still, there's no denying that the little Scion xB has its strengths. It boasts strong resale value, gets good fuel economy, and it's quite roomy inside for people and cargo. The addition of a backup camera modernizes the xB a little bit, and there are a ton of aftermarket upgrades for those who are so inclined.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for an inexpensive, roomy compact wagon, the 2015 Scion xB deserves a look. Not only is it inexpensive to buy, but its good fuel economy and strong resale value make the xB easy to own, too.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite the Scion xB's boxy looks, this is no SUV, and there's no AWD available. There's not enough power to accelerate quickly, much less tow anything, and the center-mounted gauges remain a peculiarity, different for the sake of being different.

What's New for 2015

Little has changed for the Scion xB this year, with just the addition of a backup camera helping to keep it modern.

Driving the xB
Driving Impressions

Reliability, dependability and low cost of ownership aren't usually the kinds of things that get the ol' heart pumping, but they're the best things about the 2015 Scion xB. Like...

... most small cars, the Scion xB feels nimble in city driving, and the suspension is firm enough that the little wagon performs in a decent, if undistinguished, way around turns as well. The engine only puts out 158 horsepower, resulting in so-so acceleration with the 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic. On surface streets, the suspension does an adequate job of isolating the cabin, but at highway speeds, there's plenty of interior noise to keep you company. It's a good thing the audio system is decent. Fuel economy is good for a small wagon though, averaging 28 mpg on the highway.

ROOMINESS
When you pack your stuff, you put it in a box. That's the philosophy behind the 2015 Scion xB, and it works out here, as there's an admirable amount of space inside this small wagon for all your stuff on the low and flat cargo floor, or in the roomy rear seat.

CUSTOMIZABILITY
There aren't a lot of factory options for the Scion xB, but there sure are a lot of accessories for it. Scion makes plenty of its own aftermarket bits available through Toyota's TRD performance division. There is also a broad aftermarket for the xB.

2015 Scion xB Details
Interior

The 2015 Scion xB's tall roof means there's plenty of headroom, and the good rear legroom means even tall rear-seat passengers should be comfortable. If instead of people you need to haul things, the rear seats fold flat in a 60/40 split, and the tall roof means there's nearly 70 cubic feet of cargo space. "Simple" is the obvious interior design theme, with knobs and switches easy to find and use. "Cheap" is another word, thanks to the acres of hard, flat plastic. The center-mounted gauges are interesting, but we'd still prefer they were in front of the driver.

Exterior
2015 Scion xB photo

The 2015 Scion xB is low, wide and square, presenting a unique look out on the road. It's squared off enough to make even the Kia Soul look sleek by comparison. Its proportions make the xB look more like a low-rider wagon, especially when equipped with aftermarket wheels and wider tires. 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

There's really only one Scion xB model, and it comes pretty well equipped. There's keyless entry, cruise control, power windows, and power mirrors. The standard Display Audio system offers 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

Aside from choosing between a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission (hint: get the manual), most of the options for the Scion xB have to do with accessories for personalizing or improving the performance. Available from Toyota's TRD performance arm 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 available BeSpoke Premium Audio system uses your iPhone for navigation and Internet radio.

Under the Hood

The 2015 Scion xB soldiers on with the same 2.4-liter 4-cylinder it has had since the current model came out back in 2007. It puts out 158 horsepower and runs on regular unleaded gasoline. Getting power to the front wheels is either a 5-speed manual or an antiquated 4-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is decent, but many other compacts get much better fuel economy these days.

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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