The Scion xB is part of a growing car segment: The small, SUV-like hatchback. It's the boxiest entrant in this field, which includes the Honda Element, Chevrolet HHR and Suzuki SX4 Crossover. It was redesigned last year and smoothed out a bit, but it still retains its boxy shape.
What's new for 2009
There are no significant changes from the 2008 model.
It's not as boxy as it was before, but that's not saying much, as the previous xB looked like it was made of Lego bricks. When compared to the HHR and SX4, the xB slots right in the middle in terms of length; it's almost the same length as the Element, 9 inches shorter than the HHR and almost 5 inches longer than the SX4.
- Stingray Metallic paint replaces Nautical Blue Metallic for 2009
- Standard black grille trim, optional metal finishes
- 16-inch wheels standard, 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels optional
It's got a center-mounted speedometer that some find hard to read. The gauges are red, which is easy on the eyes at night but hard to see during the day. Beyond that, the interior is fairly standard, with a lot of cargo room when the rear seat is folded.
- 160-watt Pioneer audio system with iPod connectivity and auxiliary port
- 60/40-split rear seat has three-point seat belts and head restraints for three occupants
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard cruise control
Under the hood
Toyota's workhorse 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard. It makes 158 horsepower and 162 pounds-feet of torque.
- Standard five-speed manual transmission is standard
- Four-speed automatic with a manual-shift provision is optional
The xB has a wide variety of standard safety features, including:
- Four-wheel antilock brakes
- Seat-mounted side-impact airbags
- Side curtain airbags for first and second rows
- Electronic brake-assist