I have a 16 year old who was getting his permit. I was driving a 2003 Camry with a stick shift, and no ABS or traction control. I was also ready for an automatic after 30+ years of driving stick. The ...
I have a 16 year old who was getting his permit. I was driving a 2003 Camry with a stick shift, and no ABS or traction control. I was also ready for an automatic after 30+ years of driving stick. The Camry was reliable, but treacherous in the snow or heavy rain. i wanted something safer for my son. I also haul kids with snowboards a lot. The Scion Xb is like a Tardis (Dr. Who fans understand), small on the outside, and cavernous on the inside. I'm 6 foot as are my sons; we can all sit comfortably. ABS, traction control and curtain airbags are standard, so I'm very confident that it is safe for my son.
The driving dynamics are pretty good, for something that sits as high as it does, it is fun to fly around in. It has enough power to allow for decent acceleration, and a relatively smooth ride for a small car. Although it is only a 4 speed automatic, shifting is very smooth, and it has a rudimentary "tap" shift function which was really nice in the snow. My only complaint with the ride is that it isn't great in strong cross winds, but then it is shaped like a billboard. Performance in the snow is good. I keep constant track of my mileage and I'm getting between 27 and 29 MPG in mixed driving, which includes a lot of 70+ MPH cruising.
The standard stereo has an ipod interface, which is ok, but the buttons that control the ipod are fiddly to the point of distraction. the sound is good, though.
i have read complaints about the upright driving position, but I really don't have a problem with it. I've driven much less comfortable cars.
I have two complaints; the sunroof, or rather the lack of one. My last couple of cars had sunroofs, and I didn't realize how much I appreciated them until I didn't have one. XBs do not come with sunroofs. My other complaint is the gas gauge. It will be on empty, the low fuel light will be on, and the range indicator is at zero. I've yet to put more than 12 gallons in to fill it up. So the gauge is quite pessimistic.
Bottom line, if you want a reliable, funky car, that is safe, fun and cheap, this may be the one.