2011 Scion xB — Flash Drive
This 2011 review is representative of model years 2008 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Scion xB is intended to be a very customizable machine. Components like the radio are simply shaped and obviously easy to replace. The basic style of the xB is just cool enough to encourage this. It's available in cool colors, it's got a friendly exterior shape that elicits compliments in the parking lot, and it's spacious enough inside to share with friends. So the xB is a sort-of blank canvas on which owners can express their individuality and sense of style. But as a sort-of full-size Lego set the Scion does tend to feel a little hollow. For example, the noise the sun visor makes when it flips up to the roof sounds almost cheap. Yet, underneath it all, the Scion drives well and is an accomplished vehicle. It's not cheaply made, just highly "componentized." I can see why it's so appealing to the right buyer. – Paul Hagger
The Scion xB Release Series 8.0 really delivers a custom look, backed up by a sporty feel and a fun driving experience. Underneath this car is a practical, fuel-efficient box on wheels, but the addition of the Kenstyle body kit, Play-Doh Blue paint--my name, not Toyota's--and an upgraded 17-inch wheel-and-tire package turns this car into something you would expect to see at the SEMA Show. It feels equally custom on the inside, with black sport bucket seats, blue accents and ambient blue light. The drivetrain is standard Toyota fare, with 158 horsepower engine and a 4-speed automatic, but a responsive throttle makes it feel quicker than it is. The steering is crisp and responsive, and the sport-tuned suspension keeps it flat in the corners. I enjoyed driving this car — it's fuel-efficient and practical, but still sporty and fun. – Mike Meredith
Maybe I'm not the age demographic for a Voodoo Blue Scion xB with dark windows and custom wheels, but I still like it. Our tester was the special Release Series 8.0 edition, which accounted for the eye-catching paint as well as well as the matching blue interior trim. But you don't need the special edition to enjoy the very roomy interior. Front and back seats offered plenty of room and, thanks to its square shape, even tall folks shouldn't feel cramped. The peppy engine makes the Scion fun to drive; it feels quick and handles well with a relatively stiff suspension. Fuel economy is good, too. I averaged around 24 mpg in mostly city driving. With a cargo area that can easily hold several bags of groceries or a few suitcases, the Scion could make a great alternative to the standard crossover. And you don't have to be in your 20s to like it. – Perry Stern