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Media post: Remembering the Scion xB – a Great Little Toaster that Fizzled Out

Scion xB

The Scion xB is/was a great little hatchback. Created by Toyota got their youth-marketed Scion line, the xB was one of several cubey/toastery little cars that debuted in the early 2000’s. The Scion’s boxy frame makes it look big, but this is far from the truth. Super-compact in its first generation, the Scion remained officially compact for the rest of its run, which played out from 2003 to 2015. In the end, people just weren’t buying xB’s, despite their many practical charms. You’ll still see xB’s on the road all time time, from every manufacturing year. We’ll cover some of their strengths and weaknesses. Even though their popularity fizzled while they were available on lots around the country, you may find yourself longing for a used one of your very own.

The xB’s sales peaked in 2006, it’s fourth year of manufacture, at just over 61,000 units sold. From there it was a long slow decline, with a precipitous sales drop of 20,000 units between 2008 and 2009. By the end of its second generation run, Toyota was moving less than a quarter of the units they sold during the xB’s manufacturing peak, and pulled the plug. The people who owned or still own the Scion tend to talk about these little cars fondly. Mechanically simple and reliable (these things run on a Corolla engine, actually), xB’s tend to run forever. They might not run fast or particularly smoothly (at least in the automatic transmission orientation), but what they lack in sexy pickup they make up for in practical performance and stamina. xB’s don’t cost a lot to maintain, and car insurance is on the low side for the older models in particular.

The xB, even in its first generation, had gas mileage in the 30’s, something even today’s manufacturers brag about achieving. In addition, they are also incredibly spacious inside. It really was a brilliant achievement for a super-compact car. The xB is known for being a good car for very tall people. Drivers and passengers well over 6’6” can sit without finding their legs cramped, and the large doors for this size car make entrance and egress a breeze. The slightly goofy silhouette, either incredibly attractive or hideously ugly depending on who you talk to, lends itself to youth, humor, and adventure. The xB has gained a reputation as a great vehicle for people with dogs – and the dogs tend to like it too.

The xB isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, even though it’s no longer rolling off of manufacturing lines. The used models out on the roads today, the youngest still less than a year old, have years or even decades of life ahead of them. For people looking for a spacious, affordable, and reliable vehicle, the Scion xB may be just the token. Look for one on Craigslist or in used car lots around your area. Just because this car’s sales slumped at the end of its run doesn’t mean that this won’t be a car you’ll absolutely love.

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