Pros Outstanding features for price; great performance and economy
Cons Sloping roof restricts overhead view, flimsy armrest
Summary We were looking to replace an aging Impreza with either a Versa, Fit, Suzuki SX4, Vibe/Matrix, or Focus. I was impressed with the Matrix and was about to buy one when the dealer suggested test-driving an 08 Scion xB. I went back three times to compare the xB and Matrix and also test drove an xD and an 06 xB. I was impressed with the performance and ride of the 08 xB and after reading all the online reviews I could find, went ahead and bought a 5 speed manual that came back from a “deal gone bad” with about 7k miles on it. I’ve put about 2k miles on it in the past month and have been very impressed with this vehicle. My only reservation was fuel economy (full disclosure: I ride a gas-sipping motorcycle whenever the Upstate NY weather permits so fuel economy wasn’t quite the factor it would have been otherwise) so I’m glad to report that the mileage is better than EPA predicted. I get 25-27 mpg during my city/suburban commute; 31-32 mpg on the interstate with the cruise control set at 70 mph; and 29 mpg out of one tank burned up on twisty secondary roads in the Allegheny Mountains.
The handling, comfort, and performance are excellent. It has a lot of room for passengers and cargo and very good access to the upright front bucket seats. I had 6’4’’ and 6’ 2’’ passengers sitting behind each other with room to spare. The new model is a significant improvement over the old xB in highway stability and acceleration. The 2.4L has good low-end torque and moves the car quickly when needed. It corners very well with little body roll. I’m also pleased with the performance of the stability and traction control during recent sloppy and icy winter weather. I wasn’t able to get it to loose control despite trying in an empty parking lot - not a bad alternative to AWD.
Seats seem a bit soft to me, but are comfortable to my herniated lower back disks. The interior is ok, but nothing special – about what one would expect for a vehicle at this price point. Unlike many reviewers, I find the center-mounted digital speedometer and tachometer well positioned and welcome alternative to peering through the steering wheel. What isn’t expected is the range of standard safety features: side curtain airbags, stability control, traction control, ABS and disk brakes all around.
There are a few minor negatives. The sloping roof restricts overhead view of close traffic lights. The arm rest is flimsy and too narrow. The manual shifter is a little clunky and vague, but nothing one can’t get used too. The rear wiper doesn’t clear off much of the rear window. I haven’t noticed the alleged rear blind spot.
Overall, I highly recommend this car to anyone looking for an economical vehicle with more room than others in its class. I find the performance and features of the 08 xB to more than offset the fuel economy hit. The negative reviews I’ve read are more concerned with what Toyota did to the original xB. They may have a point – these are different vehicles with different appeal (I’m 50, certainly not Scion’s target demographic) but its not like Scion turned the xB into a Hummer! In fact, the footprint of the 08 xB is not much different than the old Impreza. They should have called this an “xE” and kept the old-style xB for the loyal aficionados.
Pros Space, design, looks, construction quality
Cons Road noisy from tires
Summary I have owned my 2008 XB for two months and I am still jazzed about my decision to buy.
In its class of affordable, entry level autos, the 2008 Toyota Scion gets a spectular 9!
Before this total remake, I would not have bought an anemic Scion.
Now, the people at Scion have greatly improved upon the xB formula by installing a more powerful engine, providing more cabin space, better ride and they rounding the box while remaining true to the original's offbeat look. This is, the Best buy for the money on the market today. Oh, PS, the resale value is stellar.Updated
I have had this 2008 for 8 months and had zero mechanical problems.
However! There is an issue with the paint quality. I have the "Blackberry Crush" color (purple) and it chips when insects hit it (well almost). I felt something was wrong, so I took it to the Scion Dealer in Sandy Springs Georgia and they measured the paint with a "Thickness Meter". In some areas it was only 2.0 mils (norm is 4.0 mils to about 6.0 mils. Which helps explain the chips and easy scratching, but, now I need to schedule an appoint with the Scion factory rep. They should have done it right at the factory.
The second "wish" is for better gas mileage ... In town, I don't get the 22mpg the Scion adds claim, but rather 18-19mpg. I check this at the pump each fill-up. FYI The computer in the Scion is off by about 10% (always showing a higher mpg). I use good old division and with Shell 87 octane I average 18-19mpg in town with conservative driving.
Anyone with a 2008 that has had problems with either of these issues please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cons Armrest is too narrow
Summary It's simply a great car for the money! It's cavernous inside, comfortable, quiet, economical, safe, fun to drive and unique. It's a huge improvement over the old XB and addresses all of the previous model's many shortcomings. What more could you want for under $17,000?
Pros Toyota reliability
Cons Too many to summarize
Summary This is Toyota's bid to become the SONY of the auto industry. For years the xB sold out (I doubt I saw a single xB on any Scion/Toyota lot until about a year ago.
The reasons were; it was cavernous inside, got good fuel economy and was startlingly different from anything else out there (and it was inexpensive to boot). Now you have a heavier/larger vehicle with way less useful interior space. I'm 6'4" and in the old model I was comfortable in the front and even the back (with another 6'4" person directly in front of me).
Now, with the newer model I don't fit in the back at all, and I can't really relax in the front, my legs don't have the same level of rake available. And even with the seating dailed all the way down, I am cramped.
What was once a fun boxy shape is now ungainly. This is not a redo, this is an abomination.
The poor sales person was saying how nobody's very happy with it. And the last time I drove by (on Saturday) they had NINE of the bloody things out front. NINE of them.
TOYOTA: Oh, look. We've got this American Sales Division (Scion's are all just Toyota's anywhere else in the world but the U.S.) and we sell a TON of these little toaster-shaped vehicles. We sell out year after year without a single discount or rebate. And better than that, we sell them AS IS and have the accessories bolted on there at the dealership.
This thing is selling like hotcakes, I know, LET'S COMPLETELY CHANGE IT FROM A CUTE LITTLE VEHICLE TO SOME MID-SIZED GAS GULPER THAT IS UGLY AS SIN FROM VIRTUALLY ANY ANGLE AND JACK THE PRICE UP. THOSE STUPID AMERICANS WILL EAT IT UP!
Ah, No FREAKIN' WAY. I hope you get the message, if you have a successful automobile, you TWEAK the design. You change the grill, a LITTLE BIT. You add BLUETOOTH as well as an iPod dock, and some new colours. YOU DO NOT SHOOT THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGGS FOR SUPPER! The new xD has been getting really bad reviews. Maybe Scion will quietly disapper. Couldn't happen to a STUPIDER company.
Don't fix it if it ain't broke!
(If you quietly drop this 'thing' and bring back the old xB, all may be forgiven. Maybe.)
Pros only a slight price increase
Cons Heavier, thirstier and less responsive
Summary As usual, the second generation of a fine vehicle becomes further bloated by more ADDED weight and a larger engine. So much for efficiency...