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X-Box Redux

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Oct 22, 2011

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


Scion xB

We drove a Scion xB about four years ago and liked the second-gen "bigger box" a whole lot. So, when it came time for an anniversary trip from LA to Lake Tahoe and back, we asked for an xB and the our friends at Scion very kindly loaned us one. Suffice it to say that everything good that we remembered from our first experience with the xB was right on the money. Here are my road notes. – Doug Stokes Thursday October 15/11:30AM/Trip Mile 733: … Just south of Lee Vining. My wife Dede is driving and I'm enjoying the view of the (still) snow-capped eastern Sierras as we head home after a couple of R&R days in a small cabin on the California end of Lake Tahoe. Our pups, Olive and Pickle are (relatively) happy in their travel cage that's bungie-corded to the back seat and have been handling the trip well.


The current plan is to get back to home in time to call Sam Butto at Toyota/Scion to ask about buying this machine as soon as it comes off press duty. As the italicized lead-in above indicates, our first experience with the Scion had impressed with both the xB's overall quality and its ability as a small family transport. What I had forgotten about was the xB's over-the-road steadiness and squirm-free handling that made a (relatively) long trip in a (relatively) small machine easy and really quite comfortable for all concerned. Heading south on the always cross-windy California 395 was a particularily good test for the xB. The verdict: no swing, no sway … straight on all the way.


Our xB snickered-out at a very reasonable $17,844 and, save a satellite radio and a set of cool alloy wheels, the squared-off station wagon wanted no more than that for our purposes either on the road or back at home. The xB's eager 2.4-liter engine and 4-speed automatic transmission are expertly matched. Rated at 158 horsepower, there was never a moment when we felt out-gunned on the road and we did the full (just over) 1000 miles round trip on 42 gallons of regular. Scion, as all know by now, is thought of as the "entry-level" Toyota brand with a twist. There's plenty of expected Toyota quality through out of course, but the brand was originally tweeked toward the younger set, post-teeners and just 20-somethings were aimed at. Now, of course, anyone of driving age is invited (encouraged!) and very kindly-bidden to drive a Scion. That, as we just found out, is not at all a bad suggestion. This is a very capable small car that loads up and drives big and still manages to maintain a very cool attitude.


POSTSCRIPT: Two weeks to the day after returning our 2011 review unit back to Toyota HQ in far off Torrance, California, the wife and this author strolled into our local Toyota/Scion dealer and bought an Army Rock Metallic (that's a much better looking color than it sounds, sort of a dark gold rather than khaki) 2012 xB for her. The major dif between the years was a direct "Bluetooth" connect for her cellphone, fog lights, and a Sirius upgrade to the sound system. We paid (hold your breath!) sticker and did not take the dealer's offer on her low-mileage 2002 Mercury Sable. - Doug Stokes For more information on Toyota products, go to To see Doug’s previous review on the Scion xB, click here


SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2011 Scion XB Automatic Price: $16,000 (base) $17,844 (as tested) EPA mileage estimates (city/highway): 22/28 miles per gallon Engine: 2.4L 16 Valve Dual overhead Cam Horsepower: 158 hp @ 6000 rpm Torque: 162 @ 4000 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine / Front-wheel drive


Transmission type: Four-Speed Sequential AT Suspension: Front: L-Arm Type Macpherson Strut Rear: Torsion Beam Wheels and tires: P205/55R16 All season tires on steel wheels with full 16 inch wheel covers Brakes: Front: Ventilated Disc Rear: Solid Disc Standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction control Overall length: 167.3 in Overall width: 69.3 in Overall height: 64.8 in Curb weight: 3086 lbs


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