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THINKING INSIDE THE BOX

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 Sun, Dec 14, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

THINKING INSIDE THE BOX By Paul Robinson Scion XBs are a regular sight on Southern California freeways. The xB and its aggressive styling has caught my eye on numerous occasions. The most surprising aspect of driving the xB are the waves and smiles I receive from other xB owners. Scion xB owners love their cars and want to talk about them with you at gas stations or in the grocery store parking lot. Scion is doing an excellent job marketing to generation Y, and the dealer customization of cars continues to revolutionize the industry. This is one of the reasons Scion owners often want to talk about their cars, to see the different options on other vehicles. Most of the xB's on the road have at least one of the dealer options, which range from a different shift knob to a TRD (Toyota Racing Development) brake and supercharger package.

Without the supercharger or upgraded brakes the XB is still very fun to drive, weighing in at only 3086 Lbs the 2.4L engine gives more than enough power. One statistic often overlooked, but very important on California highways, is how a car accelerates between 60 and 80 MPH. The xB has great passing ability, with one quick downshift the engine comes up to 6000 RPM putting all 158 HP to work and the XB is off to the races. The low curb weight not only helps the xB in terms of acceleration, but also contributes to handling. The tall boxy xB does not instinctually look like a vehicle that will handle well, but the 16 Inch tires hold surprisingly well on freeway onramps and surface street intersections. The suspension on the xB is very stiff allowing very little body roll in turns, however this stiffness is less than appreciated on the wavy surfaces of freeways at 75 MPH as the car amplifies every concrete crease.

There is however no question as to why those xB owners love their cars, the xB is amazingly fun to drive and also versatile. The interior is very large and spacious with plenty of legroom in the back seat and with over 42 inches of headroom it accommodates larger passengers with ease. With the rear seats folded down there is more than enough room in back for snowboards, surfboards, or even a beach cruiser. The cloth-covered seats, like the suspension, are stiff, but very supportive and seemingly indestructible. This fits well for the generation Y market the xB is targeting. The xB does a great job catering to its intended market, which is the 16-24 age groups. The versatility and styling are something that would have been very appealing to me at this age not so many years ago. The xB would also be a top choice if I had children in this age group. Costing a mere $17,370.00 for the automatic and getting an estimated 28 miles per gallon on the highway this is a great economical car which brings a lot of value to the table.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT If form follows function, the xB has a funky but cool form, lots of function, and all at a remarkably affordable price. For more information about Scion products, go to www.scion.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2009 Scion XB Automatic Base Price: $17,370.00 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: 4-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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