Sound and Spaciousness Meet with the Scion XB

May 9, 2012

If you want a quirky-looking crossover with power, plenty of space and excellent audio, the 2012 Scion xB could well be your best bet. Scion made some good changes to the 2012 model, including standard HD radio and a sweet new sound system. The Limited model offers Hot Lava paint and faux suede upholstery, giving a fresh look to the familiar crossover and making it a functional and appealing pick.

The xB is a five passenger vehicle. It features a 2.4 L/158 hp 4-cylinder engine on both the base and Release Series 9.0 models. It features standard front-wheel drive with no upgrade to AWD. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard and a 4-speed automatic transmission is optional for both models. The xB gets an EPA estimated 22 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. The gas tank holds up to 14 gallons of regular unleaded fuel.

Scion xB

The interior of the new xB is sleek and stylish, though having centrally-mounted primary gages are a distracting hindrance. Both the base and Release Series 9.0 models offer a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, making driving comfortable for taller drivers in combination with the ample leg and headroom. Both models offer air-conditioning, mirrored turn signals, full power accessories and cruise control. The base trim and Release Series 9.0 feature a 12v power outlet, external temperature display, audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel and a trip computer.

Entertainment is where you’ll score big with the xB. It comes standard with a Pioneer brand stereo and speakers that offer 160 watts of output, an AM/FM in-dash CD player with CD MP3 Playback, auxiliary audio input and iPod/iPhone integration, USB connection, an RCA output for additional speakers, a customizable head unit display and speed sensitive volume control.

Options include Sirius XM satellite radio and Sirius satellite receiver with traffic display, a rear seat entertainment system with DVD player, a premium Pioneer audio system with a compact touchscreen faceplate and additional RCA outputs, and Pandora Internet radio connectivity when used with an iPhone. With all these high-tech options, it’s easy to see why the xB is a popular choice for audiophiles.

On the safety front, the xB comes standard with antilock brakes, traction control, child seat anchors, stability control, full-length side curtain airbags and front-seat side airbags. In braking tests, the xB came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is a reliable performance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the xB its highest rating of “Good” in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Roominess is definitely not an issue with this Scion. With 122.5 cubic feet of interior space, the xB offers greater maximum cargo space than most rivals, not to mention some mid-size SUV’s. It measures 167.3 inches long, 63.4 inches high and 69.3 inches wide. Passenger room is definitely not neglected either, with plenty of space for tall adults to sit in comfort.

The pros of the xB are strong. Besides the aforementioned spaciousness, it offers a highly responsive engine that packs plenty of driving and passing punch. The price tag is also a lot more pleasing than with many other SUV’s. It feels fairly stable when driving at highway speeds. And the fact that there are tons of quality options is a definite plus. On the cons side, it isn’t in line for fuel efficiency with the Nissan Cube or Kia Soul, though it is comparable with other crossovers like the Chevy Equinox. With the centrally mounted gages, while the speedometer is easy to read, it is to the right instead of being in the front. The radio faceplates are not user-friendly. Slab-sided styling leaves the xB vulnerable to crosswinds.

If you’re in the market for a crossover that offers an overall smooth ride with plenty of space and quality audio options, the xB is a solid, enjoyable choice.

Important Stats2012 Scion xB
Engine2.4L I-4
Horspower158 @ 6,000 rpm
Transmission5-spd man with OD
0-60 MpH8.6 seconds
DrivetrainFront Wheel Drive
Seating5 passengers
Cargo Space70 cu.ft.
MPG22 City / 28 Hwy
Warranty36 months/36,000 miles
MSRP$16,300 - $18,110

Further Reading:

Scion Aims to Keep Fun, and Gen Y, in the Picture
In fact, according to Toyota’s April US sales press release, Scion posted April sales of 5503 units, up 8.4 percent versus April 2011. The tC sports coupe led the way with sales of 2008 units, and the xB urban utility vehicle recorded April sales of …

Scion xB and xD to Be Discontinued
Toyota plans to discontinue its iconic Scion xB and the ill-remembered xD, according to Ward’s Auto. Scion Vice President Jack Hollis told Ward’s that the brand didn’t “have plans for a direct xB or xD replacement.” Scion, which debuted in 2003, …

Image Source Scion xB By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons