One of Scion’s most interesting models is called the xB, whose first-generation spanned model years 2004 to 2006.
The funky, squared-off five-door crossover wagon initially rode a modified Toyota Yaris platform and boasted big utility, uniqueness and a high degree of customizability.
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The xB was restyled and updated for the 2007 model year and remains on sale now.
All first-generation xB models got a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with just more than 100 horsepower driving the front wheels via a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual.
Power accessories, air conditioning and a long list of options like satellite radio, a subwoofer, alloy wheels and cabin mood lighting could be specified.
Aftermarket support for the xB is also huge — making it a great platform for aspiring or seasoned custom import tuner types.
Scion is a youthful and dynamic brand of Toyota that’s now selling in the Canadian marketplace via a dealer network set up in selected cities. Despite its relative newness to the Canadian scene, Scion models were available in the U.S. for a number of years prior to the brand’s launch here, and models have popped up in the Canadian used car market, too.
What Owners Like
Passenger room, cargo space, visibility, ride comfort, utility and gas mileage are all rated highly by xB owners. Decent handling and the powerful up-level stereo equipment were also praised.
What Owners Hate
Typical complaints of the xB centre around its meagre power output and limited performance during passing and merging. Engine noise and some “cheap” interior parts were other common gripes from Scion owners.
No serious issues were apparent with major vehicle systems in the xB, though some common sense and a thorough inspection should still be considered mandatory when shopping for a vehicle.
Inspect the vehicle for rust, dents, paint chips or other blemishes that may help you negotiate a lower price. Be sure to have a look beneath the vehicle for signs of excessive rust or leaks, too.
Try the rear hatchback release, which numerous owners say is prone to breaking off or failing.
On a flat and straight stretch of highway, be sure to “feel” for steering pull to either side of the road, which could indicate an alignment problem or unevenly worn tires.
Test the brakes lightly, moderately and aggressively — ensuring the vehicle stops sharply and in a straight line each time.
Check the level and condition of all fluids under the hood, and be sure to double-check the condition of the clutch on models equipped with a manual transmission. Any sensation of clutch “slipping” could indicate that the clutch is nearing the end of its useful life.
A well cared-for xB should prove reliable and unique — though some shoppers will prefer the Honda Element or Nissan Cube for something more familiar and proven.