What it Is
Scion xB Preview – 2007 Chicago Auto Show: You’re reading this and thinking that the Scion xB is the coolest car on the road – or maybe you think it’s the import equivalent of a Pontiac Aztek. Either way, you’re destined to continue dancing a love/hate tango with the newly minted 2008 Scion xB. It’s simply more box to love, with more room inside, more power and a trendier style. Based on the Scion t2B Concept, the xB proves that Scion is really like most other automakers: more is better, and that means that you’re really just like everyone else, too, just a little bigger, closer to middle age and more like your parents than you thought. But that’s okay. You don’t get asked for your ID anymore because you’re so much more mature, right?
Why it Matters
What’s Under the Hood
What it Looks Like
It’s amazing how similar the 2008 Scion xB looks to the Scion t2B concept debuted at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. From the thick C-pillar to the wraparound headlights, high beltline, inset tail lamps and softened lines, the xB is trendy, futuristic and aggressive. At the press conference in Chicago, Scion officials showcased a Scion xB that had been lowered by two inches, shod with larger wheels and wearing a body kit. The result? One cool box, though the accessories weren’t necessary: the xB looks like it can carry the style quite fine as a stock model.
Hey. Come here often? Scion officials claim that designers created a lounge-like atmosphere with the new 2008 xB, so we have just one question: does the lizard come as standard? Joking aside, the inside of the xB, while innovative, is nothing like a lounge – it’s more like an affordable SUV with too much hard plastic, nice fabric covering so-so seats, and a clever dash design. Practical needs are handled by 29.1 cubic feet of cargo area behind the rear seats and a 60/40-split rear seat that folds flat. Ironically, that’s the highlight inside: practicality. With a flat load surface in back and compartments under the floor, this Scion xB is ready for the grocery store!
What Scion Says
“No one in the automotive industry is as hard-wire-connected to its owners as is
Scion, and the 2008 xB is a perfect example,” said Mark Templin, Scion’s vice president.
“We’ve stated in the past that we’ll probably always have a box in the Scion lineup, but
our owners told us they wanted a bigger box. They talk, we listen and we responded
with a bigger and better xB.”
What We Think
It’s a party in a box, that’s for sure, and the design is a significant leap away from the first generation Scion xB. We worry about all that plastic inside the cabin, however, and the dark fabric. How will it fare over time, and will there be production issues with all those joints? Ultimately, this very trendy AND practical vehicle will win many fans. The question is when does the love they feel for its quirky vibe end and turn to hate over the Plastic Paradise interior trim and flimsy seats?
Photos courtesy of Brian Chee, Toyota