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While it was one of the forerunners of the boxy car movement, the Scion xB has languished behind rivals since the introduction of a second-generation model for 2008. Still, its upright shape and high driving position have won it fans who want the space of an SUV but fewer of an SUV's drawbacks.
Toyota's familiar 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 162 horsepower powers the xB, and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. A single trim level includes plenty of standard features: power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; air conditioning; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; 16-inch steel wheels; and a six-speaker audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs, and Bluetooth.
The xB has no factory-installed options, but can be customized with a long list of dealer-installed accessories that include alloy wheels, a satellite radio, suspension and audio upgrades, and exterior graphics.
The xB's age shows in various ways. An automatic transmission with only four speeds, for instance, doesn't help its mediocre fuel economy. But few boxy competitors are as spacious and practical as the Scion, and its relatively low price and long list of personalization accessories means it can attract a wide array of shoppers.
Even though it comes in just one trim level, the Scion xB is rather well-equipped. The only available engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 162 horsepower, with either the standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. From there, it comes with air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, a trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, a height adjustment for the driver's seat, 16-inch wheels with wheel covers, privacy glass, a split-folding rear seat and a 6-speaker audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs. There are no factory options, but Scion dealers offer a long list of accessories -- everything from stickers to speakers to suspension upgrades.
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Inexpensive base model, lots of available features and good fuel economy, but doesn't offer much cargo space
Unique looks with long list of available convenience features, but lacks power and fit-and-finish is average
Available turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, sporty dynamics, but can be very expensive with options
Sporty engine and handling with also-distinctive looks and available all-wheel drive, but cargo space is limited