Scion Kills xB, Expands Lineup with iA and iM

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Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida no longer works for CarsDirect. He was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

 

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, Automotive Editor - June 24, 2015

This might be your last chance to own the boxy wagon-like crossover.

Scion's VP Doug Martha has confirmed: the Scion xB will be discontinued after the 2015 model year as reported earlier this morning by Wards Auto. The wagon will follow the same fate as it's boxy buddies, the Honda Element and Nissan Cube. It also marks the third model discontinuation for Toyota. The first two to be given the axe were the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Toyota Venza. Note that the Venza has received some serious incentives as of late, while the FJ is currently selling at or above their initial MSRP on the used market. The Scion xB will likely follow neither as it bows into the sunset.

2015 Scion xB Prices & Deals »

What Happened?

Back in 2003 when the Scion xB went on sale, the model garnered a lot of adulation and success. A cooler and more quirky version of the conventional minivan was apparently what people really wanted. It also helped that the $13,680 price was easy to digest for almost everyone, including first-time car buyers. The first generation xB was fuel-efficient when being fuel-efficient was a necessity as fuel prices hovered around $4. And in 2006, the Scion xB recorded its best sales yet: 61,306 units sold. That's a far cry from the 16,583 that were sold last year.

So what happened? Well, the xB kinda lost its way. It got bigger and more mature. Although its features and value quotient were upped, it lost some of its quirky and fun-to-drive appeal. It didn't look the same and it didn't feel the same.

“(If we could) do things over again, we would (add) a little bit of fun-to-drive (spirit) back to that vehicle,” said CEO James Lentz back in 2009.

Moreover, fuel prices cooled. And then the hamsters invaded. In 2010, Kia launched its highly-viral ad campaign to pitch the 2010 Kia Soul and sales took off, further eroding the xB's initial first-mover advantage. Between 2009 and 2010, Scion xB sales plunged 22% while Kia sold more than twice as many Souls as it did, going from 31,621 to a whopping 67,110. The Soul had it's best year last year as Kia sold a staggering 145,316 units.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 YTD
Kia Soul 31,621 67,110 102,267 115,778 118,079 145,316 56,142
Scion xb 25,461 20,364 17,017 19,787 17,849 16,583 7,376
Nissan Cube 21,471 22,968 14,459 7,667 5,461 3,785 675*
Honda Element 14,884 14,247 11,534 3 2 N/A N/A

*No longer on sale.

2015 Kia Soul Prices & Deals »

Better Deal?

If you're in the market for a Scion xB, now may be your last chance. Last year, we warned prospective FJ Cruiser shoppers of its demise and this year we're offering a similar piece of advice. It might be a good idea to make a move soon. We're not saying that the xB will climb in value after it gets discontinued, but if you really have your heart set on one, move sooner than later. On the flipside, if you're looking for a better deal, our advice is to check out the 2015 Kia Soul. Not only does it offer a lot of what the xB offers, it can be had with a ridiculous offer this month: 0% APR for 66 months.

Where Scion Goes From Here

With the discontinuation of one model comes the birth of two new models, the 2016 Scion iM and 2016 Scion iA. Both models look extremely promising, with the iA looking like the closest reincarnation of the current xB. It's features a more conventional hatchback bodystyle, but we're curious to see how much headroom it really offers--a strong suit of the xB.

2016 Scion iM Sneak Preview »

Scion iM

2016 Scion iA Sneak Preview »

Scion iA

, Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida no longer works for CarsDirect. He was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

 

Follow On: Google+ | Website