2008 Scion xB Review

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7.8
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Styling
8.0
Expert Rating
Performance
7.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
7.0
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Safety
9.0
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Features
8.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

The 2008 Scion xB takes a new tack: it's bigger and more refined, but lags in fuel economy and fun.

The car experts at TheCarConnection.com read a wide range of professional road tests of the 2008 Scion xB to compile this definitive review. TheCarConnection.com’s editors also drove the 2008 Scion xB and offer driving impressions and more details, where they help you make a better new-car decision.

The 2008 Scion xB is the second generation of the popular four-door hatchback sold by Toyota's youth-oriented brand. It's larger and more "sinister" in styling than before, Toyota says.

Most reviewers, including those at TheCarConnection.com, feel the 2008 Scion xB has strayed from its roots as a Japanese domestic-market runabout. Moving up in size, the xB now is roughly the same dimensions as the Chrysler PT Cruiser and the Chevrolet HHR. It's picked up nearly a foot in length, a few hundred pounds in girth, a couple grand in sticker price, and 55 more horsepower. The Scion xB looks thicker, and it's grown into something that's not so different from domestic retro-wagons. Inside, the xB has center-mounted gauges that are illogically placed, but there are plenty of interior bins and storage areas, and the dash design itself is squared-off and thick, just like the exterior shell.

The boost in size endows the 2008 Scion xB with more storage room. The front passenger seat folds back flat; in the second row, there's now enough room for adults. Storage room under the second-row seats is useful, but the chairs themselves, front and back, get uncomfortable after an hour. The seatbacks are merely fabric stretched over a frame. The cost-cutting is a little too obvious here.

The 2008 Scion xB is outfitted with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It's worth an extra 55 horsepower, now at 158 hp total, over the former four-cylinder. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed sequential automatic. The combination of good shift quality, the smooth revving of the big four, and good clutch uptake make the powertrain a big improvement on the last version. However, fuel economy has plunged from 30/33 mpg to 22/28 mpg.

Sixteen-inch wheels and a lower ride height have created better ride comfort. In terms of handling, though, the Scion xB's front struts and a torsion-beam rear, with electric power steering, keep the xB decently responsive, if a little pitchy. Dramatic moves make the Scion xB bobble it on its corners a bit. It's forgiving but no longer exciting, and electric power steering is artificial in feel.

Anti-lock brakes, side and curtain airbags, and stability control are standard equipment. The 2008 Scion xB gets a "good" rating for front-impact protection from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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April 18, 2015
For 2008 Scion xB

Best kept secret in the auto industry

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The XB does not nearly get the recognition deserved. It has plenty of room\headroom, (one of my legs doesn't bend well), great power, (Camry drivetrain\ engine), safety, (antilock, anti-skid, traction control... + More »
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December 3, 2015
2014 Scion xB 5-Door Wagon Automatic (SE)

Great car for packing things!

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I have driven three different years of Scion Xb, and finally bought one for myself. I have room to load an unfolded wheelchair, and a big dog, or pack dogs, luggage, and crates for a dog show weekend, or my... + More »
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October 21, 2015
For 2012 Scion xB

Great for a tall person and lots of room for stuff

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I like the car a lot except for the poor mileage and a couple of quirky things left out. Top gear should be an overdrive ratio to get better mileage on the highway, seems like there is plenty of power in the... + More »
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