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STYLING | 7 out of 10
unchanged for 2009
noticeably rounder and larger
Kelley Blue Book
just not very cool
Car and Driver
After its 2008 redesign, the Scion xB is unchanged for 2009 except for one new color choice. The styling of the Scion-brand vehicles, especially the boxy 2009 Scion xB, is very divisive.
"While not quite as right-angled as the first xB, the current model is larger in useful ways while retaining the upright angles that made its predecessor so distinctive," reports Edmunds. The original Scion xB debuted about six years ago, and Scion designers have apparently decided that xB Scion owners accumulated a lot more stuff to move around in the last half-decade. In order to facilitate all that hauling, the designers made the 2009 Scion xB much larger and heavier. Edmunds states that "the 2008 Scion xB is exactly one foot longer than the last box, three inches wider and actually two inches shorter in height," dimensions that lend the car a "more substantial, less toylike appearance." Kelley Blue Book finds that, unlike the crisp lines on the old xB Scion, "the 2009 xB is noticeably rounder...than its predecessor." Cars.com adds that "the new xB remains as distinctive as its predecessor, even though the edges have been rounded a bit here and there," though whether that's a good thing is open to interpretation. The styling on the entire 2009 Scion lineup inspires strong reactions, both positive and negative, and some reviews read by TheCarConnection.com leaned toward the latter. Car and Driver derisively refers to the Scion xB as "a junior minivan" and says it "lost a little of its off-beat charm in its redesign." Kelley Blue Book notes, "Standard 16-inch wheels—an inch larger than those on the previous model—do a good job of filling the wheelwells in style."
Inside the "funky styling" of the 2009 Scion xB is a completely redesigned interior that Edmunds says "holds a few disappointments." Some reviewers lament the impracticality of the dashboard layout, and ConsumerGuide points out that the Scion xB's "digital speedometer" is "mounted high in the middle of the dashboard, out of driver's direct line of sight," a styling feature that proves "an annoyance to some testers." With the xB's gauges all skewed toward the center of the dashboard, Autoblog feels that "instruments (especially primary ones like the speedometer and tach) belong in front of the driver." Edmunds agrees, finding that "the small and oddly angled tachometer is just silly." However, aside from the peculiar placement of the gauges, the rest of the Scion xB's interior is well-styled, with ConsumerGuide giving the car full marks for the "high-mounted audio and climate controls which are simple to operate and easy to reach." True to Scion's niche, custom accessories such as LED interior lights "with matching cup-holder illumination" or sport pedals are available, as Kelley Blue Book notes.
It may not appeal to all tastes, but the rounded-box styling of the 2009 Scion xB soldiers on.