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2011 Scion xB Performance

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The engine in the Scion xB is a familiar unit from the Toyota lineup—a 158-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, used until recently in the Toyota Camry and RAV4, among other models. While this large, rather torquey four seems like it would have plenty of power to move the city-savvy xB with authority, it's surprisingly sluggish, and the xB is by no means a tire-squealer unless you accidentally take an off-ramp too quickly.

The engine is mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed sequential automatic, and the manual is the pick of the two as the combination of good shift quality, the smooth-revving big four, and solid clutch uptake make the powertrain pleasant to drive. While the automatic is just fine around town, its wide gaps between ratios become a handicap on the highway.

With front struts and a torsion-beam rear, and electric power steering, the xB is decently responsive and confident at low speeds—and of course quite maneuverable—but its weight and soft springs cause it to feel clumsy in any faster maneuvers. It's forgiving, but not exciting. Strong disc brakes haul the xB to a stop quickly, but again plenty of nosedive remind you that the standard xB makes no sporty claims.

The 2011 Scion xB is softly sprung and feels heavier than it looks—which amounts to an unexciting driving experience.

[It should be noted that through dealerships, Scion offer a long list of dealer-installed upgrades, some of them improving cornering prowess.]

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