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STYLING | 8 out of 10
The edges have been rounded a bit here and there
Bigger, softer-looking exterior
An appearance of visual mass and menace
In 2003, Toyota set out to create a youth brand, Scion, that featured very non-traditional styling, and on that count, it has definitely succeeded. The styling of the Scion brand, especially the boxlike 2008 Scion xB, is very divisive, but consumers have responded to the tune of more than 170,000 Scions sold last year. For 2008, the Scion xB gets new styling both inside and out.
The original Scion xB debuted about five years ago, and Scion designers have apparently decided that xB Scion owners have accumulated a lot more stuff to move around in the last half-decade. In order to facilitate all that hauling, the designers have made the 2008 Scion xB much larger and heavier. Edmunds states that "the 2008 Scion xB is exactly 1 foot longer than the last box, 3 inches wider and actually 2 inches shorter in height," dimensions that give the car a "more substantial, less toylike appearance." Kelley Blue Book finds that, unlike the crisp lines on the old xB Scion, "the 2008 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 or not that's a good thing is open to interpretation. The styling on the entire 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 2008 Scion xB as "a junior minivan."
Inside the new sheetmetal that flows around the exterior of the Scion xB is a completely redesigned interior, though one that feels like it could still use some work. Some reviewers lamented the impracticality of the dashboard layout, and ConsumerGuide writes that the 2008 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."
Whether you love it or hate it, the boxy styling of the 2008 Scion xB is here to stay.