The 2010 Scion xB is outfitted with a 158-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine similar to the one in the midsize Toyota Camry sedan. Unfortunately, the xB is hardly 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. The combination of good shift quality, the smooth-revving big four, and solid clutch uptake make the powertrain pleasant to drive. However, fuel economy is far from impressive, at 22/28 mpg. And its weight and softer springs leave the handling of the new xB much less rewarding than its predecessor. The Scion xB's front struts and a torsion-beam rear, with electric power steering, keep it decently responsive, if a little pitchy. Dramatic moves make the xB bobble in corners a bit. It's forgiving, but it's no longer exciting, and the electric power steering feels artificial. Ride comfort is good, due to 16-inch wheels and a lower ride height.
Kelley Blue Book says the engine in the 2010 Scion xB gives it "extra power on hills and freeways." Edmunds agrees, noting "there is now plenty of low-end power-something the previous xB didn't have." Car and Driver concurs, commenting "none of the little boxes [they've] tested recently is such an animal at the strip." ConsumerGuide calls the acceleration "good from a stop, even with the automatic transmission." Edmunds, in fact, said its "automatic-equipped xB hustled from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds." But both transmission options in the 2010 Scion xB receive generally negative reviews, with Automobile Magazine contending that "rowing through the five-speed gearbox is like churning butter" with the gear lever. The "neat sequential-shift, four-speed automatic," as Popular Mechanics terms it, is "sometimes slow to downshift," according to ConsumerGuide.
"Low-speed maneuvers feel quick and confident," continues Edmunds, but "with a relatively high center of gravity, the xB rolls significantly during cornering." In day-to-day driving, Kelley Blue Book calls the Scion xB "most at home on urban roads," while "the xB seems a little sluggish" on "rural roads."
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that the 2010 Scion xB handles with "moderate body lean in fast turns," says ConsumerGuide, which remarks its "tight turning radius and light steering feel aid low-speed maneuverability." Car and Driver gripes that the magazine "never fell in love" with the xB's "sitting-on-a-tipsy-bar-stool feeling" experienced on "twisty roads." Popular Mechanics agrees, pointing out that "the new xB rides smoothly and quietly" around town, but "certainly doesn't have the taut suspension and sporty soul of, say, a Honda Fit." The disc brakes on all four wheels, Kelley Blue Book reports, stop the vehicle "quickly."
"Shoppers expecting high fuel economy will likely be disappointed," says Edmunds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2010 Scion xB at 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway with either transmission.