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The interior is mock industrial, with metallic-like milled surfaces and lots of handy places to tuck things away.AutoWeek »
bigger, rounder, and, well, more anonymousCNET »
Bento box meets lead sledThe Auto Channel »
excellent little car that just happens to look coolEdmunds »
Unfortunately, the new model grew fatter in every dimension and lost the sharp boxiness of the original.Winding Road »
STYLING | 8 out of 10
The interior is mock industrial, with metallic-like milled surfaces and lots of handy places to tuck things away.
bigger, rounder, and, well, more anonymous
Bento box meets lead sled
The Auto Channel
excellent little car that just happens to look cool
Unfortunately, the new model grew fatter in every dimension and lost the sharp boxiness of the original.
In 2008, Scion took a risk when it redesigned the xB. What had been a first-generation cult classic, a pretty pure expression of JDM (Japanese domestic market) goodness, was transformed into something longer, lower, wider, and tinged with the kind of retro proportions that drove the old Chrysler PT Cruiser and Chevy HHR.
Where the original xB was boxy, almost to a cartoonish extreme, the current hatchback looks more like a soft-cornered armored van. It's slab-sided and pretty thick at the waist, with a wide rear pillar and a long, flat roof. The bluff front end now wears a honeycomb grille, and the rear bumper has bigger lower air intakes.Inside, the xB also gets a light spruce-up, including a new fabric pattern with black bolsters; the gauge cluster gets a black background for better visibility, plus a separate clock and outside temp gauge. Overall, the xB's interior layout is either functional or a fashion victim, and you're best to make that decision by looking at pictures and the layout in person. While the design itself is straightforward—building on Toyota and Scion small-car design, but with chunky details galore—the instrument panel itself retains the illogical center placement for its gauges, which could be a deal-breaker for some.
A funky, chopped-and-channeled look sets the Scion xB apart from less clever hatchbacks, but it's bigger and bulkier than the classic first-gen JDM xB.