2014 Scion xB Performance

7.0
Performance

The 2014 Scion xB is pitched toward younger, urban dwellers; yet it doesn't have the perky, responsive feel you might expect from such a vehicle. Instead it's a more mature, merely adequate (and unexciting) driving experience.

The 158-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that powers the xB has been used in a number of other Toyota vehicles, including the Camry. It's plenty for the Camry yet it somehow manages to feel a little sluggish in the xB.

The 2014 Scion xB performs adequately, although it's not particularly quick or nimble.

A five-speed manual gearbox is the base setup, and we prefer it for the nicely weighted shift lever and progressive clutch uptake. The four-speed automatic has big gaps between gear ratios, which makes highway driving more noisy and less satisfying.

As for how the xB rides and handles (and this can vary widely depending on which dealer-installed accessories you've chosen, by the way), we tend to think of the xB as having two different personalities, depending on the speed. At city speeds, the xB's rather short wheelbase and responsive electric power steering are assets, and it feels quite confident. Yet with the standard calibration for this front strut, rear torsion-beam suspension tuned quite soft, the xB can feel clumsier in faster maneuvers. Add in the strong disc brakes, and you have a vehicle that is missing excitement but is safe and confident.

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