2014 Scion xB Styling

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Styling

On one hand, Scion has managed to inject a lot of flair and attitude into its 'box on wheels' concept; yet on the other hand, the xB is an odd outlier than doesn't quite deliver on the space efficiency it hints from the outside.

There's more to this story than what it might first appear. Scion had a cult following on its hands with the pre-2008 Scion xB, a subcompact vehicle that was, simply put, boxy to the max—with crisp edges and a look unlike any other on the market. Scion thought that it could turn the xB into a full-fledged mass-market hit, so it made the xB a size larger and loaded it with a different kind of retro design sensibility that characterized the likes of the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Chevy HHR—both models that have been obsolete now for years.

The xB's chopped-off, boxy profile might still win friends, but its gimmicky interior styling probably won't.

Although the xB still builds intrigue today, it's arguable that it looks more like a soft-cornered armored van, or bread van, with the high haunches, thick waist, wide rear pillar, and long, flat roof. The blunt front end now has a glossy-black lower grille, and there are a few other exterior changes geared toward making the xB look a little sportier—including LED accent lighting and a black rear diffuser.

Is the xB's interior functionally stylish or a complete fashion victim? Among our editorial team we tend to think the latter, but you should take a look at interior pictures and decide for yourself. The design is straightforward, fundamentally, with an upright dash and a straight-across shelf, yet a mishmash of perplexing details—like the small analog gauges placed toward the center, at a distance, as well as cluttered controls—detract from its functionality...and its coherence.

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