Last post on Oct 13, 2006 at 2:43 PM
You are in the Scion xB
What is this discussion about?
Scion xB, Car Buying, Wagon
#20 of 42 Test Drove the xB and Matrix on 1/28/06
Jan 29, 2006 (5:31 pm)
Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum and thought I'd say hello!
When I first saw the Scion xB back in 2003, I wasn't sure what model of vehicle I was seeing, but it definitely caught my attention. (And yes, admittedly, I too thought the car was ugly as hell, but have grown to embrace this "milk carton on wheels.") I initially mistook it for a Mini Cooper. These cars have taken quite some time to pick up any sort of popularity in my area. The only person I saw driving an xB on a regular basis looked to be in his 40's, and it was impossible to miss seeing him drive his Scion because it was in that funky metallic orange color. Here we are three years later, Jan. 2006, and I'm seeing a few more xBs around town, used mostly as delivery/business vehicles. I am not seeing any Generation Y'ers driving this car, even though they were the targeted market. More often than not, the people I see driving these cars are people who are around my age (36) and the occasional elderly driver.
I'm presently driving a Honda Civic LX 2002, and I gave my 1998 Honda Civic CX hatchback to my husband after his Chevy van keeled over in 2001. While I absolutely adore my Hondas and their reliability, I'm starting to feel the need for more space, and am exploring my options and doing my homework for my next car. The Scion xB has held my interest for quite some time now, and I'm also considering a Toyota Matrix. Much as I wouldn't hesitate to go out and buy a Honda Element, I can't in good conscience do so because they're rated as only getting 20-25mpg. Any car I'm going to spend my hard-earned money on needs to get 30+mpg in order to justify the expenditure. Oh sure--if money weren't a factor I'd go out and buy the Toyota Pruis. I'd opt for the Toyota Prius rather than the Civic hybrid because, hybrid or not, who wants to spend $21K+ for a Civic?
At any rate, I went to the LeBrun Toyota dealership in Canandaigua on 1/28/06 and test drove a Scion xB. I liked the feeling of sitting up high in the car--almost as though I was in a truck. Once I had it out on the road, I found the acceleration to be a bit lacking. I'm accustomed to driving a 5 speed, and the xB I tested was an automatic; however, I found this to be a nice change from always having to shift gears. Definitely WON'T be winning any races in the xB, but after getting pulled over one too many times on Route 332 by the Staties, do I REALLY need to drive any faster than I already do? Even after the test drive, I wasn't sure what to think about the xB. Truthfully, it's a nifty little car, and I like the space it offers. I think they're ugly and cute at the same time. The one thing that stands above everything else: It's a Toyota, and you can't argue the reliability of ANY Toyota vehicle, the same way you can't argue about the quality of Hondas. (Except for the Passport, which was a big ol' POS!)
Next on the list was a baseline Matrix. Overall, I liked this vehicle much better. I drove this in both an automatic, but had to drive it in a 2003 model in order to try the 5 speed. Surprisingly, I HATED the stick shift; loved the automatic, though!
While I'm not planning on buying a new vehicle for probably two more years, I'm doing my homework NOW. It always helps to be prepared. Here's hoping that Scion/Toyota will opt to put in the 1.8L engine of the Corolla into the xB rather than the Echo's 1.5L engine. The OPTION of some extra power would be nice, and might sway my decision accordingly.
I was wondering if there's any "adult" drivers out there (the 35+ crowd who aren't spending mommy and daddy's hard-earned money to buy a car, and have mortgages of their own to pay, kids to care for, etc.) who have purchased the Scion xB and can tell me what you think of your purchase? I'm not into street racing or any other modifications to "sport up" my car--I just like to get from Point A to Point B with the least amount of hassle.
Once you've been stranded with a young kid in the car, reliability is of the utmost importance. Having said that, I will NEVER buy another VW EVER.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
#21 of 42 Re: Test Drove the xB and Matrix on 1/28/06 [hondacivic2002]
Jan 31, 2006 (7:06 am)
I am not totally clear on your questions, but I will share some reactions after a month of ownership. The reasons to buy an XB are the enormous utility and a desire not to see yourself on every corner. I agree with your comments on power--the 5 spd is fine, automatic is marginal. I personally would not buy an XB with an automatic, but you could probably get used to it.
If you like the Matrix, and like an automatic , why not buy one?
#22 of 42 Re: Test Drove the xB and Matrix on 1/28/06 [hondacivic2002]
Feb 13, 2006 (2:04 pm)
Hi Hondacivic, I am 50, we bought our Xb in Apr 2004. I say we because everyone in the family loves to drive it because of economy and practicality. Result, 28000 miles, the average has consistently been above 33 mpg and has had no visit to the dealership, (we do our own oil changes and other top ups). It is no dog either (we have a 5 speed) and I think it has adequate power. We have a Honda civic hybrid, a Honda CRX, a Pontiac Vibe and an Infiniti G356MT.Needless to say, the Xb and the Vibe are driven more then even the Hybrid. Happy motoring
#23 of 42 XB Test Drive - not impressed
Sep 10, 2006 (4:31 pm)
After reading all the info here and elsewhere on the net, I was really looking forward to test driving this car. It met all the specs we were wanting...most important being good MPG, utility, and price.
The drive was a big let down. We have driven 4 cyclinder cars for 10 years, but the other 4-bangers have never sounded so loud(unrefined?) and felt so sluggish. The road feel was very vague and the ride was rough. Best part of the car is the very open and spacious interior. I was really hoping this would be the replacement for our gas guzzling Tundra which is my daily driver.
#24 of 42 Re: XB Test Drive - not impressed [pepjrp]
Sep 11, 2006 (11:15 am)
I have driven 4-cylinders for 35 years - 2 Rabbits, 2 Toyotas, 2 BMW 2002s, and 1 Mazda. I got a 2006 xB 5-speed 5,000 miles ago, and am so pleased with its quality, power, smooth clutch and shifter, fuel economy and excellent handling. But those are not what first attracted me - it was the easy entry and room for my 6'-2" height.
It is important to change the rear shocks from the oddly stiff OEM KYBs to smoother SensaTracs made by Tenneco and sold by NAPA and Monroe. The SensaTracs are only $75/pair, and the change takes less than 30 minutes in the driveway with no jacking.
#25 of 42 Re: XB Test Drive - not impressed [aatherton]
Sep 20, 2006 (11:40 am)
I test drove the xB yesterday and liked the car overall. I was suprised though about the small luggage space. If you have two kids, the xB is not the car you want.
The front seats felt cheap and uncomfortable - so I bet it's no fun to drive this car over long distances.
We ended up buying the 5-cyl 150hp Volkswagen Rabbit, which has more cargo space than the xB and you really can't beat the feel of solidness and crispness of a German car. It was cheaper, too. Sorry, but Toyota didn't make the cut. I guess one unpleasant experience about Toyota was also the arrogant sales people, who really did not care about my business. Good luck to all of you finding the right fit for wallet and meeting all your needs!
#26 of 42 Re: XB Test Drive - not impressed [fromcolorado]
Sep 20, 2006 (4:59 pm)
"... ended up buying the 5-cyl 150hp Volkswagen Rabbit... It was cheaper..."
A 5-speed xB has an MSRP of $14,600 to which is added delivery/prep of $500, dealer fees, and tax.
A 4-door Rabbit has an MSRP of $17,000 to which is added delivery/prep of $600 plus the rest.
If the Rabbit is cheaper, it must be because the dealer is discounting the price by $2,500.
Is that possible?
#27 of 42 My thoughts - well my daughter's thoughts
Sep 20, 2006 (7:53 pm)
I went with my daughter for an xB test drive the other day. She is looking at the Mazda3 and Civic EX and I pushed her into the Scion dealership to look at the xB. Why? I love the look, great mileage, cheaper to own and insure (she is mid 20's and single).
Likes: I love the style, we loved the room inside, except as others noted the space behind the rear seats. If you can't fold them because of passengers you will not carry much back there. Seemed to be typical Toyota quality which is good. Cheap price. Pretty good OEM stereo with MP3 and aux in jack included. Rode fairly well. Handled decent. All in all, a lot of car for the money. I found the seats to be very comfy, but our test drive was only 45 minutes or so. Gobs of head room (wear a cowboy hat while you drive?), good shoulder room, lots of leg room. Back seat super for 2, tight for 3. Low beam headlights are super - see what happens when you have a large, flat lens?
Dislikes: No cruise even as an option, cheapest wheel option is $669, no moonroof option, no side air bags (and gets so-so side impact ratings), 4 speed auto hunts a LOT at freeway speed. Way too much engine noise with OEM exhaust - if you want loud you could add it, OEM should be quieter. Seriously needs more power, but we knew that before we drove it. No interior lights except the one way back from the driver. Needs map lights, mirror lights or something. It is a cheap car and some bits show it - vanity mirrors, etc.
The fixed price thing is OK, but they make a big deal out of "true price" or whatever then you find out they stick you with another $250-300 or more in "dealer fees" above MSRP. Seems like that is wrong on a fixed price car. Options from the dealer are expensive (and they say they don't negotiate them either) - you can find all the goodies at discount online stores for a lot less and install MOST of them yourself. Stereo stuff is way overpriced. Even tier one finance rates are higher than other sources. The folks we talk to and worked with that were Scion "specialists" were very nice and well informed, get a "Toyota" salesperson and they are little help. I don't care for one price cars, but in this case they are hard to get (around here) so having one price means they don't over-charge you. That also tends to keep resale high (along with the hard to get). The price difference between the xB and other cars is less than you think if you factor in many others can be had for invoice or less or maybe a little over - while you are stuck paying MSRP at Scion. That said, we didn't find anything at THIS price that we would rather have - only something that costs MORE was better.
In the end, my daughter has decided that the other cars are just nicer - and they are - and she can afford them so she is willing to pay more for a nicer ride. Probably will not get as good gas mileage and will pay more for insurance, and if she needs to haul stuff she will have to get me to bring the pickup over
I would have had no problem with her getting it, and if one of my other kids wanted one I would feel the same way.
Too bad the xB run ends this year. We don't know yet if the replacement will be a better xB of something completely different when we get it next year (as a 2008). But I love the style and love the how you see so few on the road. Would *I* drive one? Probably not, way too little power for me (even with manual) but I have an RX-8 and an S-2000.
#28 of 42 Re: XB Test Drive - not impressed [fromcolorado]
Sep 21, 2006 (4:55 pm)
It will be very soon that you'll rue the day that you bought the 5-cyl 150hp Volkswagen Rabbit. Wait a few months until the recurrent electrical problems start to surface. The only reliable VW is the diesel made in Europe. That statement came from a VW service manager who commented on my friend's diesel Golf. He said all of them seem to have issues but the diesel. So while your 5-cyl 150hp Volkswagen Rabbit is sitting in the shop for one of many mysterious problems, I'll be cruising around in my XB with zero problems. Why would anyone buy a gasoline German plague car? I've put 49k trouble free miles on my car. I know that you'll not be able to make that claim. Hail Scion!!
#29 of 42 Re: XB Test Drive - not impressed [crazedcommuter]
Sep 21, 2006 (7:14 pm)
That may be a LITTLE harsh, but VW is for sure not in the same class as Toyota/Scion, Honda, or even Nissan in terms of reliability.
I had one of the original pocket-rocket econobox cars - a new '83 Rabbit GTI. I had few troubles with mine but the resale value was bad. I traded it for a 89 Civic Si which was a much better car - and retained a ton more value when it was time to sell or trade it.
The prior VW car, the Golf has a pretty terrible track record. So the "good news" is the Rabbit is new - the bad news is if they couldn't get it right during the Golf run do we expect they can make the Rabbit BETTER for 05? I hope so, but I would not bet my money on it.
I can understand why someone would want more power or a different look, but the VW shop would not be MY first stop (or second or third).
With the xB going away at the end of this year, the resale on xB's (which is already strong) should stay that way.