Scion xB - Should I get it?

I’m 42 y/o professional guy that enjoys cars. My BMW 3 series just sold to a young lady on Craigslist and now I’m carless.

While I’d like a Porsche 911, my budget and lifestyle won’t allow for that now. On a whim, I looked at the xB . . . and I kinda like it.

Yet, I’m hesitant that I’ll get tired of it or worse . . . that I’ll regret not getting a more luxurious, performance car like an Acura.

Its a tiny car and will have that ride quality(lack thereof) and lack of performance. Acura/BMW have a good comfort balance and good mileage/power balance.

Tiny/Small cars are easier on fuel and usually initial purchase price. But beside the sole benefit of fuel they have little going for them compared to a compact or mid size sedan.

Remember that this Scion was originally designed to appeal to those in their early 20s, so it emphasizes style over comfort in several areas. The suspension is fairly stiff, and the noise insulation is largely lacking, thus leading to a rough ride and a high noise level at higher speeds. The trade-off is that the smallish engine is pretty economical.

While I have a hard time envisioning a vehicle more unlike a BMW 3-series or a Porsche 911, an extended test drive should tell you if this car is for you.

You got tired of the BMW and yes, you will soon tire of the Scion. But is that a major hurdle? Buy and drive this car a year or three and then on to Craiglist it goes. At that time you’ll have a new itch you’ll want to scratch. For now, go for the Scion.

Totally different cars. If you’re used to a BMW you’ll probably be less than impressed with the Xb. While it does have it’s virtues (it’s roomy and gets good gas mileage) compared to a 3 series it will seem woefully underpowered, won’t handle nearly as well, and will have sub-par interior trim/seats. Plus it looks like a toaster.

Plus it looks like a toaster. ha ha. i agree. but i am strangley drawn to them too! toasters i mean.

my budget and lifestyle won’t allow for that now.

I locked in on this. Usually, not always, when a man says this, there is a wife and kids involved, heh, heh. If that would be the case, and your driving needs are not great that small Toyota vehicle should get you around in a relatively safe and economical manner. Since you seem to be somehow surviving with no car at all, it seems possible to survive with a small one as well.

Any time one buys a car, there should be some thought applied. Even a low priced car like that can run some thousands of dollars of instant depreciation on a buy/sell deal. A few of those really add up.

If there are no wife/kids affecting your finances, it is hard to understand why one would get a little toy car when he obviously prefers something upscale. It seems cost of insurance on a Porsche would be significant. And, an Accura should last as long as you can stand to look at the same vehicle, assuming the maintenance is pulled faithfully.

That little car might be viewed as reliable; and serviceable, but it’s hard to put it on the list of ‘enjoyable’ cars once you’re past the beach set.

I wonder if we don’t know the whole story or something? Money is a big determinant of which cars we drive.

Hey there. . .thanks for taking the time to respond and for the thorough analysis - it was very good.

There are no wives or kids pushing me to get a “hauler” of sorts. My only other occupants, at times, are two dogs (1 large and 1 med) and an occasional date (when I can get one!). Sometimes the date and dogs are in the car at the same time.

I truly want a vehicle that is a good value which I believe both the xB and the TL are. Secondly, I want a fuel efficient vehicle (again both seem to be good with gas). Thirdly, I just have difficulty dropping over 30K for a car. (This is both a financial choice and a matter of principle.)

Another respondant mentioned that I’ll get tired of any car I get. . .and that is the bottom line.

The Scion Xb really impresses me. Unfortunately, I have to take passengers and/or musical instruments with me a lot of times, so I have to have a minivan, and the Xb isn’t quite big enough. I’m also impressed with the Honda Element, but it, too, isn’t quite large enough. On the other hand, if I didn’t have to worry about taking people or hauling tympani, I would have a Mazda Miata.

By the way, I don’t get tired of cars. I still have an Oldmobile Cutlass 4-4-2 that I bought new in 1978. Until last year, it ran well. I’m facing a carburetor rebuild now (it won’t start after sitting a day unless I prime it), so I guess I have a summer project.

Scions may have been originally targeted at the youth market, but they’re great little cars for the money. Had the suspension been more forgiving I might have gotten an xB myself.

I got a Scion tC in 2005. Sporty with a glass roof that slides open. I love it. My son, who had BMWs, liked mine so much he bought one too.

By the way, I’m 15 years older than you are.

Sorry, but I just gotta say…we do not need more rolling shoeboxes on the road.

I like shoeboxes. And free choice.

And exactly what category of ride do you prefer to be rolling all over the road?

If it wasn’t for your dogs, I’d suggest a Miata, since you don’t have kids to lug around. I dunno how roomy it is in the honda Fit, but you might look into that, if you can find one that is.

If you like little, quarky, boxy cars, I would also take a stroll to a Honda dealer and look at the Element. I think it has a much nicer ride height, and the way the doors open make it very easy to load stuff and for older dogs to get in.

Check out this site:

if you like boxy,check out an H-1 hummmer. beautiful.!

and stout.

What about a Mini Cooper or a Mini Clubman? The Clubman will have the room you want, and EPA mileage is the same as the Cooper. Both start under $20,000 new. You might also consider a used Bimmer or Benz wagon. You haven’t described you rcriteria in detail, so it’s hard to make a recommendation.

You should really check out a mini clubman. I love my mini and the more I drive it the more I like it. Fun to drive and great on gas.

I drive an '06 xB for work and it is really well-suited for what we do, which involves transporting rectangular equipment across vast distances, but I don’t think it would do as well as a family car. The boxy shape gives it a lot of cargo room with the back seats folded down, but with the seats up, there’s not much luggage space and no more passenger space than a traditional car. I will also mention that the gas mileage wasn’t as great as we had hoped-- driving on the interstate I usually get about 27-28, as opposed to the 34 it’s rated at. The automatic supposedly gets better mileage per the EPA, so that’s what my boss went for, but from what I’ve heard the manuals usually actually get better mileage in real-world conditions.

My comments on how it handles and drive would only be relevant for the 2004-6 models, since they did a redesign for 2008 that gave it a less-boxy shape and a much bigger engine. The acceleration feels plenty zippy to me (no BMW, of course) and the handling is reasonably predictable, but it’s definitely not something I would say is exciting to drive by any stretch of the imagination. I think the redesign addressed this some, but it also sacrificed some fuel economy to do so.


I like the Clubman a lot. Saw is at the autoshow and would love to have. However, the Pgh. dealer is saying a 12 week wait time for a car, and I cannot last that long. Good idea though.

Midwestern in Dublin has a few in stock, but I think they’re manuals, so I dunno if you can drive stick.