Square question

The Scion xB 2006-7 I like the breadbox look. Should there be any new ones available in my area I am seriously in the market. What I need from you all is feedback, pro and con, if you would be so kind. I am registered for the SmartCar but it’s sounding more like a toy for wantabe’s. Thanks

The really boxy xB’s were made until the 2006 model year. There were no xB’s in the 2007 model year, and now they have the 08’s which are a bit bigger, curvier and have a significantly larger engine.

I drive an '06 xB for work, and it’s an okay little car-- it’s pretty economical for as roomy as it is. Some people say it’s underpowered, although I’m used to driving VERY underpowered old cars and it seems fine to me. Also, the safety isn’t that great on it, although if you were considering a SmartCar, I’m guessing that’s not a great concern.

Concerning the gas mileage. Against my opinion, my boss bought an automatic one because the MPG rating is actually higher than the manual. It’s supposed to be 34 on the highway, I believe, but I have never gotten close to that in it-- I usually get closer to 28 on the interstate and maybe 30 on the two-lanes. And I am a driver who usually gets more than the EPA rating-- in contrast my '86 Accord (manual) is rated at 30, but I regularly get 34-36 in it.

So it’s a nice little car if you need to haul stuff around or need the extra room, but if economy’s your main concern, there’s better out there.

The Scion xB and Honda Element are similar cars; they have massive interior space for those that need it, such as mountain bikers, surfers, outdoors types. Both have excellent reliability ratings. One of the ladies in our hiking/skiing club has an Element in which she drags all manner of gear around the country (she does triathlons). Look on both these cars as the reincarnation of the Volkwagen Microbus of the 60s and 70s. A whole California counterculture lived in these vehicles!

As mentioned, if you don’t need all that room, a Honda Fit or Toyota Matrix would be more economical and suitable. The Smart car, in my opinion, is a city toy car, and has too many limitations. If you live in Paris, where parking space is severely limited, it may make sense. But it will help Mercedes Benz with their CAFE ratings; they were just assessed a $30 million penalty by the EPA for 2006 for not meeting their CAFE standard.

There is a new xB at your local Toyota dealer, or at least there should be. It’s larger than the old xB, but the breadbox shape is still there, more or less. Personally, I prefer the older model, but check out the Toyota website for pics of the new xB.

I like the xB and the xA, although they don’t make the xA anymore. I think it’s the xD now, or something like that.

Old or new, they are practical, reliable, and cheap to own and operate. What more could you want?