in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $17,120 - $18,070
Invoice: $16,264 - $17,167
MPG: 22 City / 28 Hwy
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Scion xB Review

The 2015 Scion xB ranks 28 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Scion xB, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Scion xB is ranked:

The 2015 Scion xB has a remarkable amount of passenger and cargo space, test drivers say, but it has poor fuel economy and slow highway acceleration.

Automotive journalists write that the xB's four-cylinder engine delivers peppy acceleration around town but lacks sufficient highway passing power. They say the standard manual transmission is hard to shift smoothly and the optional automatic changes gears too slowly. The 2015 xB gets an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/highway with either transmission, which is low for the class. Reviewers say the Scion xB has a noisy, stiff ride and isn't particularly nimble at higher speeds. However, they say that its handling is composed overall, and they think it offers responsive steering and strong brakes.

Test drivers think the 2015 Scion xB has a simple interior design with straightforward dashboard controls. However, they write that the gauge cluster is hard to read because it's mounted in the center of the dashboard instead of in front of the driver, and they say that the xB's large rear roof pillars obstruct visibility. They also note that the xB's materials are low-quality compared to some rivals'. On the plus side, the xB has one of the largest cargo capacities in the class, and reviewers note that its enormous interior can carry four tall adults with ease. An infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, a six-speaker Pioneer audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, an auxiliary audio input, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and HD Radio are standard. A BeSpoke stereo system, smartphone integration and navigation are available as dealer-installed accessories.

  • "Now in its second generation, the latest Scion xB hatchback trades a measure of the original's funky style for increased practicality and cargo space. While it can't match the fuel economy of more modern competitors, the xB does offer a high level of utility in an inexpensive and compact package." -- Left Lane News
  • "The 2015 Scion xB is a capable compact people mover and cargo hauler that is surprisingly spacious and easily customized. Fuel economy and drivability are lackluster, however." -- Edmunds
  • "The days are long gone where the Scion xB could be considered revolutionary. Today, it faces stiff competition from the Kia Soul and Honda Fit, and without the option of all-wheel drive (AWD), it can't hold a candle to newer compact crossover SUVs like the Hyundai Tucson, Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Scion's iconic 'box' is practical and refined, but goes a little heavy on gas for its size and power. It's not as quirky as the original model, but the shape makes it a practical, 'hip' alternative to more-traditional small cars and crossovers." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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Other Cars to Consider

The Kia Soul has a similar boxy shape to the xB, but it has even more cargo space, better fuel economy and costs less. Reviewers like its first-rate cabin materials, spacious seats and comfortable ride.

Test drivers write that the Chevrolet Sonic hatchback has sharp handling, a strong optional turbocharged engine and spacious rear seats. The Sonic also has a large cargo area for the class, and it gets better fuel economy than the xB.

Compare the xB, Soul and Sonic »

Details: 2015 Scion xB

The 2015 Scion xB is a five-seat hatchback that comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is optional. The xB is available in one trim level. The main change for 2015 is the addition of a standard rearview camera. However, the xB hasn't been fully redesigned since 2008, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2008 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Scion xB specs »

Review Last Updated: 3/2/15

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