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#19

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $16,970 - $17,920
Invoice: $16,122 - $17,024
MPG: 22 City / 28 Hwy
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Scion xB Review

The 2014 Scion xB ranks 19 out of 40 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 2014 Scion xB is ranked:

The 2014 Scion xB has a roomy cabin, lots of cargo space and a tempting price, auto writers say, but its lackluster fuel economy makes rival cars more appealing.

The Scion xB’s four-cylinder engine provides adequate power on the highway and zippy acceleration from a stop, test drivers say. It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic is optional. The 2014 xB achieves an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/highway with either transmission, which is poor for the class. Test drivers say the xB is a breeze to park and maneuver in the city thanks to its small size, and they agree that it has strong brakes. While some reviewers think the xB has a comfy ride, others find the ride to be firm, especially on bumpy roads. Critics are also divided on the steering, with some saying it’s accurate and requires low effort, and others reporting that it’s a bit numb.

Reviewers say the 2014 Scion xB’s cabin is basic and full of hard plastics, which is typical in this class. There’s ample head- and legroom in both the front and rear seats, they say, adding that cargo space is impressive, rivaling that of many compact SUVs. The xB comes standard with a six-speaker Pioneer audio system with a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary input, keyless entry, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. A BeSpoke audio system with navigation and smartphone integration is available as a dealer-added accessory. Test drivers say the xB’s climate controls are straightforward but several gauges are set on the side, just out of the driver’s line of sight, which they say can make them hard for the driver to see.

  • "But the xB still offers more space-efficiency than any other vehicle of this size, and it does so at a bargain-basement price with lots of available amenities. There's room for improvement, but we can understand why you might find Scion's box-on-wheels irresistible.” -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2014 Scion xB is a capable compact people mover and cargo hauler that's also easily customized. Fuel economy is lackluster, however." -- Edmunds
  • "Ten years ago, the Scion xB was revolutionary for its time. But today, the current model hasn't changed all that much from the original, while newer and fresher faces have shown up to challenge Scion's boxy 4-door compact. Without the option of all-wheel drive (AWD) or a more powerful engine, the 2014 Scion xB can't compete with the wave of compact crossover SUVs now flooding the market, and it even has a tough time when placed up against rivals such as the Kia Soul or Nissan Cube." -- 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 all-new 2014 Fiat 500L costs a few thousand dollars more than the xB, but it’s available with a lot more features, including leather seats and a power sunroof. Reviewers say the 500L’s oversized windows make the cabin feel light and airy, and many admire its distinctive European design.

The Kia Soul, which was redesigned for 2014, has a similar boxy shape, though it costs several thousand dollars less than the xB. Test drivers are pleased with the amount of passenger and cargo space and say the Soul has a lot of standard features. Reviewers also say it provides a comfortable ride even on bumpy roads.

Compare the xB, 500L and Soul »

Details: 2014 Scion xB

The 2014 Scion xB is a five-door hatchback that seats five. It has front-wheel drive and comes in one trim. The xB is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The xB hasn’t changed much since it was redesigned for the 2008 model year, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2008 to 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Scion xB specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/16/14

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