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Scion xB Review

The 2015 Scion xB ranks 24 out of 27 Affordable Compact 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:

Critics say the 2015 Scion xB offers underwhelming fuel economy and lazy acceleration at higher speeds but add that it boasts a generous amount of cargo and passenger space.

A four-cylinder engine is standard in the 2015 Scion xB, and test drivers say it lacks the power for highway passing, although it has plenty of power for urban driving. They add that the standard manual transmission is hard to shift smoothly and that the available automatic shifts lethargically. With either transmission, the 2015 xB earns 22/28 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA. That is a poor fuel economy estimate for a compact car. 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.

The 2015 xB provides enough interior space for four taller adults, critics say, and it offers one of the roomiest cargo areas in the class. Reviewers note that the xB’s overall interior design – and its dashboard controls in particular – are simple. However, they say the center-mounted gauge cluster is difficult to read and that the xB's materials seem cheap compared to the materials in rival cars. They also write that the xB's thick rear roof pillars make it difficult to see out of the back of the car. 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)

Scion xB Pictures & Videos

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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: 8/31/15

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