The xB feels like it’s past its best-before date; with the second-generation Kia Soul blowing past without looking back, it’s about time for a serious xB refresh.
The 158-horsepower engine feels plenty peppy for this wagon; manual and automatic transmissions drive the front wheels, but could both use at least one more gear to help cut fuel consumption (only good for 28 mpg on the highway).
What more could you want out of a box? Well, more, it would seem. The current xB has never been able to capture the essence or the following garnered by the previous-generation square box after it was made larger and significantly heavier for it’s current redesign. The xB was last updated for 2011 when it received redesigned headlights and taillights and bumpers. At the time, Scion also updated the xB’s front seats with bigger bolsters and new fabric, added a new covered storage bin between the front seats and installed a new adjustable steering wheel and gauges. What remains unchanged is a plethora of standard content for buyers wishing to spend a limited amount of their wealth on a new car. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder produces a healthy 158 ponies, delivered to the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic with manual-shift controls. All xBs arrive with air conditioning, keyless entry, power windows/locks/mirrors and — for 2014 — a new 6.1-inch touchscreen display audio system. Scion dealers are so keen to have their customers return to their locales that the first two oil changes are on the house. Perhaps that’s because they want to tempt younger buyers with an array of cool add-ons, including a navigation system with seven-inch touch screen, alloy wheels, dual DVD headrest monitors, interior lighting systems, overhead console and carbon-fiber trim bits.
Base price (incl. destination): $17,700
Type: Four-door wagon
Engine (hp): 2.4-liter DOHC I4 (158)
Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Transmissions: Five-speed manual; four-speed automatic (opt.)
MPG (city/hwy): 22/28 (MT or AT)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control
Weight (lb.): 3,020