Although it was completely redesigned in 2007, Scion's xB is becoming slightly dated. For 2011, the boxy hatchback is treated to a mild makeover, coupled with a small price hike.
Most of the xB's nip/tuck centers on its front fascia, which incorporates new headlamps, a much smaller upper grille opening, and a revised bumper fascia with restyled faux corner air intakes. The rear bumper fascia is also more chiseled, and abandons the single, asymmetrical backup lamp in favor of two lights, integrated into rear reflectors. Scion also added two new colors -- "Army Rock" and "Elusive Blue" -- to the color palette, although last year's "Hypnotic Teal" hue is no more.
Scion also saw fit to slightly rework the interior while the xB was under the knife. The front bucket seats receive thicker bolsters, helping improve stability and comfort. A new light grey fabric, accented by a new geometric insert pattern, is available, and is contrasted by black fabric on the bolsters, seat bases, and seatbacks. The center console receives a sliding armrest; the instrument cluster is mildly tweaked to improve readability; and the steering column now incorporates tilt and telescoping functions -- a long overdue convenience.
Mechanically, the 2011 xB differs little (if at all) from the outgoing model. A 158-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 remains the sole engine choice, and can be mated either to a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic.
Scion says pricing will rise by approximately $150, bringing the base price of manual-transmission xBs to $17,340, and automatic-equipped cars to $18,290 (including $670 for destination). Look for the revised xB range to roll into Scion showrooms later this month.