ON SALE: NOW / $16,270
Scion‘s eye-catching box on wheels, the xB, is all new for 2008. It might pain Scion’s young hipster clientele to hear this, but the xB has gone more mainstream: it’s bigger, heavier, and pricier, but it’s also roomier, more comfortable, and more powerful. The car is nearly a foot longer and three inches wider. The old xB’s tiny, 103-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder is replaced by a comparatively massive 2.4-liter four making 158 hp; too bad it’s saddled with 600 pounds more car to tug around. The vague-shifting five-speed stick returns, and the optional automatic is still only a four-speed. With the new xD handling econocar duties, the xB has bulked up its standard equipment, but the base price has jumped by nearly two grand. Sorry, kids, but in the adult world there’s no free lunch.