2011 Scion xB

Matt Tierney

This particular xB is the Platonic ideal of what a Scion is. On top of the $17,670 base price, Scion has loaded $8799 worth of accessories and options to make this a truly custom car. Highlights include the 19-inch wheels ($2150), dual headrest monitors ($1599), lowering springs ($399), and a rear spoiler ($423). In army rock green-gray with those massive black wheels, it looks dang cool.

Given the amount of suspension-stiffening modifications on this xB, it actually rides reasonably well. The four-speed automatic transmission, however, curses this Scion to a lower caste of the automotive world. It dampens the acceleration of the relatively powerful 158-hp four-cylinder and makes for abrupt full-throttle downshifts at highway speeds. It's also one reason that the xB hasn't kept up with the rapid rise of fuel economy ratings in this segment. The 28-mpg highway number is pretty pitiful next to the 39 and 40-mpg ratings of the compact sedans. Still, the xB is a hoot for those who want a compact car want a bit more utility and a lot more personality than the segment standard.

Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor

Having just bought one of these in that very color (though with only the 16-inch alloys and none of the other extra bits), I'm amused.The ride quality actually goes up quite a bit if you ditch the 19-inch wheels, as you probably know. I'm averaging 27 mpg and about 30 smiles per gallon.

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