2008 SCION xB

The 2008 xB can be summed up in four words: “More bang, less box.”

As the xB gains a desperately needed 55hp, it also loses some of its lunch box-like physique that attracted most first-generation buyers. But with everyone and their third aunt tricking out xBs, the tuning world should be happy for a fresh canvas.

Enter the box and be impressed: It’s a lot more roomy inside. Turn the ignition, and the multi-information display flashes “xB” before it updates you on your MPG, temperature, time or distance to empty. Those of you who like to roll slow and low will dig the addition of the driver’s-side armrest and steering wheel audio controls. The 60/40 split backseat folds flat, hooking you up with enough space for all of your gear and maybe even enough space to have dessert after ya dinner date.

Behind the wheel, you daring speed demons will appreciate the ability to kill the traction control, and the newly added 11-inch disc brakes in the rear will reel ya back in. Which is important after the folks at Scion answered the American request for bigger is better with a new 2.4L lump that delivers 158hp—you’ll notice the power increase immediately as you hear the sound of tire chirps as you mash through the first three gears. And to answer the prayers of all you tuner addicts, TRD will offer a supercharger kit that’ll push the 200hp mark.

You’ll agree that the 2008 xB is only a fat set of rollers short of flawless.

It’s faster, bigger, sleeker, and flat-out better than the previous xB. Peep the $15,650 window sticker, and you’ll realize it’s difficult to go wrong with this new box.

Rating 5
DAMAGE $36,800
POWER 200hp, 207 lb.-ft.
0-60 6.1 seconds
TOP SPEED 130mph
GAS CASH 22 city, 29 hwy

Interior Dark charcoal interior colors look clean and easily suit all. A center-mounted quad gauge cluster that lights up in orange speaks to the xB’s new sportiness. The iPod adapter and auxiliary input come standard and keep the iPod charged and the beats bumpin’.

Exterior A heavy dosage of massaging rubbed off the hard edges of its boxed physique, yet it remains consistent with its square personality. The wrap-around headlights, raked windshield, slanted side windows and an angled backside reflect its new lines.

Floss Factor With more than 40 Scion Genuine Accessories and six colors to choose from, you can floss your unique style and never have to worry about simply blending in.

Flaw Factor All three wheel-cover choices resemble giant plastic snowflakes. But the box is priced right, so you could be on 20s by the end of the month.

Craig Taguchi