Compact car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,900 – $17,200*

2008 Scion xB Front

2008 Scion xB Rear

2008 Scion xB Interior

2008 Scion xB Profile

  • Entry/exit
  • Maneuverability
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear visibility

Scion’s iconic “box” grew from subcompact to compact dimensions, gaining cargo room, power, and weight along the way. In addition to producing a more curvaceous shape, this expansion also included a healthy dose of additional refinement, but the redesigned xB is not the fuel-sipper it once was. Some of its former quirkiness was lost in the transformation, but it remains a practical, rather “edgy” alternative to more-traditional small cars and SUVs. New competitors from Kia and Nissan are poised to steal attention away from Scion’s wagon, but few will be available secondhand for a while.


Toyota’s youth-oriented division briefly dropped its boxy little xB wagon after the 2006 model year, skipping the 2007 season while awaiting a total redesign. That reworked Scion xB debuted as a 2008 model. Compared to the 2004-2006 series, the new xB was longer, wider, and heavier. It retained a front-drive layout, five-passenger capacity, and vanlike body (though less squared-off this time), with a one-piece rear liftgate. Steel wheels held 16-inch tires versus 15s on the prior xB. Inside, the 60/40 split rear seats folded flat.

The only engine was a 158-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission could be installed. Standard safety equipment included all-disc antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. The standard Pioneer 160-watt audio system included iPod compatibility and a mini-jack port. Scions are sold through Toyota dealers. There were no factory options, but dealers carried a number of factory-approved dress-up accessories, plus functional items including a navigation system and alloy wheels to replace the xB’s standard steel wheels. DVD entertainment was available, along with an iPod adapter and remote engine start. Chevrolet’s retro-styled HHR wagon was the xB’s closest competitor, possibly along with the Honda Fit and Kia Spectra5.

A limited-production Release Series 5.0 version of the xB, fitted with a moonroof, appeared during the 2008 model year.

Yearly Updates

2009 xB
No major changes were evident for the 2009 xB in 2009, but Scion faced two new competitors in the smaller-wagon league: the 2009 Nissan Cube and 2010 Kia Soul, both issued early in 2009. A limited-production Release Series 6.0 debuted in February 2009, painted in Absolutely Red with a unique black-finished grille.
2010 xB
The 2010 Scion xB received a new optional audio system but was otherwise unchanged.
2011 xB
The 2011 Scion xB got slightly refreshed exterior styling and a revised interior.
2012 xB
There were no changes of note to the 2012 Scion xB.
2013 xB
The 2013 Scion xB added the brand’s Bespoke audio system as an option. iPhone owners were able to download an Apple app and pair their phones with this system to get access to Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, point of interest search, friend locator, internet radio, and map routing.
2014 xB
The 2014 Scion xB added a standard touchscreen audio system. The optional premium audio system now included Aha-based smartphone integration and navigation functionality.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Scion xB models have the same engine: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 158 horsepower, mating with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/144
Engine HP 158
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 162
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

Road Test

Acceleration is spirited from a stop, even with the automatic transmission. An xB also delivers good low- and mid-speed passing punch, but highway passing power disappoints. The automatic is sometimes slow to downshift for more power when needed. Somewhat clunky shift action takes some of the fun out of using the manual transmission.

Fuel economy falls significantly short of the frugal nature of the smaller, lighter, first-generation xB. A current test xB with the automatic transmission averaged a disappointing 20.0 mpg in a mix of city and highway driving. A manual-shift model averaged a middling 23.6 mpg. Scion xBs take regular-grade gasoline.

The xB’s firm and controlled ride is impressive for the class. Even small bumps are felt, but only large ones jolt the structure.

A tight turning radius and light steering feel aid low-speed maneuverability. On the downside, moderate body lean occurs in fast turns and steering response is slightly vague. Brakes are strong and responsive, however.

Bump noise is generally well-controlled, though larger bumps pound through loudly, and there’s moderate highway wind and road noise. The xB’s engine is heard during acceleration, but it’s refined and quiet otherwise.

Some elements of the xB’s cabin take getting used to. The instrument pod, which includes a digital speedometer, is mounted high in the middle of the dashboard, out of the driver’s direct line of sight-an annoyance to some testers, though others don’t find it troubling. The transmission shift lever is mounted on the lower part of the dashboard rather than on a console. More conventional are the high-mounted audio and climate controls, which are simple to operate and easy to reach. If installed, the available navigation system incorporates some audio controls, complicating their use.

The xB’s interior lacks soft-touch surfaces, but materials are still pleasant for the price. Some testers noted that the driver’s arm rest felt flimsy and was mounted too low to be useful.

Front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the driver’s adjusts for height. Headroom is ample, but taller folks may want more legroom. Large rear roof pillars impair rearward visibility.

Rear seats offer plenty of adult-size headroom, foot space, and legroom, even with front seats all the way back. Note that some testers found that the rear shoulder belts rested uncomfortably across the neck.

Cargo space is appealing. Several bins and trays-including a cubby beneath the rear seat-supply handy interior storage. The split rear seatback folds nearly flat without removing the headrests. In addition, the cargo area has a handy under-floor bin.


Model Tested: 2008 Scion xB w/automatic

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
Cargo Room - 8


Value - 9

Total: 67


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.4 167.3 69.3 64.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
69.9 14.0 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.0 41.2 40.7 38.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Scion xB 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Oil consumption
Description: Some Scion XB vehicles may exhibit excess oil consumption. (2011-15)
Description: The front seat backs (without DVD monitors) may not return to the upright position due to weak springs for which improved springs are available. (2008-09)
Description: The front seats may make squeaking noises caused by pins used during manufacture to locate the seat rails and which could be removed. (2008-09)
Description: The left (driver’s side) rear seat may be hard to latch and the latch has been improved. (2008)
Description: The battery may go dead due to excessive draw from a defective remote start module. (2008)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may come on, and several codes set, due to faulty wiring harness for which an improved harness is available. (2008-09)

Recall History

2007-2009 xB
Description: Power window master switch assemblies may malfunction and overheat due to irregularities in the lubrication process during assembly.
2008-09 xB w/sports grille
Description: If primary hood latch is released or fails, plastic upper radiator grille garnish could release secondary latch and cause hood to open.
2009 xB
Description: Some vehicles were not equipped with correct load carrying capacity modification labels.
2014 xB
Description: Certain 2014 model Scion xB vehicles sold by Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) may be equipped with accessories that were incorrectly installed and could fall off the vehicle.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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