By on April 24, 2012

Scion will be killing off their xB hatchback (beloved by at least one commenter) and the xD hatchback (which nobody really liked).

Scion sold only 17,000 xBs in 2012, down from a peak of 60,000 units just a few years ago. Scion seems to be moving in a different direction, with cars like the iQ and FR-S – but the much-loved tC (well, loved by the college co-ed set) seems to be sticking around as a volume model. Scion told Ward’s Auto that there won’t be any direct replacements for the two cars either, suggesting an all-new direction for Scion.

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96 Comments on “Peace Out, Scion xB...”


  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    If the commentor is who I think it is, can’t recall the name off-hand, he likes the first gen xB and finds the second too bulbous and ungainly.

    I’d guess Scion is ripe for some new models since the whole box thing seems to be wearing off.

    • 0 avatar
      yesthatsteve

      Count me in that group, as well. I own an ’05, not a big fan of the ’08+.

      The “bloat law” that Alex Dykes mentioned yesterday relative to the Prius C seems to have killed this model.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        Same here. My 05 has been nearly flawless since new, so I’m a fan.

        The Kia Soul is what the xB2 should have been.

        Scion has nothing of interest to me anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Yup. The first generation xB was and is the iconic Scion. The second generation xB is just an ugly SUV. Anytime they design something just for the american market- run away.

      By the way- if they think 17,000 units is miserable- they better can the iQ now. I doubt they will even move 10,000 iQ’s a year.

      • 0 avatar

        I considered the original xB when I bought a car in ’04. I still love the look of that thing, and I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t have kept selling much better than now had they left the styling alone, and simply added a touch more fun-to-drive.

        Someone on TTAC’s staff should paste a link to Paul Niedermeyer’s paean to the original xB into this story.

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      Count me in for preferring the first generation. The second version gained 600 pounds and several inches in length and width, yet offered scarcely better performance, much worse fuel economy, and no more interior room.

    • 0 avatar

      Here’s Paul Niedermeyer’s absolutely excellent take on what was so great about the original that’s missing in the second gen xB:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/05/scion-xb-2/

    • 0 avatar
      Brunsworks

      I think I may be among the very few who enjoy the current xB (I drive an Army Rock Metallic 2011). Yes, it’s basically now just an overgrown Yaris wagon, but it rides well and hauls all my stuff efficiently. I would love to have had a 2005 new, but I didn’t have the money until 2011.

      I bought it primarily because I didn’t want to pay an extra $10,000 for a Toyota Venza, which adds .1 cu. ft. of cargo space and loses 1 mpg. Of course, it also rides much more softly, since it’s mostly Camry underneath, and it lacks the massive blind spots on the current xB. (It would be worth giving up the “mini-hearse” look to get rid of those.)

      Funnily enough, while I will be disappointed that I won’t be able to get a new vehicle anything quite like the current xB, I totally understand the direction Scion is taking. If I were heading brand development for Scion, I would do something similar. Not only is the xB probably cannibalizing Venza sales (and inexplicably being successfully labeled “boxy” and “toaster-like” by adverts for the far more boxy and toaster-like Kia Soul), but the xD is competing unsuccessfully with the Yaris, with which it also shares a lot of mechanical bits.

      I’d like to see Scion go right for the tuner segment, but also maintain quirky stuff like the iQ. Then again, I’d also like to see them drop the quirky “small letter+tall letter” name designation, which strikes me as cutesy and precious. Call the xB the Box. Call the tC the Coupe (even though we all know it’s a 2+2 2-door sedan). Call the FR-S the Sport. Call the iQ the IQ (I couldn’t come up with a pithy one-word name for it). And call the xD…*puts on sunglasses dramatically*…the Doornail.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    I can’t say I won’t miss it, unlike the original xB. Having surrendered the inexpensive funky box on wheels market to the hamsters of Kia, becoming a boutique brand selling neo-hachirokus and Smart beaters seems like a wise change of direction.

  • avatar
    Thinkin...

    I’ll shed no tears. The original xB was something wonderful and unique; roomier than a big SUV, frugal like a econobox, and reasonably fun to drive. The big, fat, Americanized xB was just another piece of flotsam in the sea of pointless crossovers that don’t do anything particularly well.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      the original tC was a bit smaller inside than the current Fit. Hardly large SUV space. It was a cool little car; I very nearly bought one, but the lack of cruise as a dealer option, the lack of side airbags on a car that weighed 2500 lbs, and an engine that screamed at 4000 RPM at 80 mph turned me off.

      The little sucker was FUN!

  • avatar
    mdensch

    Dead brand walking?

  • avatar
    Botswana

    Still not sure I get the whole Scion direction in general. They say they are targetting the youth demographic but they keep loading up these cars and pricing them way too high. I looked at a Scion tC a few years ago and thought it wasn’t enough car for what they are asking. The “boxy” segment is well covered by the Kia Soul now and if I was going to buy that kind of vehicle that is where I would take my money.

    The iQ is way too expensive for what it is. I can get a well equipped and roomier Yaris for about the same. Why not offer a stripped down model to appeal to younger buyers with a limited budget who might also want a quirkier car?

    Even the FRS seems like a bust. I’m very interested in the whole FT-86 platform but really considering the Subaru BRZ since the price is only slightly higher and seems more appealing overall.

  • avatar
    afflo

    Dead brand walking? Scion has usually had three cars.

    xA/xB/tC

    xD/xB/tC

    iQ/tC/FT-S

    It does mark a shift toward sport over utility.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    The xB was a popular car for taxi drivers for a few years. But now, with the Prius V and all the various CNG options there is simply no use for it.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Scion was smart and went to first gen xB owners and asked them what they wanted in the next version of the xB. Of course, being Americans their first answer was MORE POWER! Add to that, more space, more everything.

    That’s what they asked for and that’s what they got, yet nobody wanted one because it wasn’t as “Japanesey” and funky as the first gen. That’s what market studies get you, cars that people want, but they don’t actually want. Or something.

    The demise of these two boxes isn’t that big of a deal. Scion seems to be a pretty flexible nameplate as is and if the rumor mills that are churning are to be trusted then a Scion branded pickup based on a RAV4 could be in the works. It will be was the Toyota A-BAT concept trucklet was going to be.

    I’ve heard from a few sources that the plant where the RAV4 is currently made in Canada is reconfiguring its production line for something slightly different from the RAV4.

    All speculation at this point, but Toyota needs more CAFE friendly trucks, and since the demise of the Subaru BAJA, there is currently no longer a passenger car based trucklet for sale in the US.

    I think it would be a nice addition to the Scion lineup, if it comes into fruition.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    Toyota can only blame themselves for the leap of dumb they made going from XB 1 to XB 2.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    I admired the guts Toyota displayed by issuing the first xB. Despite the ridicule of “clown car”, a surprising number of Gen x, y, and Baby Boomers saw it for what was: practical, reliable, and surprisingly fun to drive. The second generation of the xB lost all the friskiness and became a dull choice, even if it was a capable vehicle. I’ll never forget the reaction I got when I drove a co-worker’s xB for a few minutes one day at lunchtime. I got smiles, thumbs up, and other notes of approval from pedestrians and other drivers at practically every intersection. That’s never happened to me before or since. True, the car was brand new at the time, but it really brought out the smiles from a good portion of the general public. Too bad Toyota lost that very valuable quality.

    Jessie Pinkman would look perfect in a gen one xB.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    the first gen xB in automatic form was downright dangerous because of its slow acceleration. i never drove a manual version but i would imagine it was better.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      It is. It’s like driving a large go-cart. I can go from my Porsche 924S to my xB without any real pangs of regret.

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree. I drove the old box with auto for a week of family vacation in California and it was just fine. For crying out loud people still merge onto freeways in old VW Beetles.

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        I never see this in Chicago….but I saw MANY old vw beetles on my one week trip to Cali. I was shocked anyone still used them.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        THANK YOU Pete! You took the keystrokes away from my fingers. I had written to a previous whine about “slow acceleration” in a modern vehicle a few months ago. The Scion xB V 1.0 was just fine in that department. Anyone who thinks that 0 to 60 in under 7 seconds is “too slow” wasn’t driving in the 80′s. You still had plenty of 60′s and early 70′s muscle on the road, along with Mustangs, Camaros and Corvettes that could easily hit 60 in under 7 seconds (let alone under 6 seconds for a few above) combined with cars like the ’84 Celica that burned through to 60 in a blistering 11.8 seconds stock (look it up).

        People have a strange sense of “slow vs. fast” and better start adjusting expectations as the new CAFE standards strangle out acceleration.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        VW bugs were downright fast when you’re used to merging on freeways in an old VW bus! My first car was a 1971 VW bus, and my second car was a 1963 VW bug ;) And no- I had no problem merging on the freeway or anything else. If you have trouble merging onto the freeway with 105hp, then you’re a lousy driver.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “dangerous” because of “slow acceleration”.

      There’s an easy solution to this: you just need to think ahead of the vehicle. Everyone should be doing this in every vehicle.

      Any vehicle with the power-to-weight ratio of a fully-loaded 18-wheeler is perfectly safe on the highway. Unless the driver is mentally so far behind the vehicle that, if it caught fire, he wouldn’t get singed.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Amen!

        When you have people in their 197hp Camry taking 12 minutes to get to freeway speed and haven’t managed to get a Darwin Award, I hardly consider slow acceleration to be a big danger. In a place where it’s apparently considered appropriate to hit the freeway at 45mph and then cut somebody, who’s going 70, off I’m surprised I don’t see more accidents.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      The original Toyota Corona was sold with the tag line “Zero to sixty in sixteen seconds!”

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Can we stop pretending that Scion is a brand? They’re Toyota models. They’re sold at Toyota dealers, thay’re counted as Toyotas on the sales charts, and when you register one at the DMV, that little slip of paper you get says “Toyota” as the make.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      It’s hard to stop pretending when there is a big Scion badge on the grille.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      I still can’t get my head around ‘Scion FR-S’ rather than ‘Toyota Celica’. I mean, Toyota Celica, you morons.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Agreed, and in every other country they get the real Toyota Celica that we should be getting. Hopefully this is the first step being taken to dissolve Scion and bring it back into the fold. Next it will be “Scion, by Toyota”, then maybe Scion turned into a trim designation, like the Corolla Scion, then Scion as a model name, the Toyota Scion Tc, etc… :)

        I already told my wife if we get an FR-S I want to get Euro Celica badging for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Prado

        Scion TC is the Toyota Celica

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        mnm4ever – It goes by 86 or GT86 everywhere else in the world. The Celica hasn’t been RWD for going on 3 decades (since 85). I’m not sure that any Celica badging other than some from the mid-80s versions would be correct.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        Sheer marketing trickery because Toyota has the wrong image (conservative) to the intended (note: intended, not actual) market. And this isn’t the first time it’s been done. If anyone here has ever owned a Geo, you know bloody well that it was sold only at Chevrolet dealers, and if you bought one it was title as a Chevrolet. When they existed, it was during a time that under no conditions would an import buyer ever consider looking at a Chevrolet.

        And we have no problems with calling them “Geo”. Why the problem with “Scion”?

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Well guess I am a little behind in my marketing reading, looks like no country getting a Celica badge. So then, NO, I wouldnt be such a douche as to rebadge my car with completely bogus badges from the 80s! :) Maybe I will do the JDM 86 badging though.

        As for comparing Scion to Geo, I have to disagree. Geo was a complete and total failure, notice it isnt around now, and no one bought that BS either?? Same thing with Scion, it was a dumb idea to start with, and its still a dumb idea. Toyota HAD a great history of great sports cars to go with thier appliances. All they had to do was bring back the same type of fun sporty cars that they (supposedly) were trying to sell as Scions. If they were any good, people would buy them. Not because of the hype or the dealer customizations or custom lighting, but because they were good cars.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    This entire episode turned out badly. Toyota is fixing it. Good for them. It is OK to make mistakes, but not OK to keep on making them.

    Also – please note –
    This is a giant failure to those marketing folks who put their faith into “generational marketing” approaches. Either they believed this brand could be targeted towards a specific age buyer, as they originally claimed, or they were just blowing smoke then – and now.

    Generational marketing is a joke. Call it what it is. Car brands have not done a very good job targeting lifestyles, let alone generations. It is time to tell those claiming they can market by age that they are full of BS. Find and start peddling a new lie, or I mean, hopeful goal.

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      When Toyota first thought of the concept of the Scion brand, they went out and did market studies on Gen Y and Gen Y said they hated being marketed to, so Toyota built a brand to market to them.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      We have an entire branch within every major brand full of overpaid people who do not justify their salaries when they claim they can target buyers based on age or lifestyle attributes. They claim they can market.

      Really?
      Based on what, their results?

      If we really look at what they marketers tell us about decisions regarding specific brands and models, we can fall into a trap similar to folks who follow astrology, read tea leaves, or a Ringling and Brothers mind reader side show performer.

      Half the world is female. Tell me when a car manufacturer targeting females really ended up doing so? The best results have been rather dubious. We all know our gender and know there are specific gender differences, yet even with all this basic knowledge, there has been not a single car manufacturer successfully making a “woman’s car”. Don’t you think that if a marketer could market to a specific group of buyers, they could at least accomplish that?

      So who the hell should believe these people when they claim they can target a brand or model to anything lesser? Target to a lifestyle? Target to an age? Target to a specific culture? If these overpaid yahoos can’t after over fifty years figure out how to market a successful woman’s car, they what makes anyone believe they could market to any other micro market? They can’t even hit the side of the gender barn with a marketing bazooka.

      It’s all a lot of puff and nonsense. We want to think there is a group of people who understands us enough to cater to our auto needs? We want to believe that as a Sagittarius or as a Capricorn we can better understand ourselves? Do we just like hearing marketing blather about our self-annointed generation?

      Maybe a long time ago in a far off land there was a time when buyers could have been grouped in this manner, but we have seen far more failures than successes among these soothsayers to listen to them anymore.

      Age of buyer is just an interesting factoid. We are seeing repeatedly that this “data” doesn’t sell cars any better than claims that the colors of cars dictate where in the US cars are sold. The fact that Prius drivers have college educations is just an interesting factoid. The fact that a Ram truck is often seen at the local Denny’s is just an interesting factoid. Sure – you can make this crap sound like something if you really try.

      Problem is, auto manufacturers want to believe this stupid marketing crap. They want to believe in a silver bullet. Just as communities in the Medieval Times wanted to believe in royal blood, we see manufacturers want to believe in target marketing.

      Make the best damn cars and trucks you can. Save yourself a few million on each model and don’t hire any more marketing soothsayers claiming they understand why Jimmy, Betty, Dan or Annie prefer this or that enough to buy it. Their record shows they are overpaid morons.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        A lot of people like to think that they are too smart to be ‘marketed’ to. In a way that is true. We can all read. We all know what’s important to us. But guess what- everyone of us is subject to peer pressure. That is all marketing is. It’s not to convince you that “X” is better. Marketing is to convince you that “EVERYONE ELSE thinks X is better”, and further more, everyone else is laughing at you behind your back because you are using your old, ugly Y. All the cool people wear skinny jeans and big glasses. You are still wearing skinny glasses and loose jeans. You look out of it. All the cool people have IPhones. You have a flip-open phone. Even your kids think you’re pathetic. That’s marketing. That is the power of peer pressure.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        What you are repeating is simply not true. If it was true, then this car, and many others using similar marketing, would be successful. There is now proof that the supposed smart people, are not.

        When all the smart people are not buying your product, then the ones claiming they know they can convince the non smart masses into peer pressure and by their products – don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

        Who thinks who is smarter? Who is proving it? Not the marketers.

        The proof is in the results. Its all psychobabble, power point, and absolute nonsense.

      • 0 avatar
        wstarvingteacher

        To make your point VD, or at least one of them. I am 68 years old and drive a Nissan Cube. I am sure it was not make for my age demographic. But for a broken back I expect I would still be riding a bike as well.

        Friends of mine who are my age drive all sorts of different stuff. Two really old friends drive panthers.

        If you buy because of peer pressure or for any other reason but that it meets your needs you are too stupid to breathe.

    • 0 avatar
      Tomifobia

      Remember when Subaru tried to market the (then-new) Impreza to Generation X, most of whom weren’t old enough to drive (or afford a new car) at the time?

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      Can you – or someone – please explain why any car company would WANT to market specifically to young people and go so far as to create a subbrand for that purpose?

      Me, at 18: Going to college, with maybe $800 from mowing lawns during high school. No income. Beginning to rack up debt from student loans. Supported by my parents, whose income and largesse did not extend to the purchase of a new car for me.

      Me, at 25: Working. Making maybe $35k/year. Driving a 12-year-old Town Car. Paying rent, bills, student loans, and with absolutely no prayer of making a $400/mo car payment, plus full coverage insurance and other expenses

      Me, at 35: Working. Making maybe $60k/year. I can buy a new car now. I did. I do not want a half-car, or make purchasing decisions based upon the number of colors the interior lighting can make, or how many ways I can get music to come out of the radio, or how easy it is to put 20″ chrome rims on the thing. I want something fun and interesting, but not at the expense of financial security. But this is the first time in my life I really can afford a new car, and I don’t see why manufacturers waste the time, marketing, effort and product development cycles on building things for the young and poor to buy, because they can’t.

      • 0 avatar
        ranwhenparked

        The answer is because there is actually a surprisingly large number of people in the 16-25 year old range that do make enough money to swing a monthly payment on a new car, as long as its cheap. There’s also a lot of people in that age range that hold down full-time jobs – they may not be making big bucks, but they can handle a couple hundred a month for a car, especially if they’re still living at home.

        The other factor, too, is that there are parents out there that actually do buy their kids new cars to go away to college, and they’re not all wealthy. I knew several kids in high school that got new cars for graduation because they were going to school out of state and their parents wanted to make sure they had something safe and reliable for the long trips back and forth. They were from solid, middle class households and the cars they got were cheap, entry level compacts, but they were new.

        The bottom line is that, although you weren’t in a situation to buy a cheap new car in your teens and 20s, there are enough people out there that are to justify targeting them.

        The big advantage to automakers is that if they get a person hooked on their products at an early age, they have a better chance of making them into lifelong loyal customers. That 25 year-old entry level sales rep buying a $16,000 Scion might one day become a 45 year-old national accounts manager buying a $50,000 Sequoia.

      • 0 avatar
        Slab

        Brand loyalty. Toyota saw the average age of their buyers creeping up. I think it was in the 50s when Scion was introduced. A 50-something buyer doesn’t have a lot of car purchases left. If they could hook them younger, they’d sell them more cars over their lifetime. Ideally, you’d start with a Scion or two, then move up to Toyota when you need room for the kids, and spend your golden years in a Lexus.

        The problem is you can’t create brand loyalty with marketing. You need quality, customer service, and innovation.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        Creating a new model is a billion dollar business proposition. The folks spending the billion believe in marketing to a specific age group. What are you going to do if you want a piece of that billion dollar action?

        You speak their language. When they say they want buyers 18-24, you tell them how you will bring in those buyers. You start focus groups. You get out there with presentations you claim are targeted towards that age group. You get on your knees and hope they buy your lies so you can get some of the dough they are shoveling out.

        Toyota didn’t have enough people to tell them that the idea of marketing vehicles this way is an inexact science that wastes money. It has rarely worked. The GroupThink was already there, not because it has worked, but because it has become a tenant of faith within the company to believe it. Everyone was speaking this way. Not enough people were demanding proof that what they were promising could be accomplished, or given proof that it had ever been accomplished.

        So why was Toyota doing this? Because everyone said they needed to. Someone important said they had a problem with buyers within this age group, so the problem was created. Then addressed in this manner. And as usual, it didn’t work. Now, no one cares to research why all the research was wrong because questioning it would be heresy.

        Marketers claim to think outside the box – but they always stay in the box when they make the claim.

        Why was the second generation a POS? Because they chased their tail. The first generation was a success despite the marketers. The second generation was a flop because of the marketers. Every brand was proposing rolling bricks with gun slit windows when the second generation rolled out the doors. The marketers were selling the idea that urban young people wanted a fat, bloated, sloppy box of a car without realizing that creating a fat bloated sloppy box of a car would completely suck. If Nike was asking this same group how to design sports wear, this group would have probably told them to make saggy track clothes with bling, then fingerpoint towards other reasons why no one wanted saggy track clothing with bling when the crap didn’t sell.

        Honestly, the second generation of this car flopped because Toyota didn’t really understand why the first generation sold.

      • 0 avatar
        moedaman

        “The answer is because there is actually a surprisingly large number of people in the 16-25 year old range that do make enough money to swing a monthly payment on a new car, as long as its cheap.”

        For most people in that age range with new cars, it’s because their parents can afford it, not because they can. Visit the parking lot at any high end suburban high schools. And then tell me that those kids have jobs that pay enough so they can afford to make new car payments plus full coverage insurance plus gas plus maintenence.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Toyota messed up the xB redesign by making it too big and too much motor as well, a Corolla based variant with the same 1.8 engine would have been a better choice, after all, the only complain about the 1st gen was its lack of power.

    • 0 avatar
      Toy Maker

      Yah they did. That was called the xD – comes standard with the 1.8L corolla engine.

      More power , side airbags , more aerodynamic.

      Which the public saw it as ” worse MPG , heavier , less room ”

      It also didnt’ help that the competitions were dishing out small cars with things small car shopper actually needs.

      Yes they want more power, but first they need a sippy engine so they can afford paying off the thing.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    Toyota really screwed up with the second generation xB. I was never the target market for the car, but I could appreciate that the first one offered great packaging and space efficiency in a compact size combined with a fairly low weight and restrained styling.

    The new one always just looked too heavy and bulbous, and I never really got how it was supposed to be better than the one it replaced. Scion’s customer base seemed to feel the same way, the car just sort of lost its momementum and never recovered.

    The question is what new direction is Scion supposed to take? They were supposed to be Toyota’s youth brand and attract buyers in their 20s with funky and cheap compacts. If they’re not doing that anymore, what next? Do they build off the FRS and become Toyota’s performance and driving excitment brand, a Japanese Pontiac?

  • avatar
    stryker1

    So… down to two coupes that the general population will have a hard time telling apart, and a gussied up smart fortwo?

    That’s a hell of a plan.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      I don’t usually have a high opinion of the general population, but come on now- the TC is sufficiently different from the FR-S that anyone would be able to tell them apart.

  • avatar
    sco

    Just a shame, that’s all I can say. The gen 1 Xb is the kind of car that 20 years from now will still draw interest. It’s funky econobox squareness like that of a VW hatchback or van will never go out of style. 125K on mine and when its used up in 4-5 years I’ll sure miss it. Mybe by then DDFord will make a Mini-Flex, which would essentially be the same car

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I suppose they will have more sporty hatchbacks and coupes and get away from the boxy styling altogether

  • avatar

    Toyota’s Saturn, in a way.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I understand the disappointment XB1 buyers had with the XB2. Not the same car.

    I don’t understand how what amounts to a stripper Rav4 at a $4,000 discount sells so badly. $17,200 for a real car sized Toyota – with a J VIN no less – is one of the biggest steals on the market.

    The lesson I draw from that is that kids will buy products marketed to adults but it doesn’t work in reverse.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I really liked the 2nd-gen Scion xB. It’s pretty much the right-sized wagon for me, and one of my friends owns a very nice one. But it doesn’t have a towing capacity, and I wanted to tow a small utility trailer. The machine is probably capable of doing exactly what I need it to do, but I didn’t want to fight the owner’s manual, the Toyota service department, or any cops who feel the need to give me a rough time on that topic. I couldn’t find the car I was looking for, so I bought the cheapest Ford Escape I could find.

      It looks like the selection of cars that are suitable for my purposes will be much better the next time around. The Matrix, the Venza, and the C-Max (or even a newer / more efficient Escape) would all fit my needs pretty nicely — and two of those are Toyota vehicles. My wife wants a Prius V, so there are 5 vehicles on my radar that might address my needs — and three of them are Toyota vehicles. So, I guess it did make sense to kill the xB. Still, I’ll miss it.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The xB is a steal. But there are probably several reasons for poor sales:

      1. Fuel economy sucks; those who want to spend $17K on a new car also want fuel economy.

      2. It’s not a budget RAV4; cargo capacity is way down, no AWD, no ground clearance, feels noticeably cheaper.

      3. The odd exterior styling and truly lousy dashboard design were probably a turn-off for more conservative buyers, just as the 600lbs extra weight, huge mpg drop, and loss of genuine character were a turn-off for original xB buyers.

      4. The Kia Soul is exactly what the second gen xB should have been if they wanted to keep market share. Kia kicked Scion in the crotch by releasing that car.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        30 mile, you are right on the money. My wife wanted a city/errand car and we thought the gen 2 xB might work. But the car was too large for a city car, yet the black interior with gunslit windows made it feel claustrophobic. Ended up looking at the Soul and Cube instead (both are great city cars; Cube won out).

        Toyota really dropped the ball on the xB redesign. Instead of giving up (GM style) you would think they could bring back a JDM vehicle similar to the gen 1 xB; there are still some warm feelings for the old model.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      I have to say that it’s also a little surprising how badly it sells but my best guess is that it’s relatively lousy fuel efficiency has made it less and less popular as gas prices have gone up. The problem with the xB is mostly that Toyota can’t really update it without risking that the xB eat into much more profitable models. That’s why the xB has been stuck with the old 4-speed from the 2002 Camry as well as the old 2.4L (also originally from the 2002 Camry) even though it’s 2012. If they updated it they’d have to put in a new transmission and probably upgrade the motor but then it’d be near impossible to make any money building this thing in Japan and then shipping it here to sell for 17 grand, and it makes no business sense to steal sales away from the RAV4 and Camry and Prius v.

      The xD…it was always kinda silly that you had xA’s and xD’s sitting in Toyota dealerships next to Yarises with artificial limitations on Yaris configurations in the early years. With the Yaris now available in the 5 door configuration here it’s just plain idiocy to have two cars in the same segment. It never really made that much sense to begin with and it makes even less sense now so I’m kinda glad they’re finally undoing this.

      That said I like the idea of Scion as a brand. Mind you, I hate the actual brand, I just like the idea of having a no-bargaining brand in the Toyota house. Probably one of the more appealing aspects of Scion still so long as Toyota keeps the pricing under control.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I must be the only person in the world that thinks the new xB looks 100X better then the old/original xB.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      You’re not; I feel the same way. I also agree with Dan above that as a space-efficient wagonette, it is a heck of a deal.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I like the 2nd-gen xB, too.

      I really wanted to buy one, and it was the right-sized wagon for my needs. One of my friends owns one and, every time I see it, it occurs to me what a nice car it is.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      No, I like the looks of it better too. In fact, I would be more likely to buy the current one than the previous. Here’s the deal killers for me, though:

      1. Typical Toyota driving position: short seat cushions, no telescoping wheel, pedals too close & wheel too far. One of our cars already has this problem; there will not be another.

      2. No ground clearance. Sounds silly but I need a car that can get down a dirt road now & then. This thing sits on the ground.

      3. Kia Soul, particularly with its new powertrains, is a better overall package.

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        That position seems to be a problem with all Japanese cars, though many add a telescoping wheel these days. The Fit is the same – short seat cushion, limited rearward travel. The tC, surprisingly, doesn’t suffer from this.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I also drive an ’05 xB. No interest in the second gen. Too bloated. Please tell the folks at Toyota to offer the US-model iQ with a cluthc, if they want me as a repeat buyer.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Toyota has to do SOMETHING with this brand because right now, its a dead brand walking with almost no reason for justification.

    Hey, those TV ads, promotionals, dealer signage, brochures, service manuals, training, ain’t cheap – and the Yen sucks versus the dollar. the xB will definitely be missed by some, the xD is far better off joining the Echo and Paseo in the forgotten heap. Talk about a penalty box on wheels.

    Scion’s strategy to go it on a FWD coupe and a RWD coupe and a glorified smart is risky – at best. It is good to see that Toyota has basically admitted they lost their way with Scion – the original plan was “one and done.”

    But if that is THE plan, it sure doesn’t bode well for the FR-S.

    I think Toyota would be better off killing the brand, calling the FR-S the Toyota Celica, phasing out the tC and moving the iQ to the Toyota umbrella.

    No offense meant to the tC, it isn’t a “bad” car, it just has no where to live in a Toyota line up.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    No – you’ve got company. I was looking at the xB but after reading Edmunds (poor mpg) I got over it.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Considering it also spawned the Cube and the Soul, I believe they have pretty much tapped out the demand for funkly little vans.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The xB1 was funkier,. The xB2 was safer. Having been t-boned in the past, I’ll take safer.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    They definitely lost the aura of the original xB with the second one even though the second one may have been a better vehicle overall. I can remember when there were waiting lists for the original xB and now they’re dropping the model. I think if they could manage to restyle the second version so it more closely resembled the first it would still sell but I guess that’s a moot point. I don’t think boxy styling done right has lost its appeal given the success of the Soul.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    When Scion was launched Toyota claimed that they’d only sell one generation of all their models. They just decided to milk the xB through a second generation, and find the milk still flows for the tC. every new car was supposed to be a new model to keep the brand fresh.

  • avatar
    Towncar

    Very sorry to see the end of the xB. We use them as delivery vehicles at work, and they’re awesome. Inexpensive, dead reliable, economical, and capable of swallowing large amounts of cargo at a gulp. I really don’t know what we’ll replace them with.

    • 0 avatar

      Good question. I’d look at Cube or Fit, but I am not looking at it from a point of view of a business owner. They may have downsides that are not apparent.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        The Cube has a huge cargo volume; if I was in the courier business I would take a hard look at it. Great city MPG and low price point don’t hurt either. Too bad there is not an option to easily remove the back seat; the cargo space would go from large to incredible.

      • 0 avatar

        Indeed, this is why I offered Cube for a consideration, even though formally speaking it has almost the exact dimensions of the old, smaller xB. It’s pretty clever. However, there’s a door, not a gate. And we do not know if its CVT going to work well in a fleet. I suppose it may. I heard the CVT is pretty reliable for the design lifetime, and by the time it expires the whole vehicle may be already expensed.

        In contrast, Fit offers excellent reliability and durability, but the rear opening may be not large enough, depending what Towncar has to load.

        Price of the either of them is also a question.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Car companies do well “targeting” folks w/a lot of money and not a lot of sense. I don’t think either applies to folks who bought box Scions, the cars are as practical as they come.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    This car should have always been the QNC20 Toyota bB. Google it.

    I remember a thread on the Scion forums where the question of how to improve our 1st gen xB was presented. Everyone wanted more power. Proof that people just don’t know what they want. I wanted more MPG’s, perhaps a diesel version. I can’t tell you the last time I floored my xB1. In fact, I’ve probably never had to except in anger. The 1st gen Rx7 had the same power and weight people!

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      One of the things I love about my ’05 is that it comes with a (aftermarket? optional?) trim setup that had the car marked with the original bB badging, while the steering wheel still says Scion. I haven’t seen that setup on any other bB, er, xB in the Richmond area.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    And in other news, Toyota says there will not be a forced induction version of the FR-S in the North American market. 200 HP at the crank is all we’re going to get.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    As a huge Toyota fan, I will say confidently you will never ever see me behind the wheel of a Scion. I am smack dab at the age Scion thinks they’re going to appeal to, yet I will never drive one of their cars. I’ve hated the brand since day and I blame it partially for the disappearence of the Celica and MR2. The “FR-S” (which is the dumbest alpha numeric name of all time, except for the even more appalling “BRZ”) should be badged Toyota Celica here and abroad. End of Story. The tC should be Paseo and the rest can burn in hell for all I care. I want TOYOTA badged sports cars, not Shitons. Call me a badge whore, I don’t care, but I will not buy what is otherwise a Toyota when it has that stupid Scion logo on it.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    While I really like my Gen 1 xB (2006) which I bought a couple of years ago and I wouldn’t have bought the next generation I do think the second generation isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be . My next door neighbor has a 2008 which she bought used and I’ve driven a few times . Hers is an automatic and really it has decent acceleration . Don’t know about the gas mileage though . The cargo area is a bit different in configuration- seems to me like it’s not as tall but a bit wider and longer than my Xb .It has the optional mood lighting which I wish mine had . It does feel solid and not as tinny as my 2006 . The first gen seems like it’s better suited to a stick though – but really I don’t mind a slow car .Both generations have good resale value – at least here in Houston . If I were to replace it with a new car I’d probably buy a Soul .

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      In isolation, the second-gen xB wasn’t a bad car. However, it wasn’t introduced in isolation – it was the followup to a small, practical, economical, and ugly-duckling endearing little box that proved to be popular beyond Toyota’s wildest dreams. By comparison, the new car was duller, fatter, blander, and thistier.

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      My brother and brother in law each have xB2′s. I can tell you that the cargo cap is a bit more than the 1st gen. It’s actually longer. There is more room for the rear passengers. You definitely feel more power, but you also feel the bulk of the thing, so it cancels out. The shifter location is annoying. I will say it’s far more comfortable on the highway, if you often have passengers, and on long trips though. Here in Chicago you see both generations in taxi service, with the 2nd gen being far more popular. I can see why.

      This was a great car for the money. I would definitely pick it over the ‘rolla if I were in the market for one.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Idiotic commercials notwithstanding, the Prius c seems like it will take over most of Scion’s place in the market.

  • avatar
    tileguy_001

    Lexus is also made by toyata, so i dont see what the fuss is all about them making a new name for themselves once again…. just another way to try to make money :)


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