By on June 3, 2014

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It’s the end of an automotive era, as the Scion xB (as well as the milquetoast xD) are set to die by the year’s end. In exchange, we’re getting a couple of new, world market Toyotas to shore up Scion’s lineup.

AutoGuide is reporting that two new additions will join the Scion lineup: first, Scion will get a version of the Toyota Auris, a hatchback that shares some mechanicals with the Toyota Corolla. One chief difference is the addition of an independent rear suspension, and our own Ronnie Schreiber had the chance to compare our Corolla with the Auris not long ago. With the Toyota Matrix set to die, the Auris would be a perfect replacement.

The second vehicle will be based on the new Mazda2/Toyota Yaris joint venture, but it will take the form of a conventional sedan and be built at Mazda’s new Mexican factory.

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89 Comments on “RIP Boxy Scions (2002-2014)...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So we are getting a less tall Venza, and a new version Yaris.

    I may have drifted off during that sentence. That Auris is very nearly a wagon, however (I think, unless the proportions of the photo are misleading).

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      The Auris comes in both wagon and hatchback configuration. The one shown is a wagon. Independent rear suspension is great. Hopefully we’ll see Toyota’s new 2.0T shoehorned in it. That would be a great compliment to the FR-S.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Is that a big enough engine? Doesn’t it need a 3.5!? I bet it’ll have AWD optional.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          I assume you are being facetious about the 2.0T not being big enough. The Auris and Corolla are very similar in platform/size/etc. The 2.5L Camry engine would be a lot of motor for this car. The 2.0T would make a potential GTI/ST fighter. The 3.5 would be R32 levels of motor in a hatchback and would be a nose heavy monster.

          According to AutoGuide, you can get AWD in the Auris, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see it offered here.

          Side note, I have a friend living in Japan for a few years. His car is a Toyota Blade Master G. It is basically a 5 door Auris with Toyota’s 3.5L V6 in it. Pretty ridiculous.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I thought the Auris was more Camry sized – is why I said that.

            And in general I’m not sold on the current trend of “tiny engine + turbo.” But that’s just me.

            The Blade Master G looks VERY odd, but I have no problem with that amount of power in a small car, assuming it can put it down.

          • 0 avatar
            Richard Chen

            The Scion tC shares the Auris platform.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The Avensis is the Euro midsizer; the Auris is the Euro compact.

      • 0 avatar
        Stumpaster

        What is so great about an independent rear suspension on a wagon, of all places?

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          I drive curvy, imperfect roads. You don’t have to be in a sports car to appreciate good suspension design.

          • 0 avatar
            Stumpaster

            I drive a Volvo 240 or Acura TSX wagon in NYC tristate area. Curvy, bumpy, we got that. I still don’t understand the fixation. You load the wagon with 10 bags of mulch in the back and then let’s see which suspension is better. Me? I prefer the Volvo for that task. I am scared for Acura’s numerous bushings.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            We have different judgment criteria. I frankly don’t give a crap how it handles a heavy load. That is a rarity for me. I do, though, drive curvy roads every day. I have a car with a torsion beam rear suspension after owning all independent rear suspension cars prior (and a solid rear axle SUV). I miss the IRS of my previous cars.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Stumpmaster

            Given the way Volvo 240s eat rear suspension bushings, I find your concern amusing.

            I have owned a couple 245s, and while they have their delightful charms they have the performance and handling of a Conestoga Wagon.

        • 0 avatar
          CRConrad

          For one thing, that it potentially takes up less space.

          That’s why Volvo used an IRS (with a transverse GRP leaf spring, of all things, IIRC) on the 940/960.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Yeah, but I bet it has a diesel and a six speed manual.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The one pictured is a hybrid. It is basically a more attractive Prius v with a better rear suspension. They do offer diesel and 6MT, though. Just like most Euro centric cars, there are multiple engines and transmissions available.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I always thought the Auris was a Camry wagon.

      Hopefully the insides will be nicer than the Venza. While the Venza looks (at least, to my eyes) great on the outside, it’s been chastized by owners since launch for it’s cheap, crappy interior.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    What is with all the lower roofline vehicles? Reduced cargo space, impaired sightlines/visibility and much harder to get into/out of.

    What made cars like the Xb and Xd useful was their boxiness.

    By making them more stylish the automaker is diminishing their functionality and let’s face it, anyone who is going to buy a small people mover like the Xb, Xd, Kia Rondo, etc is doing it solely due to practicality not style or prestige.

    • 0 avatar

      This generation of designers have sacrificed interior room for wheels that are too big, belt-lines that are too tall, that and the structure and airbags needed for 5 star crash protection took the rest away.

    • 0 avatar
      b787

      True, but lower roofline also means better aerodynamics and lower center of gravity. Essentially it is a compromise between practicality and driving dynamics.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      I dunno man, the new Rondo is pretty nice that the Canadians can now only get.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Practicality sacrificed for looks. Plain and simply. These vehicles remind me the difference between a regular (working) and show German Shepherds.

      Traditional German Shepherd:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GermanShep1_wb.jpg

      This one was bred for show:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Exposici%C3%B3_3.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        Sorry, but if there’s supposed to be some huge difference between those two dogs, I can’t see it. Care to explain?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Maybe it’s the angle at which the pictures were taken, but the show dog seems to have a more aesthetically pleasing front (the “work dog” looks almost bloated in its musculature).

          What Jacob was more likely pointing towards was the significant differences in the rear end and stance of both dogs. I can’t really say. All I can think of for improving an Alsatian/German Shepherd is to crossbred it with something that looks like a wolf, so that it has narrow but powerful legs and huuuuuge paws, and train it to be mindful of its own size. The presence of some mythical hellhound with the temperament of a Saint Bernard.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Indeed, the xb is one of the best deals around for someone who needs a lot of space for a little money. I looked at picking up a used one, they’re holding their value quite well. Sorry to see it go.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        @Russycle – I dislike its high beltline, but I totally agree with your value assessment. If I had a wife and two kids, it’d be on my short list purely because of the size/layout/price equation. Great back seat room, especially in terms of headroom.

        In a post-Crown Vic world, it also seems to be the only non-hybrid in widespread taxi service in my city, which speaks well to its low operating costs.

        I’ll also give the xB and xD points for having cheapo plastic wheel covers that are a throwback to the ’90s. They make little attempt to mimic five-spoke alloys and, as such, look far better to my eye than the cheapo plastic wheel covers on other vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        My former spouse took my video game console and my Scion… in other words, my ex-box took my X-box in the xB(ox).

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Headline should read: “RIP Scion”.

    After my excellent xB1, they’ve never had another car that interests me. That car had more interior room than almost any other, including supposedly large SUVs and sedans.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Just get rid of Scion as a sub-brand already. All of these Scion models would probably sell much better if branded as Toyotas. Why spend the marketing money on a dead brand walking like Scion?

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Japanese pride, mostly. They have an intense loathing of admitting they made a mistake.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      If Scion were to disappear, I doubt the vast majority of people would notice. I didn’t even know they existed until around 2007.

      They are way off the radar.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      There are probably very few Millennials in the US that haven’t rode in or driven a Scion. If you weren’t aware of Scion or don’t get why it exists, you probably are not their target demographic.

      Scion is more Saturn than Geo.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The problem is that millennials aren’t the ones buying the toasters, seniors are. They’re perfect for older, less limber folks who just drive errands around town. That’s not the target demographic for Scion. The seniors will now buy a Soul or Cube instead, saving the Scion’s image, but giving away Toyota sales to Nissan and Kia. They should have spun off the toasters into a new brand for seniors: the Patriarch.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Since I’m limiting my next-car budget to under 20k, my two top choices are a genttly-used Accord EX coupe or a tC. But a Scion hatch could be full of win as well, if it has the same 6MT/2.5L combo as the tC and is a looker to boot.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Sending the sedan version of the next Mz2/Yaris to Scion seems odd. Maybe some stipulation in the production agreement with Mazda? Interesting to note there was a sedan for the previous Yaris, but not the current one.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      The sedan Yaris was actually a different model in Japan (Belta and Platz) previously.

      If the melding of platforms results in a more interesting Yaris (and not a more boring 2), everyone wins. Mazda gets $$ from Toyota for the manufacture, and Toyota gets a small car that can actually round a corner at speed without tipping over.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Toyota these days is really into letting other automakers do the development work.

        The FR-S/86 with Subie, the collaboration with BMW on a new coupe and now with Mazda.

  • avatar
    sco

    Make Scion exhibit A for companies that start with a bang and end with a whimper. The Xa1 and Xb1 are both excellent cars for what they are, Tc may be as well although I’ve not owned one of those. The box was and still is an excellent idea for that percentage of the population that still likes to see the road have the most interior space possible in an otherwise very small car. I’ll be hanging on to my Xb1(176K and going strong).

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      You’re way ahead of me. My ’05 only has 79k. Looks like I have a while to go.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Likewise. My ’05 just turned over 47k, so you can imagine the lifespan I’m looking forward to.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Make Scion the poster child for poor marketing, and for letting vehicles sit out there with zero upgrades when your main competitor to your xB (KIA Soul) is wiping the floor with you. 15,000 Souls sold last month is about as many as xB’s sold in total for 2013.

      I wonder how many Chicago cab companies are going to line up and buy the rest of the inventories…..

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      All the 1st-gen xB needed was 25 more hp. It did NOT need to be bigger, heavier, and softer sprung. I wonder where Scion would be right now if they hadn’t botched the 2nd-gen xB?

      And I don’t get the hatred for the Scion tC. It’s a Celica: sort of sporty, sort of fun, but practical and reliable at heart.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    ZZZZZzzzz…..I’m sorry, what did you say after Toyota?

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Oh no!

    They’re killing off the xBox?!

    Well gasp and swoon, I just caught the vapors!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Oooo that Auris is ugly. Looks like a Mazda5 more than a Matrix replacement.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Wait, so correct me if I’m wrong.

    There will be a sedan Scion based on the joint Mazda2/Yaris project that Mazda and Toyota are working on, and sitting in the exact same showroom will be a next generation Yaris, likely in sedan form, based on the same…

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Yaris and Auris is going to be a major tongue twister. They better name the car something else.

      Oh well, still beats MKX,MKT, MKY, MKZ, MKA, MKL, MKB, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        It won’t be called Auris in the US. (Auris and Yaris already coexist in Europe and other places, btw.) It will pick up some Scion nomenclature… Scion hB?

        Ultimately, what is happening is they are taking two unloved Toyota models (Yaris sedan and Corolla Matrix hatch) and moving them over to the Scion nameplate. It makes sense to me. The Matrix, xD, and xB all fought for the same segment since they used the same 1.8L and 2.4L engines, were in the same ballpark of size, and were hatchbacks. The tiny Scion sedan makes less sense, but America sure does love sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I would assume the next Yaris will be a hatchback, same as now. The other way around would make more sense volume-wise, but maybe Toyota wants to protect the Corolla?

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I want a red Auris, but I’d rather not have to go to a Scion dealer to get one.

    Doesn’t Subaru offer incentives on the BR-Z while Scion offers nothing on the FR-S? For every FR-S I’ve seen, I’ve seen about three BR-Zs.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Guess it depends on where you live. I almost never, ever see a BRZ on the road in Hampton Roads.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Same here in Ohio, always the Scion. I think I have only seen one or two of the Subaru version total.

        If it were me, I’d get the Subaru one because A) it has a better badge, and B) the badge isn’t (possibly) going away any time soon.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I live in Eastern PA. I guess the Subaru dealership is just easier to deal with when it comes to the Toyobaru twins, because I do see a solid number of Scion’s other cars round here, just not the FR-S (or iQ, but nobody cares about the iQ).

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Subaru dealerships are more willing to deal. Scion’s Pure Pricing just means that they have to list the price for every vehicle and sell to everyone at that price. So, the dealership should have a board that says:

      2014 FR-S 6MT $xx,xxx
      2014 FR-S 6AT $xx,xxx
      2014 tC 6MT $xx,xxx
      etc

      The numbers don’t have to be MSRP… though they often are. When I was shopping for my FR-S, I found leftover ’13 models in dealerships in NOVA that were marked down a couple grand. The same deal is supposed to be for all services offered, as well, so you know that if you take your car in for an oil change, tire rotation, and air filter replacement, it is going to cost $40, $20, and $40, for example. These are supposed to be listed on your local dealer’s Scion website, too. Unfortunately, dealers seem to muck it up by not updating their website frequently enough or being flat out inaccurate.

      • 0 avatar
        Demetri

        Yeah, I noticed Fitzmall.com will sell you a new FR-S for $1,000 under MSRP. That’s still slightly over invoice, but better than you will get from most other dealers.

  • avatar
    Yupa

    “With the Toyota Matrix set to die,”

    Did the editor chop off this paragraph mid sentence? Where was this thought going?

  • avatar

    Scion has become Toyota’s version of Mercury.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      It’s 1/Mercury. Instead of trying to nip at the heels of upmarket cars, it’s nipping at the heels of downmarket cars.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I actually think more Saturn than Mercury.

      Mercury was truly a badge engineering exercise at the end of its life.

      At least the current line up is “unique,” so to speak. Like Saturn, Scion is utterly neglected with a line up of, “if the bean counters had just allowed…”

      Not even the FR-S can stand up at this point — with sales down 21% from last year.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “With the Toyota Matrix set to die,…”

    Don’t leave me hanging bro! Seriously, it’s like I forgot my meds…

    The 1st gen xB was cute. The current one perhaps is more geared towards our market, but Lord almighty can the windshield be any further away from the driver? It’s like sitting in the FJ Cruiser…or Jeep Wrangler….

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’m going to be a heretic here and say that maybe importing Euro Toyotas isn’t such a bad idea, even if Scion dies.

    The market is moving more towards “world” cars, and Ford has shown you can successfully sell the same model worldwide AND in North America. I’m sure Toyota would love to figure out how to do that. Maybe these Scions could be a testbed.

    That wagon in the picture is a nice looking piece. If it’s designed mainly for the European market, it probably doesn’t drive as blah as American Toyotas do. I’d give it a look.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Wasn’t Scion supposed to get a budget CUV?

    FWIW, the xD is buffed up for duty as the Urban Cruiser in Europe.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Looking at the Toyota UK website and the Auris. It is clear where the new Camry and Corolla design language (especially the front) is coming from.
    I also note in the UK it is a 5 year warranty.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Derek, you could have saved yourself a word in that headline and just gone with “RIP Scion” as it has really ceased to be brand a while ago and is only kept alive by the deep pockets and corporate inertia of its parent corporation.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    hmm–

    Seems like something else was planned for the XB:

    http://2015toyotalexus.com/2015-scion-xb/

    including putting the instruments back behind the steering wheel.

    FWIW our ’09 has been trouble-free since it was new, sorry to see it go. Everybody that rides in the back seat is impressed by the interior room. If they could just apply some lessons from Kia for a 3RD gen re-spin, it might show some promise.

    On the wish list:
    5-6 speed Automatic
    Redesigned console + real armrests for the front seats
    Deeper Greenhouse A la Gen 1, keeping the roofline the same, (at least 2″ taller glass in the doors to get rid of the gunslit effect)
    Soft touch interior panels where needed

  • avatar
    Victor

    Like many have said, RIP Scion. I don’t follow Toyota’s reasoning. Sounds like they are trying to make an american Dacia out of Scion.

    As for the Auris, it is essentially a HB Corolla. It indeed replaced hatchback versions of the Corolla in Europe. The one pictured above looks like a nice replacement for the brazilian Fielder.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It would seem that the Kia Soul has won the toasterbox war.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Won with the fury of a thousand nuclear warheads sent to smite one’s enemy.

      The FR-S didn’t turn out to be the Messiah as predicted – and Toyota/Subaru seem to have no interest in solving its deficiencies.

      The iQ was wrong headed from the word go, and over priced – considering a four seat Yaris and a 5 seat stripper Corolla sitting on the same showroom floor was cheaper.

      The xB and the xD have been utterly neglected, and the xD is a pretty awful penalty box on wheels – beyond boat anchor reliability.

      Only the tC is moderately interesting – but sits in a niche by itself. I have to admit I have a soft spot for the tC as it gives a wink and a nod to the budget personal sport coupes of the mid-80s to mid-90s that were widely available from a number of manufacturers.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        The FR-S should have been the Celica. The nameplate has a lot of positive weight with it.

        A 3.5L V6 or compact V8 under the hood wouldn’t have hurt either.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          “The FR-S should have been the Celica.”

          Eh…that could have worked. Certainly it didn’t do the car any favors to be badged as a *Scion*…a brand that has zero equity. If I got one, I’d probably source GT-86 badges from overseas.

  • avatar
    krayzie

    If Toyota really wants to spice up Scion for their targeted young otaku buyers, bring over the ZeonicToyota Auris, or do a Hello Kitty version.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well I am not a scion fan I will miss the box, it stood out and that should count for something, seems everyone I know who had version one and version 2 liked version one better, kinda of like a Miata that way.

  • avatar
    brettc

    So Toyota is actually going to sell a real wagon again? One that’s not on stilts (Venza) or has a hybrid propulsion system and costs $30000 or more (Prius-V)? A real wagon like the old Corolla or Camry wagons from the 90s? If so, that’s great.

    I know no one buys wagons (except weirdos like me), but it would be great if Toyota tries again with one. If they slot it as a Scion, maybe they’d sell some to the edgy hipsters, or just old people that want a basic wagon.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Though I am big on supporting American manufacturing and am heavily influencing my next auto purchase based on that, *if* they actually offered the wagon pictured with a *gasp* manual, I’d be sorely temtped. I need a good puppy hauler for my dog rescue work I do when I’m back in the USA. I’d dearly love if one of the American manufacturers would build a similar wagon in the US (Chevy…what about the Cruze wagon? Hmmmm), but wagons just aren’t jumping off the lot. Yes, there is always the CUV, but I’d prefer a wagon. Kinda leaves Subie and VW. Maybe I’ll just buy a used Ranger and toss a camper shell on the back and call it done…

  • avatar
    zanadu

    You guys are forgetting that a version of the Auris is indeed sold here.
    It’s called the Lexus CT200h. It’s a hybrid and goes for $32,050. There ya go, there’s your answer. Toyota realized they could make the IRS and hybrid variant of the Corolla a small luxury car and make way more money on it.


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