NYT's Dyer on Scion XB: "Is It Worse to Be Polemic or Forgettable?"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

TTAC is often accused of torturing prose in the name of… showing-off in a smarmy-ass, we're trying too hard to be funny kinda way. We prefer to think of it as cutting edge infotainment, part of the "TTAC School of Automotive Criticism." Of course, that's about as pretentious as it gets. Unless you happen over to The Old Gray Lady for Ezra Dyer's psychographic breakdown of Scion's recent model moves. "The old xB was like a newly arrived Japanese exchange student who dresses like Max Headroom and pulls live sea urchins out of his lunch bag, blissfully naïve about his lack of assimilation. The new xB is like the same kid six months later, still unquestionably the product of a different culture, but now self-conscious of that fact and beginning to temper his perceived eccentricities with trips to the Hollister store and the occasional McRib sandwich for lunch." Translation: the xB's been assimilated– and not in a good way (a fact that's been well and truly documented hereabouts). I do like Dyer's xD vs. Matrix comparo leading-up to this mondo-metaphor. "Driving an xD versus a Matrix doesn’t mark you as antiestablishment any more than wearing an Old Navy sweater instead of one from the Gap." Now that's funny!

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Coupdetat Coupdetat on Mar 31, 2008

    Good. That guy didn't know what he was talking about, celebrity status or not. And ZoomZoom, how the heck do your friends pronounce "Chevrolet", "Audi", "Hyundai", etc? Dodge = Dod-gee? At least Scion is a real English word. Quasimondo: If I can merge with a short, uphill ramp into 70mph traffic on the crowded Merritt Parkway in a loaded down Prius for vacation, so can you. I do that on nearly every road trip we go on. It just comes down to using all 100 of those horses, not the car's performance.

  • Bancho Bancho on Mar 31, 2008

    Scion's only real gaffe was naming the 2008 xB "xB'. It's a very good vehicle in its own right and should have merited a different name. The xD is strikingly different from the old xA and got a new name. I'd like to see Scion bring over the bB's actual successor as the new xB, and send out new badges to '08 xb owners. While they're at it, they should bring over the Aygo as the new xA. I currently own an '08 xB and have driven quite a bit in the original one and can say with certainty that they are both very different vehicles (and I like both very much). The difference is, the original I consider a great vehicle for myself as a commuter, while the new model excels as a family vehicle and kept me out of a minivan or SUV.

  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Mar 31, 2008

    The orginial Scion XB was merely OK in terms of engine power and that was ONLY if it was equiped with a manual transmission and loaded with only one passanger. Once you put any kind of real load and/or passangers the XB became dangerously slow, equiped with an autobox merging into highway traffic was damn near suicidal. With that said exactly how many of the org. xB did Toyota sell in the USA with a stick and how many were sold with a automatic? While I will also admit that the styling of the new xB leave much to be desired I think Toyota did get all the other aspects of the xB correct. With the addition of the xD Scion does have room for a the larger xB. While the xD is not a direct replacement for the xB it does fit into the 4dr sub-compact segement very well and it is equiped with a hatchback for utility. The 2.4l engine is a much better fit for a hauler vehicle, it has decent low-end and very good mid-range torque. It is also all but indestructable, and works very well with the 4spd autobox. Equiped with a manual it is fun to drive yet does not require the maintenance of a turbo or premium fuel. The new chassis does have a much more substantial feel to it. Yes, it is heavier but it also feel much safer. You no longer feel like there is only a sheet of tin-foil between you and all the other vehicles on the road. Now, would I buy an xB? No. I dont want to drive around in a car that looks like it was styled after Eastern Island relic and I like to be able to see out of the rear quarters. If Toyota fixed the styling my interest would be peaked, until then I guess I will check out the new Matrix.

  • Bancho Bancho on Mar 31, 2008

    whatdoiknow1 : "No. I dont want to drive around in a car that looks like it was styled after Eastern Island relic" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm driving a tiki head!