2009 Scion xB Expert Review

You'll Like The 2009 Scion xB If...

If you want a versatile four-door car that is easily customizable, comes with loads of standard features and is affordable, the xB is a great choice. With 60/40 fold-flat rear seats and 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space, it could also be ideal for those with a small family or simply lots of stuff.

You May Not Like The 2009 Scion xB If...

The xB's box-like styling, although less extreme than it used to be, may not appeal to all tastes. And if you love cars that are performance-driven, you may be happier in something a little sportier. The xB also does not offer a V6 – even as an option.

What's New

Other than a new color, there are no major changes for the 2009 Scion xB.

Interior Features

Although it may not look like it from the outside, the interior of the xB has seating that is both roomy and comfortable, even in the second row. The vehicle offers 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space when all seats are up and 69.9 cubic feet when the 60/40 rear seats are folded flat. For the driver who loves listening to music, satellite radio, auxiliary MP3 jacks and a customizable audio faceplate that can display images and short video clips are all within reach.

Exterior Features

The 2009 xB is noticeably rounder and larger than the rolling breadbox that was the original xB. The latest xB touts a rectangular grille flanked by multi-reflector halogen lamp clusters with low projector beams that curve along the car's sides. Echoing these wrap-around headlamps are side-view mirrors with LED turn signals that illuminate in each mirror when activated. Wide pillars at the back end of the car create a bit of a blind spot that some drivers may not like. Standard 16-inch wheels – an inch larger than those on the previous model – do a good job of filling the wheelwells in style.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Scion xB, with its relatively long wheelbase and wide stance, seems to be most at home on urban roads, handling the asphalt with a smooth and noticeably quiet ride, thanks to an improved suspension and noise-damping materials. On rural roads the xB seems a little sluggish, feeling slightly top-heavy through curves and corners. However, the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower is a definite improvement, producing 55 more horsepower than available in the first generation xB and giving it some extra power on hills and freeways. Large disc brakes on all four wheels aid in stopping the vehicle more quickly.

Pricing Notes

Well equipped as a base model, the 2009 Scion xB with manual transmission currently has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and Fair Purchase Price starting around $16,500. An automatic transmission adds about $800. Since prices can differ substantially over time and from region to region, be sure to check Fair Purchase Prices to see what people are actually paying in your area. Overall, the xB costs noticeably less than the Honda Element and is slightly more than the PT Cruiser. In terms of resale value, the xB is expected to hold its value in similar fashion to the Element and better than the PT Cruiser.

Notable Equipment

With only one trim level, the xB comes pre-loaded with many features that make it particularly attractive for the asking price. Inside, some of these features are air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a Pioneer audio system with six speakers, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), vehicle stability and traction controls and a first-aid kit. For music lovers, the lower dash houses an iPod interface and auxiliary audio input that allows song information and manipulation through the main unit and steering wheel controls. Gracing the exterior, a chrome exhaust tip and the choice of three wheel-cover designs are included as well.

Notable Options

Since the xB comes with so many features already, many of the options are geared more toward personalizing the car. Such interesting options include color-customizable interior lights with matching cup-holder illumination, sport pedals, illuminated door sill enhancements, in-pillar storage, a subwoofer, 17-inch alloy wheels and a color-keyed rear spoiler. There are a few more practical options that people may choose as well, such as carpeted floor and cargo mats, a navigation system, remote engine start, fog lights and an auto-dimming mirror. For those who want a more "upscale" feeling inside, an interior trim upgrade kit is also available.

Favorite Features

Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) Screen

This screen, built into the audio faceplate on the dash, allows you to display personal "skins" to customize the interior of the car. Skins can be created and downloaded on a special site produced by Pioneer just for Scion owners.


iPod Interface

Where most cars only offer an auxiliary audio input jack, the xB also features a standard iPod interface. Plugging an iPod into this port allows it to be operated through the radio head unit. The plug also simultaneously supplies power to the iPod.

Under the Hood

The xB shares its 2.4-liter dual overhead-cam (DOHC) four-cylinder engine with its Scion sibling, the tC. Buyers have the choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic with sequential shifting, a first for Scion and parent company Toyota. Both transmissions help the xB get slightly better gas mileage than the similar Honda Element and the PT Cruiser, which should make it extra appealing to anyone concerned about fuel consumption.


2.4-liter in-line 4

158 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (manual), 22/28 (automatic)

Editors' Notes

When Scion set out last year to redesign the original xB, it asked current owners and fans of the brand what they would like to see on the next generation. Their feedback revealed that people wanted the box-like styling to stay, but also wanted the car to be larger, with a more powerful engine and more standard features, such as cruise control. The result is the 2009 xB, a vehicle that should appeal to both Scion enthusiasts and other potential buyers, all at a reasonable price. Scion's straight-forward "mono spec" basic equipment level continues, encouraging customization and making the car-buying process more personal.

Road Test Video Reviews

2009 Scion xB Owner Reviews

4.28
65 Reviews
49% 34% 12% 5% 1 star 0%
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It is an awesome family car. With lots of space and safety features.

I really love my scion, xb. I have a family of four and it has been perfect for two little ones, who both need car seats. The trunk has tons of room for strollers, groceries, and anything else that our busy family needs it for. I have had only minor problems. Such as normal maintenance. I have had to have new brake pads for front and back. They seem to squeak more than other cars I've had in the past. I do love how a light comes on when it is time for an oil change. It helps to keep me up to date with that. I've had a recall for the passenger side air bag. I haven't had that looked at just yet, but I am in the process of getting it taken care of. Everything will be free of charge which is awesome. My car has kept me and my family safe for over two years now. I am very happy with our purchase of the scion, xb.

- Reena B

Compact while feeling spacious.

The scion xb is really reliable. I have never had any problems. The only work that has been done is oil changes and new batteries which is normal. The back seat is very comfortable and spacious which is nice for carpooling, storage, and housing pets during a long trip. I especially love the trunk because it is accessible and at a comfortable height for lifting things in and out such as groceries. I drive this vehicle to and from work and running errands. Since I do not have children yet, this is the perfect compact vehicle that still feels spacious. I will most likely upgrade to a larger vehicle once I start a family though.

- Sarah H

This is a reliable, enjoyable, low cost car to own and use.

This scion has an old Camry engine before they 'upgraded' it, and has always run well. Repairs are few and inexpensive. Great gas mileage, and I can carry things most hatchbacks cannot. I bought brand new, and she is still going strong, although I have had some costs in the past year. The air conditioner is a weak spot, but with regular care she has had relatively few issues. I recently had the catalytic converter replaced, but the car has 150 miles on it. I am looking for a good low mileage xb to replace her in the next year.

- Sharon P

2009 Scion XB: The Car That is Quite Overlooked.

I have had zero problems with this vehicle. Keeping maintenance on the vehicle is simple and easy. Gas Mileage is good considering it's half of an SUV. Room in the front and back is spacious and not stuffy like other makes and models. The seats are comfortable and easy to adjust, so no problems there. I highly recommend this vehicle for a musician (like myself who travels often out of state), a mom looking for something to transport a family of 3 or 4, or just a college student commuting to and from school or work.

- Zachary M

The vehicle is very uncomfortable for long drives.

This vehicle is not built for comfort on long drives. The seats are narrow and the console very confining. The armrest on the driver's seat isn't worth the material it's made from. It is too low to be of any use. Initially we had a problem with the breaks. They wore out very quickly, much faster than they should considering the vehicle has a manual transmission. The dealer service department was no help when this was reported. I'll never buy another Toyota product.

- Jimbob J

The best car Scion has ever made it's a family car.

Never had a problem with it acts like a truck that's how much storage it has great on gas gets great miles to the gallon has never let me down never had any major problems only had to do oil change and the basics stuff besides getting new tires I feel very safe in this car. Has a lot of legroom for tall people will carry 5 people just fine not a problem this car is my 5 car I have owned and its the best one I have ever had and that's why I still have it just like new.

- Della S

It is incredibly spacious and a great ride.

I have never had any mechanical issues with the vehicle and I have over 100k miles on it. It is, highly reliable and spacious. The only two complaints I have are that the vehicle does suffer from aggressive oil consumption. However of you are changing your oil when the vehicle tells you to, it is not a problem. The other issue is that for a four cyl engine it only get about 28 miles to the gallon which is fairly poor when compared to newer 4 cyl vehicles.

- Franklin R

The Scion db. is a smooth, spacious ride!

It's a great car, really! It is small so it takes sharp turns without issue, but it is extremely spacious inside, more so than a lot of SUVs I have been in. It is got great acceleration, probably due to the Toyota engine in it (as Toyota's are known for being long-lasting). It's a comfortable, nice ride. My only issues are with my radio, as it is older and a speaker needs to be replaced. Other than that, the car is great!

- Haley H

208k Miles and Still Going Strong!

I have had my car since 2008 when I bought a new, 2009 model. It currently has 208k miles on it and still going strong. I do take care of my car though. A couple downfalls are it burns oil quickly and the other is the gas mileage. I now work 56 miles from work 1 way and I now have to refill my gas tank at least 3 times a week. The car is roomie, can fit quite a bit in it, and is all around a good car.

- Jami H

The seats fold for a easy clean would be great for moms or teens.

The 2009 scion xb looks small but has a lot of room inside. It also is great on gas. This is my first car and I don't see myself going with anything other than a scion. This car air conditioning cools quick and heat heats well. In my opinion the car is well worth the value. There is not a lot of management to it. My only complaint is the speaker's. They are ok but nothing to write home about.

- Jessica N

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