The Scion xB urban utility vehicle, which received a major model change in 2008, enters the 2009 model year by appealing to young urban trendsetters with its fresh styling and performance. It features a surprising level of refinement and is packaged with an array of standard equipment including a 160-watt maximum output Pioneer audio system with iPod connectivity. The head-turning xB receives one new exterior color, Stringray Metallic, which replaces Nautical Blue Metallic.
Iconic Box Style
With its elongated headlamps that wrap around the side of the vehicle, rectangular grille, and pronounced fenders, the xB projects an aggressive appearance. Soft angles between its wide and flat paneling and a high beltline give the xB its iconic boxy shape. Other exterior styling cues include inset taillights, single rear backup light on the left bumper, tinted rear windows, and turn signals integrated into the side mirrors.
A 2.4-liter dual overhead-cam four-cylinder engine, the same as the tC's, with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) produces 158 horsepower, 55 more than the previous generation. Customers have a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic with sequential shifting. The xB has estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 22 city/28 highway for both transmissions and is rated California Level II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II).
The xB's smooth ride can be attributed to its MacPherson strut front and rear torsion beam suspension, and 16-inch steel wheels. Customers can choose from three standard wheel covers which are shared with the xD. The xB also features 10.83-inch ventilated discs in the front and 10.98-inch disc brakes in the rear.
The xB's lounge-like interior was designed to meet customers' lifestyle needs. The xB offers plenty of utility with 21.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 60/40 split fold flat rear seats for additional space and a flat cargo floor. The front seats fully recline for increased cargo space or relaxation. In addition, the driver also has a right armrest for comfort.
Interior storage details were not overlooked as the xB includes a driver's convenience tray, a glove box, a console box and front door storage. A fixed tray is located beneath the rear seats for hidden storage and can accommodate small items like magazines, cameras, laptops, cell phone chargers and CDs.
Metal-tone trim accents the shifter and dash. Centered on the dash are a series of sleek circular gauges, including the speedometer and multi-information display, with a deep orange readout. Upon starting the engine, "xB" flashes on the multi-information display before information is shown. The driver can use the multi-information display to view the clock, outside temperature, instantaneous MPG, average MPG, distance to empty, or the average speed.
Upgraded Audio System
Scion truly focuses on youth with its standard 160-watt maximum output Pioneer audio system, iPod connectivity, and a mini-jack port located beneath the HVAC controls for easy access. This standard head unit integrates track, artist and album information from the iPod into a one-line display on the head unit's screen. Connectivity is achieved by simply plugging the iPod into a port via a connector cable, providing outstanding sound quality through the car's stereo system and constant power to the iPod. Music is controlled through the head unit and the steering wheel audio control buttons. The mini-jack port allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the xB's Pioneer speakers.
Scion also offers an optional Pioneer premium audio system which adds several features to the standard head unit, including the ability to download "skins" to play on the organic electroluminescent (OEL) screen. Customers can download images, four-second video clips and eight-second movies from Pioneer's website. For personalization, this Pioneer software also allows customers to burn their own images and movies onto a CD and upload them onto the available head unit. The faceplate light also changes from deep orange to blue at the touch of a button.
Since in-car entertainment systems are popular aftermarket accessories, the xB's optional premium audio system has rear head unit outputs allowing for the addition of external amps to boost power to additional speakers and subwoofers. All head unit features remain unchanged if this feature is used.
Both the standard and premium head units retain key Scion audio system features such as Scion Sound Processing (SSP) where listeners can choose from three pre-set equalizer settings, satellite radio compatibility, a user-customizable welcome screen, MP3 and WMA capability, Automatic Sound Leveling (ASL) and Sound Retouch Technology (SRT), which provides clearer CD sound quality. Both systems feature six speakers: a tweeter and a speaker in each front door panel, plus two full-range speakers in the rear.
The Scion navigation system, featuring a 160-watt maximum power audio/video/navigation unit with seven-inch LCD touch screen, is also available.
Like all Scion vehicles, the xB is mono spec. Customers only need to choose exterior color and transmission type. The xB comes with a generous list of standard features including power steering, windows, door locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA); driver and front passenger dual stage airbags; front seat-mounted side airbags; front and rear side curtain airbags; Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC); first-aid kit; and tilt steering wheel with audio controls. All Scion models come with complimentary factory-recommended maintenance services at the first 5,000 mile and 10,000 mile intervals, to be performed by an authorized Scion or Toyota dealership.
The xB is available in six exterior colors: Super White, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Stingray Metallic, Blackberry Crush Metallic and Hypnotic Teal Mica. All xBs feature high-quality dark charcoal interior fabric.
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