$4,556 - $6,879

2010 Scion xB Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Scion xB was new.


Performance: 7.8

The xB's performance won't blow anyone away, but it should keep you satisfied in the city or on the highway. Writers say the hatchback's 2.4-liter engine offers spirited performance, its steering is responsive and its brakes are sure. But they also point out shortcomings, such as merely adequate gas mileage and a top-heavy feeling in turns.

  • "Fun, peppy and cheap, the xBox is a great car for short hops." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2010 Scion xB feels fairly stable at highway speeds, although its slab-sided styling makes it vulnerable to crosswinds. Thanks to a relatively high center of gravity, the xB rolls significantly during cornering, but it feels responsive and confident at lower speeds. Over rough surfaces, the suspension transmits ample impact harshness into the cabin, and road and wind noise are constant companions." -- Edmunds
  • "It's nimble, fun to drive, and the brakes are outstanding, although the ride can be jagged over certain types of bumps." -- New Car Test Drive

 Acceleration and Power

The 2010 Scion xB's only engine is a 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder that makes 158 horsepower, which is ample power for the class. But auto writers say the horsepower rating hurts the car's fuel economy. The EPA rates the 2010 xB at 22/28 mpg city/highway.

  • "The downside to the added power (and the added size and weight) is fuel economy. ... I achieved just under 25 MPG with both manual and automatic cars, which is below your average compact, on par with a mid-size sedan, and no surprise considering the xB's toaster-like aerodynamics." -- About.com
  • "Acceleration is spirited from a stop, even with the automatic transmission. Low- and mid-speed passing punch are fine, but highway passing power disappoints. The automatic is sometimes slow to downshift for more power. Somewhat clunky shift action takes some of the fun out of using the manual transmission." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The automatic transmission, which should be a dud because it's a four-speed instead of a five, contributes to the joy. In auto mode it shifts up crisply and promptly, interrupting the flow of engine power almost not at all. It downshifts well, though sometimes after a pause you didn't request." -- USA Today

Handling and Braking

For the most part, test drivers think the 2010 xB is a fun cruiser with light steering and responsive braking. Some do note that its heavy curb weight creates body lean.

  • "There is moderate body lean in fast turns, and the steering response is slightly vague. A tight turning radius and light steering feel aid low-speed maneuverability. The brakes are strong and responsive." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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-dampening materials. On rural roads the xB seems a little sluggish, feeling slightly top-heavy through curves and corners." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Steering is quick and the ride is supple. Handling is decent for a high vehicle, and braking won't cause anxious moments." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "The xB steers with a light touch, and turns of the wheel produce lively responses." -- Cars.com
  • "We enjoyed a cushy ride with a well-damped cabin noise but never fell in love with the sitting-on-a-tipsy-bar-stool feeling that arises on twisty roads." -- Car and Driver

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