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2012 Scion xB Review

While some 2012 small cars get better gas mileage, reviewers liked the 2012 Scion xB’s spacious cabin, ample cargo space and numerous standard features.

Pros & Cons

  • Ample cargo space
  • Roomy back seat
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Underwhelming handling

New for 2012

  • Bluetooth and HD Radio became standard
  • Pioneer audio system became standard




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Scion xB Overview

Equipped with a four-cylinder engine, reviewers said the 2012 Scion xB is peppy off the line and delivers adequate power on the highway. The xB comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is available, and some auto writers said it seems outdated when compared with the transmissions in rival cars, which have more gears. The 2012 xB achieves an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/highway, which is less than what many rivals get, including the 2012 Nissan Cube and Kia Soul. Reviewers praised the xB’s strong brakes and small turning radius. Auto writers noted that the xB tends to lean in corners, and some wrote that its tall body is subject to crosswinds on the highway. Some also thought that the xB rides harshly over rough roads, though others said that the ride is generally composed.

Some reviewers found the 2012 Scion xB’s cabin basic, with budget materials and an uninspiring design. However, others thought that the xB’s interior materials are appropriate for the class. Most test drivers said there is ample head- and legroom in both the front and rear seats, which is high praise for a compact car. The xB also offers an excellent amount of cargo space for the class. With the rear seats folded, it’s comparable to the space you’ll find in some compact SUVs. The 2012 xB comes standard with Bluetooth, HD Radio and a Pioneer audio system, as well as USB and auxiliary inputs. An upgraded audio system with a touch-screen display, satellite radio and Pandora Internet radio capability are available. Auto writers said that the placement of some gauges in the center of the dash can obscure them from view. However, they wrote that the xB’s audio and climate controls are a breeze to use, and most were impressed with the great sound quality from the premium audio system.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Honda Fit has great cargo space for the class, and comes with a Magic Seat in the back that can fold in multiple directions, allowing for various cargo and passenger configurations. The Fit gets better fuel economy than the xB and test drivers said it’s fun to drive. When it was new, the 2012 Honda Fit won our Best Subcompact Car for Families and Best Hatchback for Families awards.

Reviewers praised the 2012 Ford Focus for its sharp steering and nimble handling. They were also impressed with its interior, and added that premium materials and superb fit and finish make the Focus’ cabin feel upscale.

Compare the xB, Fit and Focus »


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