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2015 Scion xB Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Scion xB was new.


Performance: 5.4

Reviewers note that the 2015 Scion xB has poor fuel economy and a firm, loud ride. They write that it has slow acceleration at highway speeds, though most say that acceleration is fairly good in the city. Others comment that it has composed handling but isn't especially nimble through fast corners.

  • "Demerits? Well, the 4-speed automatic transmission gives us '90s flashbacks (most rivals have five or six speeds), and it's one of the main culprits in holding the highway fuel economy below 30 miles per gallon. Same goes for the standard 5-speed manual shifter." -- Autotrader (2014)
  • "The 2014 Scion xB isn't fast or furious, but it is reliable and dependable. The feeling from behind the wheel is one of stability and comfort, nimble in tight city confines yet more than capable when the road begins to twist." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • The ride is firm and controlled, which is unexpected for the price and class. Lots of road feel means even small bumps are felt by passengers, but only large ones create a jolt." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Scion xB comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. According to the EPA, the 2015 xB gets 22/28 mpg city/highway with either transmission, which is low for the class.

The xB has lively acceleration at low speeds but not much highway passing power, according to critics. They note that the manual transmission doesn't shift smoothly and the automatic shifts slowly, and test drivers point out that the xB's fuel economy and highway power suffer because its automatic transmission only has four gears.

  • The engine only puts out 158 horsepower, resulting in so-so acceleration with the 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Off the line, the xB really scoots, and the acceleration only tapers off once its bricklike exterior hits highway velocities. Unfortunately, both transmissions are down on speeds relative to most rivals. Although they work well enough, they're also largely to blame for the xB's subpar fuel economy.” -- Autotrader (2014)
  • With either transmission, acceleration is spirited from a stop. While low- and mid-speed passing punch are acceptable, highway-speed response disappoints. This is exacerbated by the automatic transmission, which is sometimes slow to downshift for more power; a 5th or 6th gear would be very helpful in these situations. The manual's clunky shift action takes some of the fun out of using it." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers report that the front-wheel drive 2015 Scion xB has strong brakes and responsive steering. Most think that its handling is composed, but some comment that the xB isn't particularly agile around fast corners. Automotive journalists also say the xB has a stiff, loud ride.

  • "… wind and road noise are rather noticeable at higher speeds." -- Edmunds
  • "Like most small cars, the Scion xB feels nimble in city driving, and the suspension is firm enough that the little wagon performs in a decent, if undistinguished, way around turns as well." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We admire the xB's responsive steering, though handling limits are ultimately quite low. The ride is firm and noisy at times. Not the last word in refinement, this xB." -- Autotrader (2014)
  • Handling is fairly well controlled, but there is moderate body lean during aggressive cornering. Road feel is somewhat vague, but a tight turning radius and light steering feel aid low-speed maneuverability. The brakes are strong and responsive enough for everyday use." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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