By Bob Plunkett
What's a Scion xB?
Driver and a companion sit on contoured buckets separated by a floor-mounted console and followed by a bench in back with room for three plus seatbacks which split and fold to expand the aft cargo bay. There are a number of stow spots -- like a convenience tray for the driver, a glove box, console box and front door bins. Then a tray concealed below the back bench houses out-of-sight items like a laptop or camera.
This Scion feels fun to drive, particularly in an urban environment on city streets. It zips with a quick run through the lower gears, while handling seems acute with responsive steering conducive to quick-cut maneuvers.
xB's zip stems from a thrifty but lively 2.4-liter four-in-line engine with dual cams and Toyota's valve wizardry under the label of VVTL-i for variable valve timing and lift with intelligent control.
Plus it qualifies for ULEV-II (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) status and delivers fuel economy numbers up to 28 mpg.
The MSRP for a 2010 xB begins at $15,750 with a manual transmission. Add the automatic shifter and that figure rises to $16,700.
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