2009 Scion xB

The Scion xB’s styling has always struck me as something a five-year-old would design: lots of right angles and a profile only a cardboard box enthusiast could love.

But looks, as they say, can be deceiving. Lurking under the cubist exterior is enough interior space to host a banquet. Yao Ming wouldn’t run out of headroom in this car. Er, truck. Minivan. SUV? Maybe minus the Sport part of the acronym. A mobile office space for urban professionals who can’t afford a car payment and rent.

Acceleration won’t snap your neck, but the handling isn’t bad. Sure, it feels really, really wide, almost ponderous, but it never threatened to topple, even when the Generalissimo decided to give it the old Scandinavian Flick.

The interior is about what you’d expect in a car that costs $16,420. Its true purpose isn’t power or sporty handling or styling that will scorch your Underoos, but its utility. There’s a reason my local florist uses one as a delivery vehicle. If cars were sold according to interior volume per pound, the xB would be the deal of the century.

Just don’t expect it to be the car you want to drive when given a choice.


“It’s big!” the Generalissimo shouted. “Echo!” It didn’t. “I can hear the ocean!”

“Funny, sir,” I said. “Can we go now? I’ve got a dentist appointment in an hour.”

“Dentistry! The devil’s medicine!”

And with that, he chirped the tires and blasted us down the road.

The Scion xB reminded me of my dad’s old VW Bus, but without the character. It had plenty of space, but I’d never want to be seen in it. The Bus had similar room, but also a cool factor that would peg the needle deep in the red.

“Handling?” I asked.

His answer involved jerking the steering wheel, sending us onto the sidewalk. I rolled down my window.

“Sorry!” I yelled. The ninety-eight year old woman we nearly crushed gave me the finger.

“It handles fine!” he yelled.


I knew better. He stomped on them. My seatbelt gripped me in all the right places. Too bad they don’t make eyeball restraints. Mine damn near bugged out under the deceleration.


I took a deep breath. “Sir, it’s been a few weeks. At some point you’re going to have to give me a score, otherwise your fans will only have my evaluation to go by.”

“But I trust you!”

“They don’t.”

The Generalissimo tilted his leather flight helmet back. Well, as much as he could.

“Hmmmm,” he said. “It has been many moons since I graded anything other than my counterpart’s lovemaking technique.”


“Actually, she’s improving. She could turn pro!”

“Seriously, ew.”

He scratched his head, then crossed his arms. “How would I do this?”

“The evaluation?” He nodded, once. “Well, you could always use the same criteria I posted on your blog.”


I kept forgetting he had no idea what a blog was. “Never mind. Just think about the Scion xB’s suitability for your lifestyle, its cost versus value, how many RPGs and AK-47s it’ll hold, maybe factor in how much you enjoy driving it, then—”

“Four mustaches!”


“I give the xB four mustaches!”

“Oka . Out of how many?”

“As many as you’d like!”


“Indeed!” He put the xB back in gear. “Now that that’s settled, we must continue the adventure! Elsewhere!”

The front tires chirped again as the Generalissimo got on with his evaluation.

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