The Scion brand is Toyota’s attempt at a young, hip vehicle with all the value and reliability that the company is known for. First introduced to the U.S. market in California in 2003, the Scion xB continues to gain a following, although it’s still far from the most popular car on the road. The 2006 Scion xB’s eye-catching geometric body is like nothing else on the road, while the interior provides plenty of space to fit everything from a whole crew of friends to a full load of weekend camping gear.
With its unique, boxy appearance, the Scion xB is not likely to appeal to all buyers, especially those who prefer a more classic ride. But with a whole slew of customizable options, installed by the dealer, it’s hard not to find something to like in the 2006 Scion xB. The standard equipment for this youthful wagon is pretty generous as well.
The Scion xB is more than just a roomy, affordable people-mover, however. The 2006 model comes equipped with a whole range of entertainment features and luxuries. Round out the package with enthusiastic handling and a generally smooth ride, and the 2006 Scion xB is a popular hit among the young and young-at-heart alike.
Body Styles: wagon
Engines: 1.5-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Scion xB Base
2006 brings a number of technological upgrades to the Scion xB. The redesigned steering wheel now contains audio controls, while the Scion’s Pioneer audio system receives a new head unit and remote mini-jack port for hooking up portable music devices. The 2006 xB also earns some youthful points with its Apple iPod connectivity, which allows for unit control through the car’s audio system while also recharging the unit.
Thanks to new SAE testing procedures, the 2006 Scion xB has a slightly reduced horsepower rating, dropping from 108 to 103 hp.
When it comes to appearances, the 2006 Scion xB is truly one of a kind; the only thing remotely similar to it is the Honda Element. Its squared silhouette is hardly the most aerodynamic design to come along, though it does provide plenty of stability. Only one trim level is offered, although a whole palette of bright paint colors is available. Standard exterior equipment includes steel wheels, power adjustable mirrors, and tinted windows. Optional additions include fog lights, a rear spoiler, alloy wheels, and electrochromic mirrors.
The advantages of having a vehicle with a tall, boxy frame are obvious. In terms of leg and headroom, the Scion xB is hard to beat, even in the rear seats and with a full-passenger load. Cargo space measures at 21 cubic feet when the rear seats are in use; if the consumer folds them down, that number climbs up to 43. The xB’s cabin also has plenty to offer in addition to elbow room. The stereo system includes an in-dash CD player as well as CD MP3 playback and auxiliary MP3 audio input. Scion’s new Apple iPod connectivity allows drivers to recharge their portable music device, while also showing the display information and allowing them to control their music directly through the stereo system. The long list of dealer-installed options includes a subwoofer, satellite radio, CD changer, and a DVD player.
Performance & Handling
Powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and a modest 103 horsepower rating, the 2006 Scion xB doesn’t have a ton to offer in the way of acceleration and overall muscle. However, it has more than enough oomph for running around the city and flies along the highway easily. And with a combined fuel economy of 28 mpg, the appeal of this wagon for both everyday commuting and longer excursions is clear.
With its less-than-aerodynamic design, the Scion xB is not as impervious to the wind as its sleeker competitors; drivers should expect a little bit of rocking on especially breezy days. This wagon never feels unstable, however, and attacking more twisty roads or hills is no problem.
Unfortunately, the Scion xB falls a bit short on the safety features compared to many of its competitors. Only the most basic equipment is offered. Standard safety features for the 2006 Scion xB include traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake force Distribution, and a first-aid kit. All five seats offer a three-point seatbelt with child seat anchors also provided. Driver and front passenger airbags are included, although there are no side airbags in the front or the rear. A vehicle anti-theft system is available as an option.
EPA Fuel Economy
Scion xB: 26/31 mpg city/highway
- Large interior
- Amount of custom options
- Unique styling
- Good handling
- Low price
You Won't Like
- Low power with automatic transmission
- No side airbags
Reliable reputation with a youthful feel and tons of space, all at a budget price.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Element
- Chrysler PT Cruiser
- Ford Focus Wagon
- Kia Rio