Although the Scion xB never reached the same level of popularity as the Toyota bB, it was good enough to appeal to buyers with a soft spot for Japanese cars. Critics say the xB doesn’t have much going for it, so it’s good to know the common faults of the Scion xB .
Its few engine options and unrefined transmission systems proved a real turn-off to some. One may wonder how a seemingly bad car has been able to develop such a small but passionate following. It may have to do with the longevity of the xB.
Many Scion xB owners have had their cars for over a decade. They are quite satisfied with the performance of the car and have had very few problems. This is not to say that all xB’s are the same. Some models are known to have problems.
You can find a used 2015 Scion xB for under $19,000 online. Resale prices for 2015 models are expected to depreciate only 30% over a 5-year period.
How good is the Scion xB?
The reliability score for the 2015 Scion xB is 3.0 out of 5.0. A 3.0 is considered average. The Scion xB had a 3-year/36,000-mile base warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. The Scion xB has been the subject of three NHTSA recalls in the US, involving defective airbags, brakes and accessories. These recalls may have influenced the perceived reliability of the xB.
Customer feedback was much more forgiving. The Scion xB received a score of 4.4 out of 5.0 from owners, who cited its consistent performance and ease of maintenance . Also, it is one of the cheapest cars to maintain. You’ll only have to spend about $6,300 to keep your xB in good shape for 10 years. With proper maintenance, you can easily get 450,000 miles out of a Scion xB.
Common failures and problems of the Scion xB
Despite its perceived reliability, some Scion xB models are bound to have problems, given the car’s recall history. These are some of the common failures of the Scion xB.
1- Failures with the airbag inflator
Toyota has made three recalls on the Scion xB in two years. The recalls only cover certain models from 2009 to 2015 that are registered in specific states. Affected models are known to have faulty inflator modules that potentially cause the frontal airbags to explode.
The explosion could send sharp metal objects toward the driver and passengers, causing serious injury or death . It is estimated that this recall affects 1,299,448 vehicles.
Airbag problems are the main common failures of the Scion xB. Experts recommend that the airbag system be inspected 10 years after the date on the manufacturer’s certification label, and every 2 years thereafter. Given the Scion xB’s airbag issues, you should have the inflator module checked by a dealer.
Toyota may offer replacement of the front passenger airbag or the entire airbag assembly, depending on model.
2- Compromised brakes
Toyota has recalled certain Toyota Racing Development (TRD) brake kits with part numbers PTR09-21111 and PTR09-52080, which were sold as add-ons for the 2008 to 2015 Scion xB. The brake hoses included in the kits they were prone to failure. These parts compromise the performance of your car’s brakes and can cause accidents.
Brake lines are flexible tubes that carry brake fluid from the master cylinder to increase stopping power. Rubber and stainless steel are the two most common materials used to create brake lines .
Locating a brake hose yourself can be tricky without the proper tools and knowledge. You could end up voiding the recall if you tamper with the TRD brake kit installed on your car. This is why we suggest you take your Scion xB to a dealer so they can check your brake system. Toyota has offered to replace affected TRD brake kits with standard equipment brake kits free of charge.
3- Excessive oil consumption problems
Some owners have complained about excessive oil consumption on 2008 to 2015 Scion xB models. Experts on the site attribute the car’s oil problem to infrequent oil changes , which can lead to engine sludge. The movement of the engine pistons can be hampered by thick mud. To prevent your engine parts from wearing out prematurely, you’ll need to completely remove sludge from your engine.
There are other factors that can cause your car to consume too much oil. You may have a blown valve cover gasket that leaks oil every time you drive. When engine oil drips onto hot exhaust components, it will produce a strong, foul odor that you can smell from inside the car.
Oil can also leak through worn piston rings and possibly damage your engine. If you notice that your oil levels are depleting faster than normal, your Scion xB may need to be serviced.
4- Accessories installed incorrectly
Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) has recalled certain 2014-2015 Scion xB models. Accessories on affected models may not be tightened to the proper torque, causing them to come off.
A loose running board can become a driving hazard if it is suddenly released from its original position while the vehicle is moving. SET has offered to inspect and repair affected models to ensure all accessories are intact.
If you bought your Scion xB from another US dealer network, you probably have nothing to worry about. This problem only affects models manufactured by SET. Make sure you are on top of your car’s maintenance to keep it in good shape.
5- Windshields crack easily
The windshield on the 2006 Scion xB is prone to cracking. There are a few possible causes. The first is the poor construction of the glass. The windshield cracks easily if low-quality materials are used to make it. The second is an incorrect installation. The windshield will vibrate in the frame if it is not securely attached.
The third is sudden changes in temperature. Extreme weather changes can cause cracks to form in the windshield . A cracked windshield can break at any time and cause injury. You must replace it as soon as possible to maintain your safety and that of your passengers.
Is the Scion xB worth it? Well, that depends on your priorities. The Scion xB is a good option if you prefer a car with more seating capacity. Although you don’t have a powerful engine, the Scion xB outperforms other subcompact cars for its high predicted reliability. At less than $20,000, this cube-shaped wonder is a real bargain.