Best and worst Scion xB years — which to avoid?
We delve into identifying the best and worst years of the Scion xB, closely examining common issues and gathering insights from real owners, all aimed at guiding you to a wise decision.
The Scion xB features Toyota’s signature reliability in some of the year models, but others are not so widely regarded as reliable. Buying a used Scion xB gets much easier once you get to know the best years to buy and worst Scion xB years to avoid, and our team went the extra mile to help you.
We’ve explored the best xB years and the worst model years you should avoid by driver complaints submitted to NHTSA and similar renowned agencies. Our team of experts also examined Scion xB reviews and ratings on trustworthy rating platforms, and we also took into consideration real driver experiences, so let’s take a closer look together.
Why you can trust REREV’s advice on which car model years to avoid: Our car experts look at official data, ask real drivers what they think, and talk to experienced mechanics to make sure our list is useful. This reliable info can make buying a car easier for you. Want to know how we do it? Find out more about our research methodology.
How we rated the best and worst Scion xB years
Before we get into it, we have to explain our vehicle evaluation metrics to help you understand how we rated Scion xB years. Naturally, our team mostly focused on prominent organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and their records on owner complaints and common issues.
That being said, we also had to go through the Scion xB recalls to grasp the magnitude of those problems and figure out if they are easily fixed or problematic enough to put a certain model on our blacklist. We didn’t just want to go by the books so we also considered forums and platforms where previous and current owners discuss the main issues and worst years to avoid so we can give you an estimate of the good and the bad Scion xB years.
Finally, we use car review and rating platforms like KBB and Edmunds to form our final opinion, so here’s what it looks like in practice for Scion xB:
|Scion xB Generation
|Best Scion xB Years
|Worst Scion xB Years
|2010, 2013, 2014, 2015
|2008, 2009, 2012
Most common Scion xB problems
The Scion xB was produced for over 10 years and it’s a car that was supposed to bring together the everyday practicality and reliability of Toyota cars. However, as we were doing our research, we faced the most common Scion xB problems, and there are several of these.
There were some minor issues with the equipment labeling and poorly installed accessories. Still, these weren’t that much of a problem for drivers like the issue of excessive engine oil consumption. On top of that, many drivers reported issues with the cruise control system, airbag modules, and brakes.
1. Excessive engine oil consumption
One of the standout issues of the xB as a model was the reported oil consumption that caught some drivers as a surprise. Most drivers reported that they had to frequently top up their oil every 5,000 miles or even less.
If you are wondering how long can you go without an oil change in general, it’s usually between 7,500 and 10,000 miles depending on the exact car model and engine. This problem was mostly reported for the 2008 and 2009 model years, but it was reported again for the 2012 model.
2. Improper cruise control operation
The cruise control system is one of the handiest features of a Scion xB, but sadly the system in this particular model was plagued by some issues. Because of this, there were two recalls to sort out the inability of drivers to properly disengage the cruise control system.
The problem was mostly that the car wouldn’t turn back to idle after turning the cruise control system off, and that caused a safety risk. As it turns out, the recall in 2007 dealt with these issues and drivers could once again properly use the cruise control feature.
3. Problem with the airbag inflator module
As we scanned through the NHTSA reports and driver complaints regarding the Scion xB, we found a common issue with the SRS light being engaged on the dash. This rather annoying occurrence means there’s something wrong with the airbag system and that’s not something you want to mess around with.
It turns out that the airbag inflator module responsible for triggering the airbags was faulty and it caused ruptures and small explosions within the module during airbag deployment. The problem was solved through airbag recalls as the most common recalls done for this model, and they mostly affected the 2008 and 2009 models.
4. Faulty brakes
Another common problem for different generation models of the Scion xB is the braking system issue according to xB drivers and former owners. To be precise, the issue was in cracked brake hoses which ended up lowering the hydraulic pressure in the system. Without hydraulic pressure, the braking distance gets longer and longer and it becomes more difficult to come to a safe stop.
It affected different Scion xB models from 2008 to 2015 and it was mostly regarding the optional TRD braking kit. So, if the trim of the Scion xB you plan on buying has been upgraded with this optional equipment, it may bring more harm than good.
Worst Scion xB years to avoid
Due to the mentioned problems, some xB model years were made a bit worse than others, and that’s why we’ll focus on these next. Based on NHTSA reports and our findings concerning driver reviews and complaints, we came up with the following model years as Scion xB years to avoid:
That’s why we’ll break it down for you below so you’ll have a clear overview of the worst years and why you should avoid them.
First-generation Scion xB (2006 model year)
The 2006 is by far the worst first-gen Scion xB year after partially successful 2004 and 2005 models. Precisely, this one received over 300 complaints and most of these were related to the cruise control system issues and problems with exterior accessories.
There were some reported issues with engine cooling, while frequent broken handles and problems with latches and linkages made drivers steer away from the 2006 xB.
Second-generation Scion xB (2008-2009 and 2012 model years)
With the second generation of Scion xB, some common problems started occurring more frequently than with the first-gen models. Among these, the most annoying issues included bothersome airbag problems and problems with the equipment.
Also, the braking system issue started with the second-gen 2008 model and it was also about that time when the visibility issues were raised. Based on these, we’ve seen numerous reports of prematurely cracked windshields, power window controls or wipers not working, and bad switch assemblies.
What are the best Scion xB years to buy?
Our team put sufficient effort into making this guide with checked information for you to serve as a buying guide, but it was never our intention to downgrade the xB model in your eyes. So, are you curious to hear which are the best Scion xB years? The best Scion xB years are 2004 and 2010, but here’s a complete list of best-rated years:
- 2004 Scion xB
- 2010 Scion xB
- 2013 Scion xB
- 2015 Scion xB
Out of all these, the most reliable model is the 2010 Scion xB and that’s the one we recommend to you as well. It received the least complaints by far, and it’s also good that the 2010 model is a facelift one, so you get to combine reliability with slightly sharper looks.
2004 Scion xB
The initial 2004 Scion xB was a success since it only had about 50 complaints in total since the model was introduced. More importantly, it earned an impressive rating of 4.9 out of 5 rating on Edmunds and still remains one of the best Scion models up to this date.
It only had a few commonly reported issues with the main one being related to the body and paint, while the electric system also caused some headaches to drivers, but it wasn’t anything to worry about long-term.
2010 Scion xB
The first model that proved to be good from the second generation of the xB was a 2010 one. It earned a pretty decent rating on KBB, it being 4.7 out of 5 with the only few complaints being related to seat belt retention. The only major issue here was an airbag recall that took place in the following years, so it’s just important to make sure yours has been through a recall if you decide to go for this one.
2013 Scion xB
After a terrible 2012 model year, the xB made a strong return with a 2013 model which only had 17 complaints in total which marked one of the best reliability scores in this vehicle segment.
Based on the driver reports and NHTSA complaints, the only issues with this model include airbag problems for models that weren’t recalled and some issues with malfunctioning interior accessories.
2015 Scion xB
Last but not least, we’ve got the 2015 model with one of the best reliability scores out there, coming with just 9 complaints on the renowned Car Complaints platform. There weren’t many NHTSA reports to work with for this one, which is why we focused on ratings and reviews.
It turns out that also has a positive review score of 4.7 out of 5 for the 2015 model, so it’s a complete opposite with these few model years when compared with the worst ones like 2008 or 2012.
Is the Scion xB worth buying?
Our ultimate verdict on the model is – yes, the Scion xB is worth buying if you are looking for a reliable and cost-effective hatchback with enough room to fit four passengers. We’ll leave the design rating to you, since this sort of boxy exterior may not be pleasing enough for all drivers.
Still, if you can look past its design and a few listed issues we’ve discussed in this guide, you can get quite some mileage out of a used Scion xB as a great daily family car.
What year Scion xB is the best?
The 2010 Scion xB is the best model you can find in terms of reliability due to its low number of driver complaints and most of the 2008 model problems being sorted out.
How long do Scion xB engines last?
Scion xB engines can last around 200,000 miles, while there have been reports of some reaching more than 300,000 miles with just regular maintenance, which is impressive.
Is Scion xB a reliable car?
Yes, Scion xB is a reliable car and a decent daily ride considering the price tag and the quality of a Toyota-made car.