TOY BOX: The Scion xB will have you riding high

Funky is the perfect word to describe Toyota's new Scion xB, which looks like a box on wheels, and was created to attract younger buyers.

Funky is the perfect word to describe Toyota's new Scion xB, which looks like a box on wheels, and was created to attract younger buyers.

The Scion xA and xB started selling in California last year, with the xB outselling the more traditional looking xA. The xB's style evokes that of smaller Japanese city cars - a plus considering that the car's target 18- to 25-year-old audience appears to be fascinated by anything Japanese, according to auto- industry watchers. The xB is fun and peppy to drive. Toyota has managed to make a little car tall enough to hold its own in traffic dominated by SUVs and mini-vans. The car looks low to the ground on the outside, but you ride high in it - so high that the armrest on the driver's side door is too low to be useful. The center-mounted speedometer takes some getting used to, but seems to be the wave of the future. Interior roominess is unbelievable, as is the car's storage space once you fold down the rear seats. The verdict: Anyone interested in a car that doesn't look like everyone else's should take a look at the xB. Any questions? Write us at toybox@prweek.com ----- Price $18,656 ($14,480 base) Available at Toyota dealers in California. Expected in the Southwest, Southeast, East Coast, and Midwest regions later this year Specs The Scion gets 30 mpg city and 34 on the highway. It has a four-cylinder engine, and is available with four-speed automatic transmission.

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