Like the previous generation Scion xB, the all-new 2008 model was styled with distinctiveness in mind. This aggressive new compact applies design elements from the t2B concept vehicle that was shown at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. These exterior styling cues include the soft angles between its wide and flat paneling, high beltline, elongated headlamps that wrap around the side of the vehicle, inset taillights, rectangular grille, pronounced fenders, and single rear backup light on the left bumper. The xB also features tinted rear windows, and turn signals integrated into the side mirrors.
More powerful than its predecessor, the all-new xB is equipped with a 2.4l dual overhead-cam four-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), the same engine found on the Scion tC. The engine produces 158 horsepower, 55 more than the previous generation. Customers will have a choice of either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic with sequential shifting, a first for automatic four-speeds in the Scion or Toyota line-up.
The wheelbase was increased by four inches, the overall length by a foot, and the overall width by almost three inches to give the 2008 Scion xB a more comfortable ride. In addition to the longer wheelbase, the xB's smooth ride can be attributed to its McPherson strut front and rear torsion beam suspension.
Like all Scion vehicles, the xB is mono spec. Customers only need to choose exterior color and transmission type. The 2008 Scion xB comes with generous and upscale standard features including power steering, windows, door locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA); driver and front passenger dual stage airbags; front seat-mounted side airbags; front and rear side curtain airbags; Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC); first-aid kit; and tilt steering wheel with audio controls. All Scion models come with complimentary factory-recommended maintenance services at the first 5,000 mile and 10,000 mile intervals, to be performed by an authorized Scion or Toyota dealership.
The xB also receives 16-inch steel wheels, an inch larger than the previous generation. Customers will be able to choose from three all-new standard wheel covers which, will also be shared with the all-new Scion xD. The xB also stops with larger brakes thanks to the 10.83-inch ventilated discs in the front and 10.98-inch disc brakes in the rear.
The versatile interior provides 21.7 cubic feet of cargo area behind the rear seats. For added convenience, the 60/40 split rear seats fold flat, providing a spacious and flat cargo floor, allowing the driver to haul larger loads more easily. In addition, the front seats fully recline for increased cargo space or relaxation.
Interior storage is abundant with a driver's convenience tray, a glove box, a console box and front door storage. A fixed tray is located beneath the rear seats for hidden storage and can accommodate small items like magazines, cameras, laptops, cell phone chargers and CDs.
A series of sleek circular gauges, including a multi-information display, are centered on the dash. The multi-information display allows drivers to toggle through the clock, outside temperature, instantaneous MPG, average MPG, distance to empty, or the average speed. Upon starting the engine, "xB" flashes on the multi-information display before information is shown. The deep orange display gauges allow for better visibility day and night.
Metal-tone trim accents the dash and surrounds the shifter which is mounted on the lower dash. A driver's right armrest was added for comfort.
The 2008 Scion xB's standard 160-watt maximum output Pioneer audio system is focused on youth lifestyle as it features iPod connectivity and a mini-jack port located beneath the HVAC controls for easy access. This standard head unit integrates track, artist and album information from the iPod into a one-line display on the head unit's screen. Connectivity is achieved by simply plugging the iPod into a port via a connector cable, providing outstanding sound quality through the car's stereo system and constant power to the iPod. Music is controlled through the head unit and the steering wheel audio control buttons. The mini-jack port allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the xB's Pioneer speakers.
The xB's optional premium audio system adds one more feature to the standard head unit, the ability to download "skins" to play on the organic electroluminescent (OEL) screen. Customers can download images, four-second video clips and eight-second movies from Pioneer's website. In addition, Pioneer software allows customers to burn their own images and movies onto a CD and upload them onto the available head unit. The faceplate light also changes from deep orange to blue at the touch of a button.
Since many Scion customers add in-car entertainment systems to their vehicle, the xB's optional premium audio system has rear head unit outputs allowing for the addition of external amps to boost power to additional speakers and subwoofers. All head unit features remain unchanged if this feature is used.
Both the standard and premium head units retain key Scion audio system features such as Scion Sound Processing (SSP) where listeners can choose from three pre-set equalizer settings, satellite radio compatibility, a user-customizable welcome screen, MP3 and WMA capability, Automatic Sound Leveling (ASL) and Sound Retouch Technology (SRT), which provides clearer CD sound quality. Both systems will also feature six speakers: a tweeter and a speaker in each front door panel, plus two full-range speakers in the rear.
New to the accessory line up for the 2008 model year is the Scion navigation system. The system features a 160-watt maximum power audio/video/navigation unit with seven-inch LCD touch screen.