Best & Worst Scion xB Years

I've taken a closer look at every Scion xB from 2004 until 2015 and categorized the best & worst years in this ultimate guide.

In this guide, I’ll analyze all generations of the Scion xB, revealing the best Scion xB years to buy and the worst years to avoid.

Drawing on extensive data from NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds, our rankings offer an insightful look into Scion xB’s history, from owner feedback to official recalls.

You’ll learn about Scion xB’s engine performance, technological and safety features, common owner-reported problems, and yearly reliability.

Let’s dive right in!

Table of ContentsShow

Scion xB Generations

The Scion xB, first introduced in 2004, quickly became known for its distinctive boxy shape and spacious interior. As a compact car, it stood out in the market for its unique design, fuel efficiency, and a surprising amount of room for both passengers and cargo.

Aimed primarily at younger drivers, the xB was an immediate hit, offering a combination of practicality and style.

Below is a table showcasing the Scion xB generations from 2004 to 2015.

1st generation (XP30)2004-2006
2nd generation (E150)2008-2015

Understanding the generational changes of the Scion xB is essential as it can significantly impact a buyer’s choice, depending on what they prioritize in a vehicle.

Scion xB Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When evaluating the Scion xB’s best and worst model years, our rankings consider various factors. These include:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

Next, we present a graph that combines all these ratings, offering a comprehensive view of the Scion xB across different years.

Scion xB Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

In the following table, we categorize each model year of the Scion xB as the best, neutral, or worst year based on the aggregated data:

GenerationBest YearsWorst Years
1st generation (XP30)2004
2nd generation (E150)2011


Neutral Years don’t distinctly fall into the categories of best or worst, often representing a balance of qualities and drawbacks.

It’s important to note that factors like NHTSA recalls can significantly impact a car’s ranking, as a higher number of complaints and recalls typically indicates lower reliability.

Let’s dive into the Scion xB’s best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Scion xB 1st Generation (2004-2006)

Scion xB 1st generation 2004 model
The 2004 Scion xB

The first generation of the Scion xB, introduced in 2004, marked Toyota’s bold foray into targeting a youthful, style-conscious demographic. This box-shaped compact car quickly became known for its spacious interior, quirky design, and reliability.

2006 is the worst Scion xB year to avoid in its first generation, while 2004 and 2005 are the best years to buy.

The Best Years: 2004, 2005

In 2004 and 2005, the Scion xB distinguished itself with a 1.5L I4 engine, delivering modest power but exceptional fuel efficiency, with an EPA-estimated 27 city/32 highway MPG.

These models came with a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatic, catering to both driving preferences.

Notably, these years avoided the windshield durability issues seen in later models.

Regarding trim levels, the Scion xB kept things simple, with one well-equipped base model that included air conditioning, power windows, and a six-speaker Pioneer sound system, which was quite advanced for its time.

Safety features were basic yet adequate, with anti-lock brakes being optional.

The Worst Years: 2006

The 2006 Scion xB is marked as the least reliable year, primarily due to persistent issues with windshield cracks, which were a nuisance and a potential safety hazard.

This year maintained the same 1.5L engine and transmission options as its predecessors, offering the same fuel economy.

However, this year’s significant recall involved the cruise control modules, adding to the model’s woes.

While the 2006 xB maintained the first generation’s reputation for space and efficiency, the issues with windshield durability and the recall affected its overall reliability and customer satisfaction.

See NHTSA 2006 Scion xB recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Scion xB 2nd Generation (2008-2015)

Scion xB 2nd generation 2008 model
The 2008 Scion xB

The second generation of the Scion xB, introduced in 2008, was characterized by a more aggressive stance and a larger, more versatile interior, aiming to retain the youth market while appealing to a broader audience.

Later model years of the second-generation Scion xB, 2011-2015, are the best years to buy, while model years from 2008 to 2010 are the worst years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

What is the best year for a Scion xB? I recommend considering 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 as the best Scion xB years to buy.

These models were equipped with a 2.4L I4 engine, offering a more robust performance with 158 hp, paired with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel efficiency remained strong, with an EPA-estimated 22 city/27 highway MPG.

Safety features saw enhancements, including standard stability control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, and a comprehensive airbag system.

Trim levels remained straightforward, with the base model featuring key amenities like air conditioning, cruise control, and a six-speaker Pioneer audio system with a touchscreen interface in later years.

These models avoided the earlier generation’s windshield issues and significant recalls, marking them as the most reliable and sought-after in the second generation.

The Worst Years: 2008, 2009, 2010

What are the Scion xB years to avoid? The initial years of the second-generation Scion xB, 2008, 2009, and 2010 were plagued by issues such as excessive oil consumption and steering problems, with the 2008 model year experiencing rear speed sensor malfunctions leading to ABS and traction control issues.

Additionally, some owners reported excessive oil consumption, windshield cracks, and power steering loss in the 2008 Scion xB.

Is the 2010 Scion xB a good car? The 2009 and 2010 models struggled with oil consumption, a significant concern for owners.

Recalls for these Scion xB model years included concerns over airbags and power window master switches.

See NHTSA 2008, 2009, 2010 recalls and complaints.

Scion xB Resale Values

See the following graph, which showcases the Scion xB’s average resale values across different model years.

Scion xB Average List Price


In conclusion, for a reliable Scion xB, consider the best model years like 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Avoid the 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010 models due to their frequent issues.

What are your experiences or preferences regarding the Scion xB’s different model years?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.