Scion xB eBay Matchbox Car

Scion xB – My Dream Car

Dollar Flipper Musings 9 Comments

Toyota recently announced that it’s going to absorb its Scion brand back into the Toyota namesake. As a Scion xB owner, this is really depressing. From the first time I drove in a Scion xB I knew that I wanted one. It’s a great family car, and it’s the perfect eBay car.

I still remember sitting in one for the first time. When I was in college and on a co-op, one of my co-workers offered to drive to our weekly Pizza Hut Friday lunch. As we walked to the parking lot, he pointed out his car. It was a Scion xB. I couldn’t hold back my laughter as I realized that I was going to be driven around in one of those “toasters.”

He calmly said, “don’t knock it till you try it!” Boy was he right.

I got into the car and couldn’t believe how cavernous it felt. I’m 6’1″, so on the tall side, and I had so much room! I was hooked right away.

After I was blown away by the car, I couldn’t stop talking about it. This was in September, and for Christmas, my dad got me a Matchbox version of the xB and put it in my Christmas stocking as a bit of a joke.

Scion xB eBay Matchbox Car

No, this isn’t the car with the dumb hamsters in the commercial.

I kept this matchbox toy on my desk and was able to eventually buy the life-size version 6 years later. It’s been fantastic since I got it!

I like to screw around with people who have sporty cars (like my wife’s Mazda3). A co-worker at my current job touted her BMW as being such a tiny car. I couldn’t take it anymore and said something to the effect of “It must be hard to handle a boat like that.” She took offense since there was no way that the Scion was smaller. I parked my Scion next to her so she could see how her car is longer. This was a 2 seater BMW convertible. ‘Lo and behold, my Scion was shorter by about 4″. TAKE THAT!

It takes a lot of time to get used to the size of the car. I still routinely think that I’m too close to another car while backing up, only to get out and see that I still have a foot or two. It’s better than when I first got it, but making the switch from a car that has a trunk and then a bumper to just one that has a tiny bumper is a big difference.

Even though the car is very short in length, it has a ton of usable space. I’ve fit an entire twin mattress in the car and another time I was able to fit a love seat. Both times, the people who helped me pack up the car were shocked. When you fold those seats down you just have a ton of space.

Scion xB – The Slow Method

I know this post isn’t eBay specific, but it goes to show you that you can still have your dream car. Instead of buying one when it was new (they first came out in 2004), I waited and saved for 6 years. I never had a car payment. Instead, I paid in cash and was able to get a good deal (no one got fleeced).

I’d been told all of my life that you needed to have all the bells and whistles. You needed to have a sleek car or else you’d failed in life. The more I look at that, I realize what a bunch of BS that is. I love my car every time I drive it.

I only have one real complaint and that’s the road noise. I think the shape lends itself to being a little loud. I’m on the fence about doing a project to reduce the noise, but it’ll take a lot of work (which means a lot of time and money).

Because I love this little hatchback so much, we’re planning on upgrading my wife’s Mazda3 to a Mazda5 ‘micro’-van (mega-hatchback?). It’ll most likely get similar MPG and give us the ability to have the extra seats for the kids. The design around my wife’s car is very sporty, but the trunk is near useless even though the space is huge. This is because of the stupid design of the trunk door – it is too small of a cutout. And the back row doors don’t open all the way.  She once purchased a papasan chair (you know those orb chairs from Pier 1) and couldn’t get it into the back seat or the trunk because of the shapes of the doorways. The combination of these two design ‘features’ really limits what you can fit in.

Know Yourself and Be Comfortable

It’s all about expectations. I’m much more on the utility side of things than the flashy side. I feel happier for it. For my car, I understand the trade-offs. The Scion won’t win any drag races or beauty pageants, but it fits my family and lifestyle.

And if I need a truck some day? I’ll rent it. The savings in insurance, maintenance, and gas alone would cover the cost of one of those Uhaul trucks for a day.

Getting back to the announcement from Toyota, I think that they’re looking at the whole Scion experience in the wrong light. Scion was supposed to be an experimental ‘lab’ arm of Toyota. Instead, they got a little too funky and didn’t realize what made the Scions so popular. They’re useful, efficient, and effective, and I hope that Toyota is able to bring these ideals back into the new re-branded Scions.

Do you drive a dream car? Does it help with eBay purchases?

Image Credit: iOffer (I still have the actual Matchbox car on my desk so I wasn’t able to take a picture of it!)

Comments 9

  1. Love this post Chris! Funny you referenced “Toasters”. When we first got our Nissan Quest, I went to pick up my son and his best friend at school. And the first thing out of my son’s friend’s mouth was “nice toaster.” Our 2015 version is definitely more square than some of the earlier versions..but that’s what I like about it. My hubby really liked the Ford Flex..but I like the Quest the best, without all the bells and whistles. Although I did upgrade our rims as the ones that came with my car looked like like plastic ones from a matchbox car. LOL

    I actually was looking around for the Mazda 5 for us, but when we saw it in person, it wouldn’t work for us. My hubby is 6’ oldest son is 6’7 and my middle son is now about 6’4/5. Luckily the quest is plenty of room for tall bodies and long legs. 😉

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      I LOVE Ford Flex’s. Except for the MPG. They’re terrible. Basically a truck. I don’t need a powerful V6. I don’t care if I can’t pull a trailer. I want to have a utility vehicle that is good on gas and doesn’t cost a fortune. Is that so much to ask for?? The Mazda5 seems to get 5 MPG more than the Quest, but you’re right. It comes at a cost of space and size. I do love the Captain’s chairs in the middle row too.

  2. We own two xb’s(2006) and have had them since 2007. Perfect all around vehicle and tuff as nails. The xB was made for reselling/picking! FYI the xB can comfortably and safely tow up to 1000lbs(5spd manual). Thanks for the great post as usual. – John

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      Yes! Other xB owners! My parent bought one last year. I’d love for my wife to get one but she says nope. She wants the extra rows of seats. So that’s why I’m leaning towards the Mazda5. It’s a compromise.

      1. If we had more than one kid I would definitely consider something a bit roomier. Also agree on the road noise and have planned to do something about it but have yet to find the time! You know how it goes.

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          Yeah, we have the two and will be upgrading to two of the skinnier carseats soon, but we’re not there yet. The road noise projects are awesome but aren’t cheap. Look to be about $500 or so.

  3. I drive a Mazda 5 that has just over 225,000 miles on it. I will be bummed when it finally goes out (fingers crossed that isn’t for a long time). The Mazda 5 gets pretty good gas mileage for the size and it fits a lot. I average about 25 mpg with a mix of city and highway driving. My next car will be smaller because I don’t need to haul bigger things very often at all and I can always borrow a truck/van from someone when I do but I have been very pleased with my Mazda 5.

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      This is great to know! I’m glad there’s someone else who loves it. I saw one the other day and I just love the size. They’re so compact. Makes a big difference compared to the other minivans. I’d love to know if you have kids or not. 🙂

  4. I don’t have kids. I purchased it from my parents when my last car died. They bought a different car and this was just sitting in the driveway. I do have two way younger brothers and my parents used it when they were quite young. You can fit a lot into it but it isn’t huge like a mini van. It is bigger than other vehicles I’ve owned but I don’t find it any harder to maneuver. I won’t get another Mazda 5 when this dies but when I have kids and need the space I will look into it again!

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