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.
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!)