The Scion xB brought a series of updates for 2013, including LED running lights up front and LED brake lights out back.
The Kia Soul is also new for 2014, but to call this all-new is a bit far-fetched.
It is refreshed — but where it counts. The LED brake lights are really cool at night, on the highway, from behind.
This should be a simple article to write: xB has a $17,500 base price and one engine, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 158 horsepower.
This boxy shape is still pretty useful and popular – see the all-new 2014 Kia Soul’s 60-plus cubic feet in back for evidence – but are there any tradeoffs versus the $1,000 cheaper xD and Cube?
Yes, the xD looks like a knock-off Pontiac Vibe. Yes, it is not nearly as cool as the xB.
Yes, the xD runs just a 128-horsepower engine.
But here is the thing: the xD has a real-car dashboard and technology, while the xB is saddled with a Toyota Echo-style central speedometer and a silly parcel shelf dashboard area.
Without a doubt: the xB’s huge space and roominess would be handy when driving around with four buddies.
If only the xD’s interior came with the xB’s exterior? The choice is yours – but both are easy to buy, safe, cheap to run and extremely durable.
Both Scions are almost the ideal kid cars – when parents can put a max horsepower cap on the shopping list!
The Kia Soul and Nissan Cube are also in the short list of boxy social cars.
2014 Scion xB
2014 Scion xD
And just for thoroughness, here is the (slightly more compact) Nissan Cube for comparison.