Scion xB for scope-hauling mileage?

Discussion in 'Toyota' started by SentraSE-R, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    I test drove a 2006 1G xB today. The gearing must be short like a Yaris', as it was turning 2500 rpm at 50 mph, 2750 rpm at 55 mph, and 3000 rpm at 60 mph.

    I looked through the mileage logs, and found the following owners of 1G xBs out there.

    There are 2006 and 2005 ATs getting 37.2 mpg and 37.3 mpg - average 37.3.

    There are three 2006 MTs getting 36.3. 37.0, and 40.4 mpg, four 2005 MTs getting 43.9, 38.0, 43.0 and 33.7 mpg, and two 2004 MTs getting 33.4 and 38.7 mpg. Average for the MTs is 38.3 mpg, only 1 mpg higher than the ATs.

    There's only one 2G 2008 xB, a MT, getting 30.5 mpg with its 2.4 L engine.

    I looked at other cars using Toyota's 1.5 L engine, including Tercels, Echos, and Yarises, but I need a car that can hold a telescope groundboard, mirror box, and rocker box that's 27" wide X 28" deep X 32" high. Most small wagons like the Scion xA and Matrix aren't tall enough. The newer matrix is nearly an inch shorter than the older ones. RAV 4 is big enough, but is a gashog. Ditto HHR, PT Cruiser, minivans, and SUVs.

    Any other suggestions? I'm not too impressed with the reported mileage from our users, but most of them (xB and other cars included) aren't hard-core hypermilers, so I figure I can get 40 mpg out of an xB.
  2. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    It's hard to go wrong with the xB. If you can keep it under 60 MPH, mid 40's are easily obtained with basic hypermiling techniques. Because of it's boxy shape, higher speeds hurt it's economy more than most other cars.
  3. MateriaPanama

    MateriaPanama Well-Known Member

    yeah actually you would be surprised how hard a lot of xb drivers drive them, also a lot of them are modded, and i dont mean grill block i mean giganic wing, cold air intake, huge exhaust that kind of thing

    theoretically you should be able to get milage a little below a yaris at both city and highway speeds because of the extra weight and giant brick coefficient of drag

    however it is an amazing trade off for a lot i mean a lot of practicality, i dont know if you have sat in the back of one, really roomy and with the seats folded lots of cargo

    in the us i can think of few other alternatives of which none are nearly as good, i dont know if the nissan cube was going to make it to the us, bu that should be an option (although i think it gets s bigger engine)
  4. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    How does a Fit, err, fit? I don't know, but that back end looks pretty tall to me.
  5. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    I never really liked the xB, but given only that and the Element as choices, I'd take the 2wd SC Navi or EX Navi
  6. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    The Element only gets 20-21 mpg EPA combined. That's FSP territory. It looks like a more substantial vehicle, but I don't want to pay the FE price.

    Scion xB is EPA 26 city, 28 combined, 30 highway 2008 estimates (30/31/33 originally) in 2006 model year, 27/28/31 (31/32/34 originally) in 2005, and 27/29/32 (31/33/35) in 2004. Toyota must have gone the comfort/frills route over the years to lose FE every year of the car's existence.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  7. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    I've hated that car with a passion from the moment I sat behind the wheel for the first time, I thought it was kind-of cool before that. This was when I was working for the Acura/Toyota/Scion Dealership, I'd actually transferred those same opinions to the Element until I was able to drive one that wasn't dirty and slimy (an uncleaned trade) once I was able to sit in the seat without worrying about catching a disease I was able to appreciate the potential of this vehicle (I am squarely in its target market too)
  8. Kinder

    Kinder Well-Known Member

    Dirty and slimy, Kacey? Not the car's fault! My neighbor has the Element, I have the 06 xB and they are very different cars--like comparing an Accord to a Yaris. We took his car across town the other day and it amazed me how much wider and longer it is. I'll stick with my stretched Yaris. It holds 90% as much, has a higher weight capacity rating, and is so much simpler to operate--normal doors and seats are much quicker to fold and open. It is true though that buying used xBs must be done with caution as so many owners mod/race/thrash their xBs. I bought new and the resale value has been so high (despite the poor shape many used ones are in) that I feel it was a sound decision.

    Sentra--yes, the xB gearing is terrible for highway (my only real complaint w/ the car). The auto is geared slightly better, which is why the numbers are similar overall. But of course a dedicated hypermiler will still do much, much better with the manual. I actually bicycle commute (1 car family) and so my fiancee is the one pulling down 37 every tank on her 12 mile urban/suburban commute by doing nothing special beyond driving the speed limit and DWB a little. 40s are very doable on a regular basis with reasonable effort. No, not spectacular numbers, but like you said, the cargo capacity is a worthy trade-off. It was for me, as I needed one car able to haul a lot and be efficient, and be cheap. And the xB has been dead reliable, both in my anecdotal experience (3 trouble free yrs) and in consumer reports. Overall, a very inexpensive scope-hauler! Or in my case, bikes, books, couches, camping, fishing, etc. I'm 6' tall and have even slept in it when tenting was a poor option (seats fold more or less flat from dash to hatch).

    Other cars--yes, the Nissan Cube might be appealing, will be a 6 speed later this spring/summer so the potential might be higher for mpgs but you'd have to buy new. Honda Fit has similar gearing issues but is the closest direct competitor (not the Element!). Kia Soul might be another new car to watch for this summer, based on the Rio. But going used, the xB is the best as long as you can find one you know--from the service history/previous owner--was treated well. But that's true of all used cars...
  9. Kinder

    Kinder Well-Known Member

    Odd the EPA ratings declined from 04 to 06. No idea why. Only 3 changes AFAIK, none were drivetrain related: the stereo was switched out and the late 06 models have stereo controls in a slightly different steering wheel; seat fabric; paint options. I wouldn't search for an 04 over an 06 based on those EPA numbers, but evaluate based on condition & price of what's out there.
  10. jsmithy

    jsmithy Well-Known Member

    You might be able to fit that mirror box in a Honda Fit making use of the rear magic seats.

    It seems I have seen that avatar picture on Cloudynights.
  11. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    I'll probably go out and look at the Fit later this week. I don't think it will work, as a friend has an ultralight 22" scope, and is barely able to fit his inside the older Fit. Apparently the newer Fits are slightly smaller in some critical dimension, so when he totaled his first one, he had to buy a used one as a replacement. My 18" is nominally smaller, but a LOT larger in bulk, since it's not an ultra-compact.

    We found the same shrinkage in the Matrix. We were looking at a used one whose rear hatch height was only 30" (I need 32" to clear the scope's altitude bearings), so the salesman suggested we look at the newer Matrixes, as he thought they might be larger. Surprise! The hatch height was 1" lower.
  12. MateriaPanama

    MateriaPanama Well-Known Member

    would the drop in epa have anything do do with their having changed mpg standards? anyone?
  13. Kinder

    Kinder Well-Known Member

    Nope. Full data at Who knows why, maybe the OEM tires changed and that was enough to lose a mpg. The new "translated" EPA ratings are only 30 combined. I had one tank just under 30, come to think of it--road trip with 4 big guys in the car, roof rack on top, and I was sleeping much of the way across Nevada from east to west, into a stiff headwind and my friend driving 70+mpg over the mountain passes.

    PS--cool car, just realized you have the 07 Materia (what I wish the 08 xB would have been based on!). Good luck Sentra in your quest for the scope hauler! Probably impossible to get a bigger hatch opening on a subcompact than what the xB has though.

    Sorry this has been so off-topic--long day I guess!
  14. MateriaPanama

    MateriaPanama Well-Known Member

    thanks a lot, im glad you like it, i love it
    you and so many pre 08 xb owners, including myself, toyota made a mistake with the new one, the second gen bb is a lot more like the 1st gen (xb)

    sorry, im off topic too and perhaps we are biased but you can see that we both really like our boxes, they are really good and we cant feed you lies, facts are facts we havent denied any of the negatives (which are very few and really small, like a few less mpg over a yaris)
    its the car that best fits your equipment for the mpgs you want (which are really really high) and its really affordable, plus if you are into it, it looks really cool
  15. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    Not to sound like a pest or picking at you in particular, on many FE or hybrid sites people mix up MPH & MPG, there is a difference and on this site especially it may really be silly high MPG I've written out my speed in MPG before and been totally serious, but just for the newcomers I try to stick to measuring speed in units the rest of the world uses, that are fairly repeatable.

    Not picking, it was a discussion another few members and I had in person.

    Posted from my Windows Mobile Phone
  16. MateriaPanama

    MateriaPanama Well-Known Member

    who are you referring to?
  17. Kinder

    Kinder Well-Known Member

    Maybe me? Re-reading my last post, looks like I meant to write 70+ mph but had a typo in there. Too late for me to edit/correct it. Hopefully from the context of worst case scenario mpg in the xB it is clear to all readers that I intended to say mph.

    Anyway, Sentra, keep us posted on your search!
  18. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    I visited a Honda dealership today and looked at a Fit. It only has 30-3/4" clearance between the trunk lip and the hatch opening top. My scope's largest unit weighs 65 lbs, and it rolls on wheels with wheelbarrow handles attached. To clear the 30-3/4" hatch with my 32" altitude bearing height, I'd need to be able to tilt the box abruptly, and I can't really do that with the wheels several inches in front of the box. So the Fit, or anything else with less than about 33-34" height, is out.
  19. MateriaPanama

    MateriaPanama Well-Known Member

    and the winner is..........

    the scion xb

    now all you have to decide is what color you want, jk, but really, its hard to beat the xb
  20. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    All I have to do is save up the money. I'm going to Peru in May, and taking a Summer vacation to Branson, MO, so an auto purchase will have to wait until after this Summer. My 22 year old van needs a lot of work, but it can still get my scope to dark skies once a month.

    When I was at the Honda dealer, the salesman had me look at a Dodge Caliber. It was lower than the Fit, and about the same height as the Matrix.

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