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August 06, 2008

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Toyota presents the 2009 Scion xB

The Scion xB urban utility vehicle, which received a major model change in 2008, enters the 2009 model year by appealing to young urban trendsetters with its fresh styling and performance. It features a surprising level of refinement and is packaged with an array of standard equipment including a 160-watt maximum output Pioneer audio system with iPod connectivity. The head-turning xB receives one new exterior color, Stringray Metallic, which replaces Nautical Blue Metallic.

With its elongated headlamps that wrap around the side of the vehicle, rectangular grille, and pronounced fenders, the xB projects an aggressive appearance. Soft angles between its wide and flat paneling and a high beltline give the xB its iconic boxy shape. Other exterior styling cues include inset taillights, single rear backup light on the left bumper, tinted rear windows, and turn signals integrated into the side mirrors.

A 2.4-liter dual overhead-cam four-cylinder engine, the same as the tC's, with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) produces 158 horsepower, 55 more than the previous generation. Customers have a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic with sequential shifting. The xB has estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 22 city/28 highway for both transmissions and is rated California Level II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II).

The xB's smooth ride can be attributed to its MacPherson strut front and rear torsion beam suspension, and 16-inch steel wheels. Customers can choose from three standard wheel covers which are shared with the xD. The xB also features 10.83-inch ventilated discs in the front and 10.98-inch disc brakes in the rear.

The xB's lounge-like interior was designed to meet customers' lifestyle needs. The xB offers plenty of utility with 21.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 60/40 split fold flat rear seats for additional space and a flat cargo floor. The front seats fully recline for increased cargo space or relaxation. In addition, the driver also has a right armrest for comfort.

Scion truly focuses on youth with its standard 160-watt maximum output Pioneer audio system, iPod connectivity, and a mini-jack port located beneath the HVAC controls for easy access. This standard head unit integrates track, artist and album information from the iPod into a one-line display on the head unit's screen. Connectivity is achieved by simply plugging the iPod into a port via a connector cable, providing outstanding sound quality through the car's stereo system and constant power to the iPod. Music is controlled through the head unit and the steering wheel audio control buttons. The mini-jack port allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the xB's Pioneer speakers.

The Scion navigation system, featuring a 160-watt maximum power audio/video/navigation unit with seven-inch LCD touch screen, is also available.

Like all Scion vehicles, the xB is mono spec. Customers only need to choose exterior color and transmission type. The xB comes with a generous list of standard features including power steering, windows, door locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA); driver and front passenger dual stage airbags; front seat-mounted side airbags; front and rear side curtain airbags; Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC); first-aid kit; and tilt steering wheel with audio controls. All Scion models come with complimentary factory-recommended maintenance services at the first 5,000 mile and 10,000 mile intervals, to be performed by an authorized Scion or Toyota dealership.

Photos: Toyota

(August 1, 2008)

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