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Chicago: 2008 Scion xB and xD

For 2008 Scion is redesigning the xB and replacing the xA with the xD. Mark Templin introduces the 2008 Scion xBIn both cases the cars are much larger on the outside than those they replaced, but while the extra shoulder room is readily apparent, and you sit less upright in the xD than in the xA, legroom hasn’t changed as much. Where did the extra exterior size go? Apparently into sleeker styling.

The new xD looks far more like the xB than the xA did.”2008 Scion xD introductionBoth new cars feature wide C-pillars. In fact, the one on the xB has a netted storage compartment on the inside. To my eye both look much better than the old cars. I especially like the new xD, which looks like a lower, sleeker variation of the xB. The discontinued xA’s oddly flared fenders are history, though the new xB’s rear fender flare oddly extends further than the surrounding bodywork.

Both interiors have been upgraded,2008 Scion xD instrument panelwith interesting textures on the hard plastic and padded coves on the doors. (The xA’s door panels are entirely plastic, with no fabric.) The instruments in both cases are have distinctive designs. Those on the xD, where the speedo and tach together form a circle, are actually in front of the driver. The xB has a row of four in the center of the dash.

Both cars have full iPod connectivity, not just an aux input, as standard equipment.

2008 Scion xB instrument panelBoth receive larger engines. Where both shared a 103-horsepower 1.5 liter last year, the xD has a 128-horsepower 1.8 and the new xB has a 158-horsepower 2.4. If the latter isn’t enough–curb weight is up over 600 pounds, a huge gain–TRD, Toyota’s aftermarket division, even offers a supercharger for the latter.

Overall, both cars are much improved, and I expect them to sell very well. The new xB goes on sale in April, the xD in August.