The Scion xB and xD are curious little cars, in that they are box-shaped but also small, giving the practicality of an SUV but the size and economy of a sub-compact. However, Scion has decided to give these models the ax because sales have fallen off.
Cubes kicked to the curb
In the early 2000s, Scion, the “youth-oriented” budget brand of Toyota, released the xB, a nifty little car that was the shape of an SUV built as a five-door hatchback. The curious little car sold pretty well and inspired imitators, such as the Nissan Cube and the Kia Soul, both of which are still around. The xB was later complimented with the xD, a similarly boxy but smaller model.
It sold fairly well, eventually selling close to 61,000 units in 2006, according to KickingTires, which persuaded Scion to keep it around for a second generation. The idea was that both models would be “one and done,” in the hopes of attracting younger buyers to the Toyota family, moving up to a Toyota after they’d driven a Scion around and established themselves. However, the update wasn’t well received, and Scion is pulling the plug.
The xB’s star has faded since 2007, when the current generation of xB and xD were launched, selling 17,017 units last year, according to Automobile magazine. In the first quarter of this year, 4,865 xDs have been sold along with 2,550 xB units.
By comparison, the Kia Soul sold more than 100,000 units last year. The Nissan Cube is also seemingly slated to be phased out as the Juke crossover outsold the the Cube, 9,442 units to 2,077, during the first quarter of this year. The Cube has already been dropped in the United Kingdom, close to the home turf of Nissan’s other half, Renault.
Scion hasn’t announced replacements, as the brand is likely concentrating on the iQ and the soon-on-sale FR-S sports car. However, because many Scions were first Daihatsu cars, Toyota’s other budget brand, one of Daihatsu’s other utility models may wear the Scion badge in the future, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Soul still available
Among the box-shaped hatchbacks, the Kia Soul likely sells better than the Scion and the Cube because it is much cheaper and gets better mileage. The base Soul goes for $14,650 after destination charge, compared to $17,030 for the xB and $15,760 for the Cube. The Soul also gets 27 miles per gallon city and 35 mph highway, compared to 25 city, 30 highway for the Cube and 22 city, 28 highway for the xB.