Toyota has announced that the car maker is dumping its entry into the boxy car game. The Scion xB will soon be no more. That’s too bad, because I thought it was the best looking of of the slab sided cars on the market.
2012 Scion xB (Courtesy Scion)
There are three main contenders in that group. Kia’s Soul is the runaway leader. Last year the Korean company sold 102,000. That’s a huge lead over the second place xB which sold only 17,000. Nissan’s Cube did even worse, selling about 14,500 cars.
2012 Kia Soul
The Soul is the car with the cute hamsters in the commercial who dance their way past futuristic robot wars. Too bad Scion did come up with a better campaign. I haven’t actually driven the xB, but I just like the way it looks. Boxy at the back, but with a squared off front end that has an aggressive angle. It’s urban cool with muscles.
Nissan Cube (Courtesy Nissan)
The Nissan Cube works hard to own the quirky set. It has soft round sides and a rear window that seems to pour from the back to the side without any pillar. It says the owner is different ina fun sort of way, and proud to show it.
2013 Ford Flex (courtesy Ford)
There are other cars in the boxy set, but they really run in different crowds. The Ford Flex is much bigger and doesn’t really compete with the Soul or the Cube. The Mini has squared up sites, but it’s geared towards a sportier driver. You could argue it was the Hummer that started all this, and that beast was a world apart from the urban chic models we have today.
Fiat Multipla and Honda N Box
With Toyota getting out of the boxy car business, does that mean the end is near? There are plenty of others available in other countries (check out the Honda N Box or the Fiat Multipla), but they aren’t headed our way. The problem with being quirky and cool is that it’s a limited crowd, and when it comes to cars, it’s all about sales.
Bio: Rick DeBruhl is a gearhead since birth. Growing up he had car wallpaper in his room. In high school he spent way too much time in auto shop. After working his way through college at Sears Automotive, he turned to journalism, working as a reporter for more than three decades at KPNX-TV. Of course, he couldn't leave cars behind completely. In the mid-80s he started covering auto racing for ESPN. These days he covers IndyCar for ABC, NASCAR Nationwide for ESPN, and the Barrett Jackson collector car auctions for SPEED. His day job is working as the Chief Communications Officer for the State Bar of Arizona.