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2005 Cute Ute Buyer's Guide

2005 Scion xB Review

by Martha Hindes

2005 Scion xB
2005 Scion XB

Take a big box. Put it on wheels. Load it with up-to-date technology. Add imagination. What would a cute ute category be without something kinda quirky, something kinda cuddly, something kinda -- odd?

Our candidate for all of the above could be none else than the Scion xB that even bears a name meant to turn heads. Since it launched in California (where else) nearly two years ago, it has bumped its own solid niche into the stable of small, trucky vehicles, and expanded its scope.

For '05, the Scion is aiming squarely at its intended buyer -- the so-called youthful "Gen Y" generation, some not yet even old enough to drive. And they have indicated they -- or their parents, perhaps -- are looking back. And why not. Here's a small, well-equipped, budget-minded vehicle just waiting to be customized at whim. This cutting-edge box has safety and stability built in, a 1.5-liter 108-HP four banger with manual or automatic, and standard everything. No need for optional AC; power windows, door locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry or even-tilt steering wheel. They're already there. Want accessories anyway? Leather-wrapped steering wheel, sport pedals and Scion security are among choices. Think high teens as a starter price, and you quickly realize why quirky can be beautiful.