July 12, 2004
MINI's New Driveway Companion


The MINI got a new driveway companion today. We picked up the xB Saturday afternoon at dealer. When we pulled into Olathe Toyota in the MINI, all the salesmen were standing around outside smoking and chatting. We got out of the car and a couple of the jackals, I mean salesmen, approached us. The first one said to me, "Man, that is one sweet ride!" to which I replied, "You think so? I'm here to trade it in on a Camry." He believed it for all of about two seconds. I got a good laugh.

About an hour later we were off in our new metallic black xB which will be the wife's main ride unless I need to haul something that won't fit in the MINI. After two days of tooling around town in the xB I have to say that I really like it a lot but the MINI will always have my heart. Here's my full review with special comparisons to the MINI.


Media folk have likened the Scion xB to the MINI Cooper, I think, mainly because they are both kind of eye catching new cars. As far as I'm concerned, that's as far as the comparison goes. The Scion xB is sticker priced at $14,170 compared to the standard Cooper which bases at $16,999 and the Cooper S at $20,849. Also consider that an average MINI buyer will add $3,000-$5,000 worth of options bringing the final purchase price up to $20K-$25K. The bottom line on the xB we purchased was $14,225 and it has everything we could want with the exception of cruise control which, sadly, isn't even offered as an option. Like I said, other than being unique in styling, there's no comparison.

We sought a second car with the following criteria:

1.) Affordability - At $14K, check.

2.) Decent hauling capacity for my sign business - With the rear seats folded down it meets my needs with room to spare. Check.

3.) Gets good gas mileage - Rated at 31/34, that's 10 MPG over any of the nearest SUV competitors. Check.

4.) Styling - Well, this is debatable but it's kind of like an ugly mutt of a dog that wins you over with its personality (see items 1, 2, and 3). Check

5.) Drives well and is comfortable. - I was skeptical about the 108 HP engine but was won over after the first test drive. It's no Cooper S but it has ample power and decent handling for a car of this type. Check

I also have to say that most of our friends and family who've looked the car over, taken a ride and then realized how affordable they are, said they would seriously consider buying one sometime soon. The Scions are not limited like the MINI and I think pretty soon the streets will be teeming with them but that doesn't bother me. I still have my MINI and it's not going anywhere.

Posted by todd at July 12, 2004 09:56 AM

Why stop there? If the trend toward smaller chassis is the prevailing wind of change at Chez Pearson, you guys easily have room for at least one more car in the driveway.

Posted by: Shepcat on July 12, 2004 11:48 AM

now what customisation are you going to add to this?…it looks great BTW. Jason.

Posted by: Jason Clark on July 12, 2004 05:06 PM

A buddy of mine just picked one of those of for his wife too. I’ve always dug that little truck! So, how long until you add the neon lights to the underside and upgrade the factory airbox with a slick K&N Typhoon?

Posted by: db on July 12, 2004 05:10 PM

I’m planning all sorts of mods, none of which include neon (db) : ). I spent the afternoon trying to layout some graphics for it. I’m not set on anything yet. Wheels and a K & N intake are next.

I first have to recover from the huge drain the purchase made to the ‘ol checking account before I go dropping more cash but all in good time…

Posted by: Todd on July 12, 2004 05:25 PM

Holy Cow Man,
You’d fit right in over on TeamMightyMiniZ.com!

We’ve got an xB owner on the Team who has done some Great mods on his. He can keep up with the MINI’s throughout the canyons… Believe it or not!

Congratz, many people discount the Scion as being weak and ugly… it is neither.

Love it!


Posted by: Doug on July 25, 2004 09:24 PM
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