Tallish proportions with upright seating make the xA interior feel spacious and useable even though you know it's small. Generous window areas help. The quick-fold rear seat easily configures the cargo bay for substantial load accommodation, and this, combined with the upmarket comfort of the seating itself, makes for the highly flexible, adaptable interior useability of interest to young buyers--and to everyone else, too, we figure.

Which kind of sums up our overall response to Scion so far. The xA, and the mechanically identical xB, are excellent cars, offering great quality, and qualities, at aggressive prices. Sure, the spirited style, interior adaptability, sporty feel, and loud stereo will appeal to the younger consumers. But who doesn't like that stuff? Car shoppers of every age and outlook appreciate a vehicle that works, is enjoyable to drive, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg--whether or not there are tattoos on those limbs.

The Box: Scion xB
Under its startlingly square-cornered skin, the other Scion, the xB, is practically interchangeable with the xA. So everything we say about how the latter feels and works applies to the former.

But that unique skin does make for a different impression, inside and out. The wheels are pushed right out to the corners (wheelbase is over five inches longer than the xA's, though overall length is up just over one inch), and the flat sides, short nose, and big windows suggest something halfway between a Mini Cooper and a Chevy Astro van. There are strong reminders of the Mini from the driver's seat, as well, in the windshield shape especially. Stick a supercharger onto the engine's intake side, and the sweet-handling xB would make a darned entertaining 10-percent-oversize Mini alternative.

More interior space, including more room in the aft cargo area and a split-folding rear seat that also removes easily, makes the xB even more capable of taking the whole party along.--K.S.