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.
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.
The Soul is the car with the cute hamsters in the commercial who dance their way past futuristic robot wars. Too bad Scion didn’t 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.
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 in a fun sort of way, and proud to show it.
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.
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.