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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I like my xB. Love may come later. Or not.
I have the 5-speed, so by implication I like driver involvement.
The gauge cluster being located in the center of the dash renders it borderline useless unless I'm cruising on a straight road, which I make every effort not to do.
I like to regularly monitor my gauges, especially the tachometer and the operating temperature. Also, of course, the speedometer because here in Oregon the maximum legal speed is 55 MPH except on the Interstate where it's 65. (I know, but otherwise Oregon is a great state.)
The only way to quickly monitor gauges is to glance down and then back up to the road.
The location of the cluster means I have to drop my eyes down and then search to the right. Too much time away from looking down the road. And when I DO search to the right, what is the first "gauge" I come to? The damn clock!
Apparently the moron designers of the dash think it's more important to know the time than it is to know your speed or how many RPMs you're cranking out. BAH!
What are your thoughts?
Yodar
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm,
It took you a while to adjust to a design flaw.
My question is why did they make it with that particular design flaw?
Not every driver will adjust to such design flaws easily. A lot depends on individual driving styles. With me, I'm willing to take my eyes off the road for only so long. The middle-of-the-dash position of the tach and speedo aren't within quick enough visual "reach."
Positioning the gauges below the driver's line of sight solves all that. For everyone.
Yodar
 

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It took me a bit to getused to the location but now I am fine with it, I glance right and down and have the info I want. With the cluster off to the side it allowed me to mount my GPS in the center of the steering wheel. I think that the ones that were/are bothered the most by the center location, are us few that actually pay attention to our gages. Most people only look at the fuel gage and speedo.
 

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Why because its different do you suppose its a flaw? Just because its different? Because your not used to it? These aren't the first cars to be made as such. Take a look at history sometimes. If you want to get technical, having the drivers seat on one side of the car or other is a FLAW in design because you can get a better sense of where the whole car is from sitting in the middle.

I understand what your saying about taking your eyes off the road. Guess what though? Now that I am used to the location instead of looking down to see, I can actually see the guages out of my periphrial vision. Plus the only checking I actually do while driving is checking my speed.

Now I will give you that with a stock xB you do have to check the RPMs because its quiet. I fixed that problem. I got a louder exhaust, plus I been driving it long enough that understanding its driving style is second nature now.

If you don't like the design thats fine its your opinion, but that doesn't make it a flaw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, the mid-dash location of the gauge cluster is not a flaw because it's different. It's a flaw because it's not located in the easiest and quickest location for the driver to see.
There's also the idea that it's different only to be different. Anything to attract buyers, etc.
Instead of telling me how well you have adapted to what I call an awkward location, please tell me the advantages of it being located in the middle of the dash.
Oh, by the way ... the central location of the gauges forces a lowering of the radio location, which forces a lowering of the A/C location, which puts come of the A/C buttons behind the shifter. But that's the stuff of a different conversation.
The driver's seat location helps the driver keep a better eye on oncoming traffic, which is often separated from you by a painted line only. Not a flaw in my book.
Wow! Your peripheral vision is good. A recent eye check told me that mine is good also, but I can't read my tachometer with my peripheral vision while I'm looking down the road. Wish I could. Better still, I wish my tach were located where a quick glance was possible.
Auto history is filled with success stories, and failure stories. I know of no current "driver's cars" that have the important gauges down and to the right of the steering wheel. To me, my xB with a 5-speed comes pretty close to being a low-priced driver's car (oh, not in the Corvette or Porsche class, of course), but at least regarding the fun-factor.
I repeat my mantra ... "Different strokes, etc."
Yodar
 

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Sorry, I just don't see the problem (no pun intended).

1- I can't think of any daily driving situation where you just focus on the road ahead. I keep my eyes moving, observing the road farther ahead as well as well as immediately in front of me and peripherally for cars pulling into traffic, kids and animals, plus checking the rear view mirrors (inside and outside) for traffic coming up behind me.

2- It takes all of two seconds to glance at the gauge cluster and get the feedback I need...about the same time it takes with a conventional gauge layout.

3- Based on your logic, the rear view mirror should be directly in front of the driver. There may be a vehicle somewhere with this configuration, but none that I know of.

4-In the gazillions of cars on the road with the rear view mirror right smack in the center at the top of the windshield, it takes more time for a driver to process rear view pictorial information than a gen2 xB driver needs to check RPMs on a gauge cluster centered at the bottom of the windshield.

5- There are many common driving situations that require taking your eyes off the road, if only briefly, that I'm sure you (and everybody else) deal with every day without giving it a thought...changing a CD, adjusting the temperature, checking out a cool car, hot chick, or some other driver doing something stupid.

6- If you have a passenger traveling with you, the elapsed time turning your head in normal converstion takes your eyes away from the road for at least as long as checking the tach on your xB. If you're traveling with kids, multiply that time factor by 2X-5X. For the sake of this discussion, I'll ignore talking or texting on a cell phone, eating, drinking, shaving, applying makeup and the multitude of other distractions that interfere with keeping your eyes on the road.

7. Navagation systems and portable GPS units, at best, are located at the center of the dash below the windshield, and like the rear view mirror take more time to process the data they provide than a quick glance at the xB's instruments.

8. In conclusion...do you have a gen1 xB? In my '08 xB the clock is part of the "multi-information display". If you are driving, the first generation model, then I'd have to agree with you to at least a certain extent. In spite of my seven previous points, that cluster is busy, difficult to read, and by comparison to the gen2 gauges a horrible design.

In that case, with apologies to gen1 owners I may have offended...never mind.
 

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For the full context:


Oh, when zipping up mountain roads . . .
I shift by ear/feel (pull). I almost NEVER look at the tach itself.
I'll go by gauge, left to right:
-Gear. This is something I actually DO look at on mountain roads. I loose track of gear (when using s-mode), as the autostick doesn't have a "feel" to let you know what gear you are in. I try to keep it in second and (occasionally) in first on the tightest turns.
-Clock/outside temp/mpg/etc.: irrelevant for spirited driving, but in a great place for highway/interstate driving. It provides what is needed in a very quick glance.
-Speed, in "LARGE BLOCK NUMBERS" and in bright and high contrast colour . . . So, it is easily read quickly. I usually look less than a second (half a second, or maybe 1/4 second), just enough to know my speed for comparison or to see how nuts I am on a corner. Again, this is highly visible for interstate/highway use (when I am more concerned of not speeding too much and attracting unwanted "attention" with lights.
-Tach. Nice to know, relevant in mpg watching or high revving (knowing where you are). Actually, after hitting the rev limiter enough in my Miata and several times in the xB (yes, it is hittable with an automatic, using the s-mode-> and it will stay there until YOU upshift), I don't actually watch it all THAT often, esp. when focused on "spirited" driving on twisties.
-Fuel. Relevant to know when you are running out or if you can drive longer.
-Engine temp. Love to have it there. but don't look at except as glance to see if needle is still straight up and not to the right. If to the right of straight up, THEN I would look at harder.
-- The 2 furthest to the right are really only needed at a slight glance to see where they are, when one is driving hard. They tend to stay on the same place within a given period of a few minutes (or 30 minutes to an hour), so hard examination is not necessary.


Oh, and I have found it far more in front of me when driving. If you think about it, how often are you looking straight forward when on twisties? I am usually looking at the furthest visible edge of the next corner, so I know where the road is going, anything oncoming, or if someone is on a bicycle . . . Usually, my eyes are off to the left or right. I only glance at gauges on brief "straights" and on sweeping, wide open, fully visible corners. Those are long enough for any necessary info.
Also, the 08-09 xB guages are arranged by most important to continually monitor on the left and ones that are more "glanced" on the right.
In actual driving terms, it is fairly WELL arranged as far as I am concerned.

All in all, one of my biggest concerns before I bought and in the first week or 2 of ownership, it is now irrelevant and not a big thing. It is actually much more "driver friendly" than I would have EVER expected. It is NO more difficult than looking at the gauges of my Miata (right behind the steering wheel arc). In fact, the Miata ones take a split second for the EYES to adjust to different lighting conditions (the Miata gauges are not light). The main difference is WHERE to look/glance than one being better. Both are relatively in front of the driver (in practicality).

In fact the most "odd" thing to me has been driving in the dark and having NO lights to the left side of the steering wheel! It just feels weird me and I have to keep reminding me that nothing is SUPPOSED to be there and no lights are "out."
That reminds me, the speedometer really isn't all THAT far from dead center of the steering wheel. It is close enough to no be an issue for me at ALL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree that the gauges are arranged so the most important ones are the ones you see first, but only if the clock is more important to you than the tachometer.
As to the last photo ... the camera was directly in front of the gauge cluster. My driver's seat won't adjust that far to the right. I must have missed it on the option's list.
I seem unable to express myself in ways that you guys seem able to understand.
So I'm dropping out.
Goodbye.
Yodar
 

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Royal Floor Sweeper
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It wasn't intended to. It was taken to show the shift knob in context and to show the xB2 dash to people who don't know xBs or Scions at all. It was taken from the BACK seat middle.

I do know what you mean.
I thought the SAME thing when I first got it. It almost made me not get the xB. Yet, it drove SO much better than the other vehicles in it's price and versatility bracket, that I got the xB IN SPITE of it.
-I got "over it" in the first hundred miles. My "first drive" was over 3 hours and to an Atlanta Braves game. My first night driving experience was in post-game traffic in downtown Atlanta. Once I got "used" to it, I've been fine. Oh, and the transition was FAR easier than when I drove a Ford Crown Vic for 6 months before it died and I got the xB. (Hey, I would just drive the Miata, but need seat for more than one of the wife and kids . . . esp. when I take the kids to school, pick them up, or take them both somewhere.

My aim was simply that the xB2's gauges aren't near as bad as I expected once I got going.
In fact, I really don't even notice and "flip back and forth" with the Miata just fine.
Now . . . DRIVING the xB (hard) on Blue Ridge twisties has impressed the HECK out of me!

(Oh, and I HATED how that Crown Vic drove. I'm GLAD IT'S DEAD!)

Edit:
The dash look/gauge offset was also an "endearing" element of the xB . . . it reminded me of an "old delivery truck," even if the real thing didn't have them like that.
 

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Royal Floor Sweeper
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Well . . .
For me it isn't "better," just different.
 

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yodar said:
I seem unable to express myself in ways that you guys seem able to understand.
So I'm dropping out.
Goodbye.
Yodar
No, you seem to be unable to express yourself in a way that makes any sense. The cluster's fine; for me, it is actually better where it is because of my height. Traditional clusters (behind the steering wheel) mean that at any time, at least part of the cluster is obstructed by the steering wheel. I have found that the cluster placement in the xB is actually more natural and less distracting than traditional clusters behind the wheel. And if you have that much of a problem with the order of the gauges, i.e. clock before speedo and tach, then maybe car instrument design isn't your biggest problem.

Bottom line, if it bothers you so GD much, you shouldn't have bought an xB. Didn't you test drive one before purchasing?
 

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I really like the cluster in the center. To me it makes so much more sense then being obstructed by the steering wheel. Like stated above I can see it in my periferal just fine. I've never used a tach, just never needed it. Maybe that's cause I've had a lot of really crappy manual cars that never had them.
 

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The bottom line is, people are wired differently. My wife twists the bread tie counter clockwise to close and clockwise to open. What? Rightie tightie, lefty loosee. Some people will never catch on and this system will not suit them. I love where the clusters are, easiest to see, not blocked by the steering wheel.

The reverse light is a design flaw!

I watch the road while driving and never look at my passengers to talk to them, they have ears and can hear what I say just as well as if I look at them.

I was rear ended last week by a woman playing texting, her response when she hit me..... I'm going to be late for my dentist appointment! Think so?
 

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yodar said:
I seem unable to express myself in ways that you guys seem able to understand.
So I'm dropping out.
Goodbye.
Yodar
You're leaving just because some people have a different opinion? Jeez...you have a tough life ahead of you.
 

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Yodar,
You are the one who opened the discussion on the subject and asked for everyone's opinion..
We understand your point, it is just that others don't necessarily agree with you.
Goodbye and good luck.
 

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scion said:
I don't think he is saying that he was leaving for good, I believe he was just say goodbye for this subject.
That is how I interpreted. I hope we're right.
I've seen people leave forums in a huff over far sillier reasons and never show back up. Even with some asking for advise or information and NEVER logging back in after that post . . . I'll never get it.

Yodar, I hope your not gone for good . . .
This is a fairly small issue.
 
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