My name is Bill. I'm recently 37 and live near Tampa, Florida. I'm going for a test drive of a new '09 xB in the morning at Courtesy Scion in East Tampa, FL. I currently drive a 2005 MINI Cooper S, which I dearly love, but is out of warranty (73k miles) & heavy on performance mods. Since I am still making payments, the thought of having to start replacing major components has me stressing a bit. (If/when I buy the xB, I see an extended warranty in my future.)
Besides all that, I also get the new car itch every 2-3 years. That's actually an improvement over 10-15 years ago, when I was buying a new car nearly every year. Honestly, if I had bought an extended warranty from the MINI dealer back in '05, I'd probably stand pat right now.
I nearly bought a new '08 VW GTI last week, and then I got an insurance quote on it. It was 70% more per year than my MCS, and I just couldn't justify that. For the xB, I got a quote ahead of time, and it's only about 10% more, which seems reasonable.
I wasn't too interested in the first gen xB, but I was on a 3k mile road trip at the end of August and saw several of the 2nd gen models on the highway. Even though the basic shape is the same, the cosmetics seem a little more beefy. There's something furture/retro about the bulky, boxy, yet smooth-edged design that I like. The short windows remind me of a lot of the old 1930's chop-top sedans you see in classic car shows & ZZ Top videos.
I know it won't hold up to my MCS for power or handling, but I suspect it will do just fine. And if I feel the need for more power or better handling in the future, there's always the aftermarket, I suppose.
I fully expected any Scion community to be full of "Fast & Furious" teenagers, but the "age" thread on this forum sure proved me wrong. Glad to see there is such a diverse group here! (Disclaimer: I owned a fully built 1990 Supra Turbo that ran 20+ lbs of boost & nearly 500bhp, so I mean no disrespect when I talk about "Fast & Furious" teens... I'm just not one of them any more)
I'd be curious to hear from 2nd gen xB owners what their most noticeable likes & dislikes are. Also, I like to do my own maintenance (oil changes, brakes, etc.) so I would be curious to know if Toyota has made any of the common maintenance tasks a PITA by overengineering, etc.
Over the coming days & weeks, I'll be following things here to find out how the Scion/xB community handles itself. I have been extremely active in my local, statewide, and even national MINI clubs for the past 6 years (2nd MINI, and I also owned a classic 1973 Mini for a while). I'd love to help organize some local & maybe even regional events & activities as the community grows. But then, I am getting ahead of myself. Test drive tomorrow, then decide if I move forward.