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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey new to the forum I currently have a 2004 forester xt on swift springs and kyb shocks with almost 200,000 miles on it (GREAT CAR BTW). Looking for something better on gas and cheaper maintinence and good cargo room.I have narrowed my choices to second gen XB, honda fit, or Toyota matrix. I would prefere manual transmision. how is the XB in light snow? what do you guys typically get on the highway(mpg)? I am planning on getting a used car no more than 72 000 miles.
 

· Royal Floor Sweeper
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The Matrix and xB are closely related, with the 2.4 engine being the same. The xB has a much larger interior with the Matrix having slightly better economy. The handling and other characteristics are VERY similar (the xB and Matrix are technically the same car with 2 bodies).
On here, you'll get supporters for the B, as that is what WE all got.

Personally, I LOVE the balance of performance, handling, economy, and interior space the B has. I was looking at a 2006 black RX-8. Yellow and black 2009 Mini Clubman, Mazda 3, and the 2009 B (. The B was just too hard to beat overall, as it was the best balance in the various needs I had and what performance characteristics I wanted.
I have yet to regret or second guess that decision! Only ever retrospectively second guessed the color (LOVE Stingray) and transmission (the xB's manual works well, unlike the "similar" Toyota sedan manual I test drove).
 

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My xB (with auto trans) handles snow just fine. The traction control light and antilock brakes operate as you would expect when starting and stopping. I would expect snow handling to depend a lot on what tires you have. I am still using the stock all-weather radials. I will probably replace them next year and am leaning towards a more dedicated winter tire as I have different wheels for summer.
 

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As said I'm sure you'll get support for the xB here since we drive them. I just bought mine in August an 2008 with then 49k. I wanted a good commuter with room, I'm 6'4" and fit in it just fine as well as plenty of room to haul stuff. I average 26 mpg with mixed conditions and would probably do better if I didn't drive 80 on the highway. I'd buy another one in a second if needed I think its a great car and I'm glad I got it....
 

· Royal Floor Sweeper
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IF I get a business up and running . . .
I plan to get a second one and make it into the "shop truck."
 

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I haven't been in the newer models (2011+), but several people on here have said the seat support, center console height, and armrest are much improved over the 2008-2010.
 

· Royal Floor Sweeper
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I will add this . . .
The ECU learns how YOU drive and tunes to you. So, if it seems a bit "sluggish," it will improve. If it feels a bit "too peppy," it will calm down. It all depends how you drive it.
When I first got mine, it would hesitate with high throttle from a stand-still. Now, it will chirp the tires if I'm not too careful.
 

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Is there anything I should be aware of on my test drive of the xb?
Not yet mentioned for 2011 and newer, the steering wheel column tilts and telescopes. For 2008-2010 the steering column is in a fixed position. Also the head units change from year to year, latest versions have bluetooth and HD radio.

When you test drive the xB, be aware there are some very bad blind spots due to the combination of high beltline, upright windshield (lots of roof above and in front of your head), big side view mirrors, thickish A pillars and very thick rear pillars. The Matrix has similar thick rear pillars. A lot of these blind spots go away if you are taller than 5' 6" since your eyes will then be above the side view mirrors. I've been surprised (more than once) by a car I did not see...now I look a lot more carefully.

Also the ride is a bit stiffer than your typical sedan. I like the ride when by myself (better handling) but wish it rode better (softer) when company is aboard.

All in all the xB offers a combination of style, utility, interior space, and economy that is hard to beat. Can it be improved? Sure but only if Toyota upped the price. I really wish they gave it the 6-speed manual/auto from the current TC, then it would be a REALLY great car. Have fun shopping!
 

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Mine is an 08 5spd, very good car with minor issues,
One issue is bouncy ride, dont bother me much but has made my 2yr old daughter car sick a couple times. Took awhile fore puke smell to go away..
Other issue is plastic trim on winshield/roof came up., fixed with gorilla glue.., it could use 20 horses more, and i average 27mpg.
I would buy another, love it!! When ihave a bigger budget i may get a WRX..
Hope you find what you want, i had a hard time finding a used 5spd..
 

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Of ALL of the cars my wife and I drove.... this xB (2012 models that we both have now) has the best visibility and lowest instance of blind spots in ALL of them. The Corolla was Terrible, the Camry trunk is so high you can't see behind you. The xB I can (and do) take the rear headrests off and gain even better visibility out back, even though the open visibility is excellent ..... The Nissans are worse than the Toyotas.... didn't drive a Honda anything... although the Element doesn't look any worse or better than the xB, the Cube is actually fairly close in visibility, but is actually smaller, bringing the rear corner blind spots closer and wider..... The Juke (My second personal favorite) was terrible for visibility, but a VERY fun car to drive nonetheless..... I wasn't looking at anything more than about $23k simply because I figured on buying 2 cars this year, and that would pretty nearly tap me out.....

The Numbers give the xB the clear lead in all areas, if the money and the amenities are compared closely, as well as safety and comfort and all the other things one generally compares in their "needs" brackets.

The 2013 is on the lot now here, so give that one some consideration as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Of ALL of the cars my wife and I drove.... this xB (2012 models that we both have now) has the best visibility and lowest instance of blind spots in ALL of them. The Corolla was Terrible, the Camry trunk is so high you can't see behind you. The xB I can (and do) take the rear headrests off and gain even better visibility out back, even though the open visibility is excellent ..... The Nissans are worse than the Toyotas.... didn't drive a Honda anything... although the Element doesn't look any worse or better than the xB, the Cube is actually fairly close in visibility, but is actually smaller, bringing the rear corner blind spots closer and wider..... The Juke (My second personal favorite) was terrible for visibility, but a VERY fun car to drive nonetheless..... I wasn't looking at anything more than about $23k simply because I figured on buying 2 cars this year, and that would pretty nearly tap me out.....

The Numbers give the xB the clear lead in all areas, if the money and the amenities are compared closely, as well as safety and comfort and all the other things one generally compares in their "needs" brackets.

The 2013 is on the lot now here, so give that one some consideration as well.
I will definitly be a used vehicle not a 2013 this car purchase comes at a bad time so I am not trying to spend alot of money also you said the nissans were bad but the cube has good visibility I am confused to what your were trying to say there.
 

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I will definitly be a used vehicle not a 2013 this car purchase comes at a bad time so I am not trying to spend alot of money also you said the nissans were bad but the cube has good visibility I am confused to what your were trying to say there.
I said the Cube is Close..... but due to the blind spots being closer to the driver, they are a bit larger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mine is an 08 5spd, very good car with minor issues,
One issue is bouncy ride, dont bother me much but has made my 2yr old daughter car sick a couple times. Took awhile fore puke smell to go away..
Other issue is plastic trim on winshield/roof came up., fixed with gorilla glue.., it could use 20 horses more, and i average 27mpg.
I would buy another, love it!! When ihave a bigger budget i may get a WRX..
Hope you find what you want, i had a hard time finding a used 5spd..
Im finding a few 5 speeds now finding a white one with 5 speed that may be a bit harder lol
 
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