Scion is dead, and while we’re all clearly thinking about that a lot today, it’s not like we’re in mourning. If anything, the only thing worth mourning is the concept of what Scion could have been, but never quite was. So let’s go through and rank all of the cars that never quite were.
1. Original xB
To me, the original xB is the greatest tragedy, because it was such a strong start for the brand, and became the brand’s icon—an icon it never could quite manage to live up to again.
This former JDM Toyota bB was unusual but practical, cheap but well-built, useful but fun, and I think one of the most all-around best general-purpose cars to live with. It’s been gone for a while now, but I hope someone at Toyota has learned something from it, finally.
The FR-S could have been a Toyota GT86 here in the US, sure, but I think giving it to Scion was an important gesture of faith from Toyota. It’s one of the most engaging cars to drive for the money, and, personally, I think the power is just right. So there.
This concept gave me a little hope that Scion might just have the nuggets to be unashamedly weird again. Of course, that never happened, and this just stayed a concept. Like the Plymouth Prowler, I’m not sure I would have specifically wanted this car, but the fact that they could have made something like that would have said volumes about what Scion as a company would be willing to try.
Also, consider this: look at the top picture there. Now imagine that you’re seeing the front quarter of the car—a cabover, rear-engine bonkersbox. That, I’d have loved.
This thing was no-joke great looking, a shooting brake with a clever interior/roof/hatch setup. Less weird than the Hako concept, it felt like it could have been something that sold.
Of course, Toyota’s constant administering of extract of nobodygivesashit flower to Scion’s feed meant that nothing ever came of this, either.
I always liked the side profile, and the proportions. Not an amazing car, but not a bad car. A fun-ish, affordable, reasonably attractive coupe, one of the best examples of Scion aiming cars at young people. Did you know it was Scion’s best-selling model ever? It even had the xB beat. The first-generation coupe looked a lot better than the one that followed.
6. t2B Concept
An xB with suicide doors and slathered in LEDs. I like suicide doors.
I actually sort of liked the iQ. It was a packaging triumph. Plus, it’s the only car Aston Martin has ever re-badged as their own, so that must say something.
8. Fuse Concept
Style-wise, this took the good bits of the tC and pushed them further. It pretty clearly influenced the second-gen tC that debuted a few years later.
Interesting look, but the purple headlights were for idiots. Oh, and it had scissor doors. It’s about time those became more common on mass-market cars, because we’re all going to die someday.
I have a friend who really likes hers. Beyond that, nobody gives a shit. I mean, it’s cheap, it works, whatever.
10. bbX Concept
This ‘concept’ was just a 1st-gen xB with all kinds of custom crap on it. It’s still a 1st-gen xB, so that part’s okay. But you can basically find an equally-impressive version of this car on Craigslist in any major city.
You know, it’s fine. It’ll get your ass to work and home and whatever, and you probably won’y hate it, when you remember to think about it.
12. 2nd-gen xB
This car is like if the original xB left for summer camp and came back having gained a ton of weight, and taken a piece of aluminum pipe to the forehead, so they’re now a drooling moron, and you can almost see all their lost potential flowing away in the near-constant string of drool that flows from the corner of their mouth.
Fooled you, didn’t I? I bet you could swap a same-color Versa Note for one of these and it would take the owner about two days to notice. And then they may not care enough to figure out what happened.
The world never asked for a Mazda2 that looked like a really pissed-off fish.
15. A flood-damaged Toyota Solara with Scion badges held on to it with Band-Aids
The guy’s asking $2200, but I know him. I can talk him down to $1500 for you.
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