Do you know someone with mobility issues and an aversion to vans? Well, then today’s Nice Price or No Dice Scion will be right up their alley. Let’s see what such overcoming of “van-adversity” should rightfully cost.
Yesterday, we looked at a 2010 BMW 335i that had been swapped from a factory SMG automatic to a six-speed manual. As we all know, manual-equipped cars are few and far between in the slushbox-leaning landscape and hence that switch is to be lauded. Sadly, few of you that the idea of buying someone else’s project was a good move. A similar number also thought the same of the car’s $13,500 price, giving it a 76 percent No Dice loss.
According to its seller, yesterday’s Bimmer had been modified using, wherever possible, OEM parts. That’s a notable feat, but what happens when you need to mod a car and no factory option is available to make your vision a reality?
That’s somewhat the case with this 2011 Scion xB mobility car. It has been modified in a manner that one would guess no Toyota engineer ever had imagined.
First off, we need to get down with the idea of just exactly what a mobility car is. The purpose and hence the name is to give ease of mobility to those whose movement is limited in some way, perhaps requiring a mobility scooter or wheelchair. Those personal mobility options will only get a person so far, and using one can sometimes be daunting when traversing city streets on treks to the market or to see the doctor.
That’s where a modded car like this Scion comes in. It has been reworked to not only allow sufficient space for a person in a chair or on a scooter but to allow them ease of access to the passenger space via an extendable ramp and uniquely modified doors. The ramp even has a clever slot to allow the use of the passenger seatbelt when folded in.
Now, it should be noted that this is not a car that’s intended to be driven by an individual with mobility issues. As the ad points out, it’s intended to be a mode of all-weather transport for such a person with someone else doing the driving. And, unlike yesterday’s BMW, this Scion comes with a FACTORY stick shift.
What really makes this car interesting though, is the door mechanism that allows unfettered access to the passenger-side space. That is comprised of a traditionally operating front door which now latches to a rear door that raises up in gullwing fashion. Yes, it is just like a Tesla Model X but without all the associated elitism baggage. Once the doors are open, a ramp folds down from the lowered section of the passenger floorboard for roll-in access. All the other seats remain to make this a very versatile vehicle rather than just a one-trick pony. As is noted in the ad, this all makes for a much more maneuverable and easy to park alternative to the traditional van most mobility-limited folks are forced into for travel.
There’s more to like here too. The ad notes a clean title and low 78,000-mile odo reading. Plus, the seller claims to “rejuvenate” all of their products prior to sale and offers a warranty for the car to support that work. This being a thinly-veiled Toyota under the now-defunct Scion brand, you know that the underlying mechanicals are likely to be robust too.
According to the ad, the original conversion work was professionally accomplished by a company called FREEDOM MOTORS which is a fitting name for a business set on unshackling the mobility-limited.
Of course, the fact that this is a car modified for a specific use may limit its appeal in the general market. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 19 million Americans report some difficulty in mobility, representing 10.1 percent of the population. Not all of those folks require a vehicle of this sort, but then we shouldn’t tether ourselves to the idea that this car is limited to that single purpose. This could be a great vehicle for someone with a very large dog that suffers from arthritis but loves car trips. It would also be perfect for anyone who wants a bit of the Tesla Model X experience — love those wacky doors — but isn’t prepared to give Elon Musk even more money.
The fact is, this Scion is way cheaper than any running Model X you are likely to find. The asking price is $17,250, and that buys you both the car and the warranty, whatever that might encompass. Let’s put on our thinking hats and figure out if that might be a deal. I know this candidate is a little out of the mainstream for many of us, but it’s good to flex our brains every now and then.
What do you say, is this modded mobility Scion worth that $17,250 asking? Or, for that much, does it leave you unmoved?
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