Scion’s xB gets a sendoff with snowboard-themed 686 Parklan Edition

After over a decade of being mistaken for the packing crate it came in, the Scion xB is being discontinued as the 2015 model year draws to a close. The xB’s unusual looks could only get it so far without regular updates, and Scion has some new models ready to replace it.

The Toyota “youth” brand is wrapping things off with a final special edition. Called the xB 686 Parklan Edition, it was designed in collaboration with snowboard company 686, and will be limited to (you guessed it) 686 units.

Scion and 686 previously collaborated on the snowboarder-themed Numeric xB show car, and the 686 Parklan Edition represents a similar attempt to add some ruggedness to the xB. On the outside, it’s distinguished by Cocoa Bean Metallic paint with red accents, gloss black 16-inch alloy wheels, and some blacked-out trim prices.

The interior features seats trimmed in a modern camouflage pattern, a hidden driver’s side zippered storage pocket, zippered seat-back pockets, and all-weather floor and cargo mats. An Inno cargo box and roof rack setup is also available.

There don’t appear to be any mechanical changes, so buyers will get the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine offered in every other xB. It sends 158 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, so snowboard-hauling drivers shouldn’t expect to get to the mountain in too much of a hurry. This engine is offered with five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions in the stock xB.

The first-generation xB helped launch Scion over a decade ago. Much smaller and even boxier than the current model, it had a distinctive look that played into Scion’s youth-baiting mission quite well. Redesigned and enlarged for its second generation, the xB became a bit more mainstream, and faced more competition from cars like the Kia Soul and (now defunct) Nissan Cube. An influx of subcompact crossovers may have also dented the xB’s appeal to buyers, who may have view the tall vehicle as an SUV alternative.

Pricing for the xB 686 Parklan Edition starts at $20,480 (including destination). Scion is essentially replacing the xB with the iM, a similarly-sized hatchback with more conventional styling. The Toyota Auris-based model recently arrived in showrooms alongside the Mazda 2-based iA sedan.

Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Mobile

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition: Everything you need to know

The Vivo Nex Dual Edition is the gorgeous flagship we need to close out 2018. In addition to dual screens, the Nex Dual Edition has some other awesome features. Here's everything you need to know about the new Vivo Nex Dual Edition.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.