The Great Automobile Shuffle

We were a 2 car, 2 driver household. A change to one driver’s health status made both of our cars not amenable to this life altering event. Ease of entry and exit became a new requirement, as well as the need for easier access to manageable carry space for the extra things we now need to carry.

Our 2012 Camry was a joy to drive but getting things of substantial weight in and out of the trunk was not a simple task.  It was also not an easy car to get in and out of for someone with mobility issues.  The same problem existed on our other car, a 2013 Corolla S, with the added issue of a very hard ride due to the sport suspension and tires.

The Camry was sold to the Toyota dealer in town, and the Corolla was sold to CarMax.  With the purchase of the replacement vehicle we had decided to locate and buy, we came out financially ahead on the deal.

We had purchased a new 2005 Scion XB when they first became available in New England and we both loved that car, owning it for about 8 years.  My sister has driven it for the last 3 or 4 years.  They stopped selling new XBs in the US in 2015 or early 2016, so I hunted one down on CarMax, and found a very low mileage 2013 in Virginia.  I paid $300 to have it shipped to Hartford and within a week we were happily driving it home.

The car meets the requirements – easier accessibility and more, manageable carry space.  Lifting weight into the back is much easier due to the hatch back and it’s rear bumper-level sill, not requiring lifting the weight up and over to get it in the car.  With the rear seat backs folded down (forward), the extra space provided is ready for extended road trips requiring luggage and more.  In either scenario there are many hooks and loops on the inside body and rear seat backs to secure loads with bungee cords or rope.

The entry into the seating areas is a little lower to the ground than either of the 2 previous cars, making entry significantly easier.  We find the car is noticeably quieter and gives a nicer ride than the 2005 version.  The 16″ wheels (as opposed to the 15″ on the older version) and the slightly extended wheel base are the main reasons for the improved ride.

We need to wait until the honeymoon is over and more miles are put on the car to see what the actual miles per gallon will be, for both town and highway.  My initial feeling is that the newer XB may not be as comfortable at the highway speeds I used to drive the old one (70+ mph), and have been staying closer to 65 except to pass.

Time will tell if it will be as dependable and problem free as the 2005 model was, and still is for my sister, but for now we’re just enjoying the new ride.

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