Welcome to Ridiculous Rebadges, a series of articles in which I go through and examine the details and circumstances surrounding some of the more infamous and some of the more esoteric vehicular rebadges throughout automotive history.
This rebdage was recommended to me by RazoE. Thanks again!
If the awkward Suzuki SX4 and Fiat Sedici managed to carve out their own niche within the up-and-coming crossover market back in 2005, then this car was even wackier but also managed to start a revolution of its own. Born as the Scion xB in the United States from the JDM bB in 2004 , the xB created the square cars which are still popular today such as the Nissan Cube, Kia Soul, and Skoda Yeti. While these boxy wonders took their spots on the world market, Toyota quietly released the second-generation xB, a far more curvaceous and boring successor. However, in Japan, the bB was succeeded by a far more interesting vehicle than the dowdy Corolla Rumion.
Meet the second generation Toyota bB aka Subaru Rex aka Daihatsu Coo/Materia. They were designed specifically for the Asian market since the Rumion was catered to American tastes (and thus lost the charm of its predecessor.) The inspiration behind these cubes was said to have been the idea of “A Car-shaped Music Player” which would somehow make them more appealing to Generation Y.
Besides their odd appearance and undeniable JDM style, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about these subcompact squares as they all came with standard Toyota 1.3L and 1.5L I4's (no flat-4 Subaru, sorry). They did, however, come with AWD as an option and a four speed auto. So they’re probably good in the city, but likely not much else.
I, for one, love the looks of them (especially Subie and Daihatsu) and would have loved to have seen them instead of the xB. Anyone else with me?