Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting downtown Chicago, specifically the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue for those not familiar with the windy city). Everyone has his or her preferred method of travel in Chicago, some rent cars, some take cabs and others brave the bus and train system. Now I am not a public transportation snob, but I just can’t bring myself to lug my suitcase, carry one and personal bag onto a train at O’Hare. There is just something much easier about taking a cab, especially when hauling several thousand dollars worth of computer and camera equipment. The cab is really where the story gets interesting.

2011 Scion xB

2011 Scion xB

Typically, we have been used to cabs being the standard Ford Crown Victoria, at least for the past decade. However, the age of hybrids and minivans have lent for cabbies to choose a wider range of vehicles. One of those in the Chicago Metro area is the 2010 Scion xB. Now you might think that it sounds like a pretty small car, but this small box-like vehicle can and will surprise you. I should know, I spent 1.5 hours in one trying to get to my hotel on the Magnificent Mile from the airport. Of course, the backseat is quite comfy and roomy, a point that makes TheCarConnection.com’s overall likes about the xB. The other thing that is refreshing about the Scion is the low load floor that makes it easier than a Crown Victoria to put your luggage in and take it back out (especially when you get a less than helpful cabbie).

From a totally different perspective, the 2010 and coming 2011 Scion xB make sense from an economical standpoints since they use less fuel than a Crown Victoria, 22/28- mpg city/hwy. They also have a reasonable entry-level MSRP of $15,850. My guess, though I don’t have any stats on it, is that the Scion xB is also safer for those hailing the cab and probably have an overall lower yearly operating cost. Given the choice I will always hail a Scion over a Crown Victoria.

The next question is, does the Scion or Toyota Prius Hybrid win this cabbie war? Stay tuned for more on that right here at AllSmallCars.com.