The Toyota bB Open Deck Is the Scion xB Pickup Truck We Never Got Stateside
The Scion xB was already a bizarre, love-it-or-hate-it kind of car, and its JDM truck variant takes that trait to the extreme.
The Scion xB was as polarizing as it was polygonal. Most people were either on board with its bountiful interior space given its price point, or unable to get past its chibi Ford Flex looks. You'd struggle to find a car more divisive unless you researched the xB's genealogy and found out that it has an even weirder fraternal twin with a small truck bed called the Toyota bB Open Deck.
Thanks to Toyota's failed branding exercise that was the North America-exclusive Scion marque, only the U.S. and Canada know the Toyota bB as the Scion xB, and only Japan knew the bB's short-lived Open Deck variant. The cute ute stuck around for just two model years, according to a Reddit post.
In addition to the biggest, most obvious difference from the normal bB, the Open-Deck featured several smaller alterations that further increase its quirk factor. Unlike the Scion xB, which had a floor-mounted shifter, the Toyota bB's shifter was on the steering column to make way for front bench seats, which the bB Open Deck strangely lacked, instead mixing the xB's separate front seats and the bB's column shifter.
Outside, there's a chromed-up grille with "OD" (Open Deck) badging, and a pair of roof rails that an owner says "are quite strong and sturdy." Of course, any serious load you'd toss at a bB Open Deck would likely sit not on its roof, but its bed, which is flanked by taillights that came from the Tacoma. The bed may look small on its own, but look again and you'll notice the rear bench seats and the cabin's back wall can fold flat, so with the rear window opened upward, the bB Open Deck looks like it could fit a sizable appliance, like a dishwasher or a stove.
So aside from the fact that the bB Open Deck was discontinued years before the Scion xB launched in America, why didn't we, the truck-lovingest country in the world, get this funky little ute? In all likelihood, had Toyota kept the Open Deck in production, the Chicken Tax would've prevented us from seeing a Scion equivalent. A shame, but the bB Open Deck will be legal to import in a few years, so squirrel away several grand if you want to pick up one of these trucks when they're legal to bring stateside.