Nissan Cube test drive.

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We have now all seen the second generation Cube in our roads.
It still stands out. Kind of like a clown car almost. More so than the Scion or Kia Soul.
The asymmetrical windows is still a cool trick. But the huge blind spot on the driver side isn’t…

The version I had for a week was the S Indigo. Which included the psychedelic lighting show pictured above.
But also a navigation system, alloy wheels, push button ignition and a great Rockford Fostgate stereo.
For a total of about $19 500. Which isn’t too bad.

Just like in other versions, you can get the fun looking fuzzy mat on top of the dashboard.
The problem is, the dash slopes downward and the mat isn’t made of grippy material. So almost anything you put on there will slide all the way to the base of the windshield. And get very hot…
I will file this under my “it sounded like a good idea” folder. It does need more work/thinking.

Once you settle in, you realize the interior quality varies between cheap and very cheap. Like the exposed front door pillar inside of the car.
Every piece of plastic is of the hard, cheap kind. Which is actually the norm on most non-luxury cars these days.

The rear bench can slide forward if you need more trunk space.
This picture shows it all the way back. (I had tall friends to take out to lunch that day)
The space left isn’t bad at all for such a small car.

Again, with the rear bench positioned all the way back, leg room was more than decent.

The Cube does look cool, for sure. If a bit cheap inside. But again, it does start at about $15 000.
The engine is mostly quiet, unless you really try to push it.
The CVT works pretty will for this car. It does rev up the engine a bit when you push it, trying to mimic an nonexistent downshift.
When driven in a relaxed manner, everything is very quiet and pleasant.
On the other hand, the handling never feels very secure. You sit high and the box feels quite tippy. It just has a general loose feel to it.
Again, it’s not something you want to rush around town.

Small annoying details include the lack of console storage. A leather wrapped steering wheel that feels like plastic.
And strong reflexions from the interior lights onto the driver’s side window.

But. The small engine/CVT does wonder for city mileage. I was able to get 29 to 30 MPG while the official rating is 27.
Even better on the freeway, where surprisingly enough, the shoebox shaped vehicle managed over 28MPG. While the official rating is only 31.

The Cube is fine, but not the most secure or refined ride. Even for the low price.

Conversation 11 comments

  1. Here are the facts, Vince can't spell for one haha. The Cube is a very reliable Nissan vehicle that has no purpose. I sell Nissans for a living. They are fantastic world class automobiles. There is no purpose to sell this Cube here and sales numbers show that. It has been discontinued in some markets. Nothing wrong with the quality, it's simply too different and frankly too ugly and proper focus groups would have told them that. They could fix it up, but they are not, soooo, it will continue to struggle until it ultimately dies off.

  2. Eye thinque Vinse spellz "pretty will."

    As for the Cube, its major downfall it that it is a rolling announcement that you have given up on ever finding a mate. That and it just doesn't look right on the roads (it totally fits in and looks cool in Tokyo), but although cheap it does offer good value and utility.

    I think if the USA had a lot of differing really quirky cars, this and the others would sell pretty well, but since we only have maybe 2 (Cubes and Smarts) people who drive them come off looking like fools.

  3. I used to hate this car. Way too cute. But they've grown on me and I like seeing them on the road. Much more interesting than a Corolla or a Sentra.

  4. I got one of these as a rental in the DC area last spring. Even though I'm 6'2", I was very surprised at how spacious the interior felt. It was cathedral like.

    The styling kills it for me, but other than that I though it was an exceptional car for what it is.

  5. I went to the local Nissan dealer to take a look at this. After looking inside a few of them I moved to the Juke. I liked the Juke much better till I looked at the price. Left without buying anything. Still on the fence on the Cube. Right price just don't know if I'll like it in 5 years.

  6. Anon 5:57:

    Good god, those are your two choices? Take a look at the Focus 5-door or the GTI 5-door. Or if you really want a boxy box, look at the Kia Soul.

  7. This car announces to the world that you are an infantile runt and should be avoided…like a child playing with a hand grenade avoided.

  8. the Cube and juke prove Nissan has balls, they are not afraid to offer originality (even though it took them a while to decide to offer the cube in the states). The Juke has really grown on me. But too small for my needs and every one on the lots has a crappy cvt auto. But its like a breath of fresh air seeing them on the road compared to everything else out there.

  9. "people who drive them come off looking like fools."

    People who buy these new ARE fools! (at least as far as cars are concerned)

    Mar 19 1:52am is correct.

    "the Cube and juke prove Nissan has balls" Unfortunately they don't have brains… or style, common sense, etc. Thinking with you balls is not the road to success.

    I'm a pragmatist. For $15,700 a basic Ford Fiesta gets 28 city/ 39 Hwy WITHOUT oddball styling, or a $5000 battery that will die in 5 years. And it looks more sporty (less practical) than it is — instead of the other way around!


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