With its asymmetrical styling, side-opening back door, and water-droplet-inspired interior, the Nissan Cube certainly pegs the geek-chic meter. The divisive styling conceals a tall hatchback that is remarkably practical and comfortable. Small wheels located at the far corners of the car preserve plenty of interior space--but at the expense of making the Cube look rather toylike. A well behind the rear seats provides plenty of cargo space, and the seats fold forward (but not flat into the floor) for carrying larger items. The car's low step-in height; large doors; expansive windows; and wide, plush seats make it pleasant to ride in. The driving experience is somewhat less enjoyable, with tepid acceleration from the 122-hp in-line four-cylinder engine, numb steering, and plenty of wind noise. The Cube can be equipped with either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission, both of which return good fuel economy. Ripple-effect plastics and a shag-carpet dashboard mat make for an intriguing interior. It was designed as a "casual lounge" and has enough head- and legroom to please even the tallest occupants. Gadgets like push-button start, navigation, Bluetooth, and a backup camera are available on higher trim levels. For those who want to add their own designer touches, Nissan offers a long list of accessories for the Cube, ranging from new wheels and spoilers to chrome trim pieces.
Trim levels: Cube 1.8, 1.8 S, 1.8 SL
Body style: Wagon, 5-passenger
Engine: 1.8L I-4, 122 hp, 127 lb-ft
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, continuously variable
Passenger volume: 97.7 cu ft
Cargo space: (rear seats up/down) 11.4/58.1 cu ft
Nissan's Intelligent Key push-button start becomes standard on the Cube SL trim, and the S and SL models get a standard front-passenger-seat armrest. There are five new exterior paint colors. A new option package for the 1.8S with CVT bundles a backup camera, navigation, an upgraded Rockford Fosgate sound system, Intelligent Key, and fifteen-inch aluminum wheels.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are stability control, traction control, ABS with brake assist, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 25-27 mpg city/30-31 mpg highway
- Unique styling
- Spacious, comfortable interior
- Bargain priced
You Won't Like
- Unique styling
- Numb power steering
- Tepid acceleration
A funky and practical tall hatchback.
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