After the success of the company’s Scion xB, the cube takes over as Nissan’s box on the road. This class includes the Element from Honda and Kia’s Soul. The Cube does its best to standout from the pack by utilizing unique styling cues, such as a wraparound rear window, a side opening rear door and a spacious cabin offering a reclining rear seat and high style headliner.
The Cube is a four door hatchback. With plentiful headroom and legroom for all occupants, the Cube is good place to spend some time. However, it does lack some of the cargo space of the competition.
The cube is based on Nissan’s B platform and is powered by a 122 HP 1.8 liter four cylinder which can be mounted to either a six speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission, or CVT. Some of the drive train features are somewhat less modern. The beam rear suspension, drum brakes and 15″ wheels are some examples of these. The cube also has a higher than normal center of gravity and soft suspension, giving it less than confidence inspiring.
Engine: 1.8L I-4
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, CVT
Models: 1.8, 1.8 S, 1.8 SL, 1.8 S Krom Edition
Now in its third model year, the 2011 Cube receives revised content, a new exterior hue, and improved emissions certification. The 1.8 SL with the Preferred Package and the 1.8 S Krom Edition get an enhanced SD card-based nav system with real-time traffic updates. Golden Ginger replaces Moss Green on the paint list. And in California, the Cube is certified as LEV2-SULEV.
The funky, two-box Cube continues to wow passersby, pedestrians, and drivers alike with its unique asymmetrical rear windows and refrigerator-style rear door. A 1.8 S Krom Edition adds an exterior sport package with 16-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the Cube presents a “lounge” atmosphere and a curvy architecture, replete with a sofa-style rear bench seat that reclines, an available headliner with “Water Drop” concentric circles, and wavy shapes on the IP, doors, and seats.
More standstill lounge than on-the-go thrill ride, the Cube was designed as a roomy A-to-B transporter of modest intentions. Thus, the 1.8-liter I-4’s 122 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque are nothing more than sufficiently adequate. The front strut/rear torsion-beam suspension delivers a plush ride but isn’t intended for especially spirited motoring. And the rear drum brakes are a signal to keep speeds at sane levels.
The Cube is equipped with front, front-side, and side curtain airbags. Further, all Cubes get front-seat active head restraints, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
25 mpg city/30 mpg highway (manual); 27 mpg city/31 mpg highway (CVT)
- Cavernous interior
- Fuel economy
- Audacious styling
- High feature content
- Compact dimensions
- Lack of pep
- Quickly elevating price tags
- So-so cargo room
A studio apartment on wheels
- Honda Element
- Kia Soul
- Scion xB