I know it's nitpicky, but this Cube Krom surely has the most sensitive car alarm on the planet! If it belonged to a consumer, he or she would promptly take it back to the dealership, where it would (I assume) be easily fixed. Before visiting the local Nissan dealer, say, tomorrow morning, this Krom's owner (based on my experience with the car) would be rudely awoken--twice--in the middle of the night. During breakfast, the car alarm would be triggered two more times, seemingly for no reason. Once at the dealership, the alarm would go off again when someone closed the door of a nearby Versa. And again when a Harley-Davidson bike passed by on the street. And again when a Nissan GT-R was started ... I hope for the sanity of Cube buyers that this was a unique problem.
Perhaps the Krom's anger biased me, but I'm really not a fan of the chrome, badgeless grille; I much prefer the simpler black grille on more basic Cubes. The bright chrome wheels are a bit much for me, too, even though they're smallish sixteen-inchers. The ginghamlike seat upholstery, however, is extremely cool and works well in this spacious interior. I even like the silly shag-carpet dash patch, even though it's merely Velcro'd in place. Myriad other ridiculous items could also be Velcro'd to the dash, if an owner so chose.
I prefer a six-speed manual to this vehicle's continuously variable transmission, but this CVT generally seems to work quite well. I did note, however, that it tends to bog excessively if you're rolling at about 5 mph and then floor it, which can be very annoying if you're trying to keep up with traffic.
One note of clarification, Joe: It's arguable that the Scion xB was the "original Japanese box on wheels." The first-generation Cube, circa 1998, actually predates the Toyota bB (the progenitor of the xB). The first bB, though, was boxier than the first-gen Nissan. [Note from Joe DeMatio: Point taken. But I was referring to the U.S. market, not the Japanese home market!]
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor