2011 Nissan Cube 1.8S KROM

Over the weekend, I went to visit a friend who owns a Ford F-150 and a Porsche Boxster. He took one look at the Nissan Cube Krom I parked in his driveway and started to laugh at the "cartoon car" I was driving. I didn't even try to argue with him, because the Cube (especially in Krom trim) really does look like a car that Roger Rabbit might drive. This Cube has the same strengths and shortcomings as our recently departed Four Seasons test car. It has a compact footprint but a roomy interior, so it's a great car for city driving. The side-opening hatch door provides access to a fairly sizeable cargo hold. However, the Cube's continuously variable transmission saps any fun you might have pushing the 122-hp four-cylinder engine. There's a loud drone as the car accelerates, and while the noise dissipates once you're up to speed, wind noise on the highway is quite noticeable -- not particularly surprising when you're driving a vehicle that's shaped like a, well, a cube.

One option I'm actually quite fond of is the nerdy shag-carpet piece that sits on the front dashboard. It's the perfect place to set my pass for the parking garage, because it keeps it from sliding around. On the minus side, the large expanses of upright glass cause lots of reflections that can be distracting.

Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor

We recently completed a Four Seasons test of a Nissan Cube SL, and my overall impressions of that vehicle were quite positive. My primary conclusion was that it would be an excellent second car for my family of four: affordable, economical, fairly spacious, versatile, and comfortable. My preferred Cube would have a stick shift, though, not only to enhance the fun but also to make it more capable of passing slow traffic in short passing zones on back roads. In this CVT-equipped test car, I had to be patient and just follow the slowpokes. This Krom edition Cube adds some features that I could do definitely without, such as the slatted grille, shiny (but tiny) wheels, navigation system, and interior mood lighting. The backup camera is a nice addition, but it is very poorly integrated onto the tailgate and looks tacked on.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

2011 Nissan Cube 1.8S KROM

Base price (with destination): $21,970
Price as tested: $22,200

Standard Equipment:
● 1.8L DOHC 4-cylinder
● CVT transmission
● Front-wheel drive
● ABS with vehicle dynamic control and traction control
● Power assisted front vented disc, rear drum brakes
● Tire pressure monitoring system
● Sliding/reclining rear bench with 60/40 split
● Leather-wrapped steering wheel
● Cruise control
● Steering wheel-mounted audio/cruise controls
● Bluetooth
● Trip computer
● Power windows/locks/mirrors
● Audio system with MP3 playback

Options on this vehicle:
● KROM Edition Package
o Krom-Exclusive Integrated Body Design
■ Front bumper fascia
■ Front bumper grille
■ Radiator grille
■ Bodyside sills
■ Rear bumper fascia
■ Rear roof spoiler
o 16-inch alloy wheels
o Krom black/gray seat fabric
o Aluminum-trimmed pedals
o 20-color interior lighting
o Titanium-tone A/C, shifter, and gear level bezels
o Intelligent Key with push-button ignition
o Navigation system with XM NavTraffic and backup camera
o Rockford Fosgate audio system with 6 speakers
o XM satellite radio
o Automatic climate control/headlights
o Rear floor vents
Interior design package -- $230
o Carpeted floor and cargo area mats
o Shag dash topper
o Front door bungees

Key options not on vehicle:
--None--

Fuel economy:
(city/hwy/combined)
27 / 31 / 28 mpg

Engine:
1.8L I-4
Horsepower: 122 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque: 127 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

Drive:
Front-wheel

Transmission:
CVT

Curb weight: 2829 lb

Wheels/tires: 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
P195/55R16 all-season tires

Competitors: Kia Soul, Scion xB

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