2010 Nissan cube (828)


This week we’re looking at the 2010 Nissan cube SUV. Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo would approve of this cube. The windows reminded me of port holes (windows to you landlubbers) that could have inspired some of the look of this cube. Nissan refers to the look of the cube as ‘a unique asymmetrical exterior design’. Which means it is irregular, lop-sided, uneven and unbalanced, and that is spot on. Ugly is not one of those descriptive words but some might characterize the styling that way. Me… I’m indifferent primarily because there are so many oddly shaped cars these days, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Although this model has been on the Japanese market for 10 years this 3rd generation cube is the first available in the U.S. market. The original cube was referred to as a box-on-wheels and the second generation added more glass, additional power and more angles and curves to the exterior design. It instantly reminds me of the Element with a wraparound window at the right rear that also improves visibility for the driver. Inside, the cube is also roomy as is the Element.

Ok, so aside from being a little odd or as some say ugly looking it is cool in other ways. It is comfy cozy and roomy and has great visibility.


Helpful hint #1 – if you can read the license plate in front of you on the highway you might be following too closely.

Hint #2 – continue to be diligent every minute behind the wheel, avoid putting yourself in other drivers blind spots.

Hint #3 – be watchful of your speed. Keep it under the radar because the cost of being careless is extreme and excessive taxation – compliments of our friendly and courteous highway men, reminiscent of the ‘merry men’ of old in the Sherwood Forest.

Handling & Performance:

Great general all around stability, but you’ll have to be more attentive and watchful at speeds over 70 mph.


Unique is a correct explanation of an odd looking exterior and I suspect many of us like to be different in all we do so this will go well with our purple or multi colored hair styling. In fact the interior variable lighting provides a rainbow of great colors to coordinate with your clothes and hair style. You’re going to love the colors.

Designers have provided a roomy feel and the NBA would approve of the headroom. But there is an odd round piece of carpet on the dash that is reminiscent of ‘Shag Carpet’ of the 1970s culture in America. Me… the first thing that came to mind was a vision of a designer setting his toupee down on the dash and forgot it. Then he wrapped what hair was left on his head around to cover up the bald spots and that inspired him to wrap the window around the right rear of the car. What’s that all about? It simply distorts the balance of the car and it is annoying to my senses. I’d rather he just shaved his head to offer some aesthetic balance.

Fit and Finish:

Not the best, but Good.


Conveniences and comfort:

Very good at this price point. If you read my column you know that I get picky when it comes to the little things that are annoying. How, for example, can they put sun visors on a car that do NOT block the sun on the side window? When they skimp on good sun visors I’m not happy and I expect most would think it is a no brain-er to make visors that actually extend to cover the entire window. This one is bad.
Consumer Recommendation:

A notch below the Element to fill that slot and it does it well. Pretty impressive pricing and it is no wonder you see so many on the roads. You will love this little transport vehicle. It will do it without a lot of pomp and ceremony and it will do it with a long earned reputation of being a quality automobile. I’m not crazy with the styling but once you get past that you too will like the car.

Recognized Competition:

Nissan cube $14-20,000, Chevrolet HHR $19-21,000, Chrysler PT Cruiser $18,275, Ford Transit Connect $21-23,000, Honda Element $21-26,000, Jeep Compass $15-25,000, Pontiac Vibe $16-21,000, Scion xB $16-19,000, Suzuki SX4 Crossover $16-20,000, Toyota Matrix $17-22,000, Volkswagen GTI $23-24,000.

Good News:

Affordable, comfortable ride, good fuel economy, roomy and good array of standard equipment.

Bad News:

Questionable odd styling and arguable ugly duckling and inadequate sun visor coverage.

Standard Equipment:

1.8 liter 122 horsepower inline 4-cylinder engine, continuously variable transmission, front wheel drive, power steering, strut front and torsion beam rear suspension, front disc and rear drum power assist ABS brakes with brake force distribution, 15” wheels, front and side air bags, lower anchors and tether LATCH system and rear child door locks, traction control and vehicle dynamic control, tire pressure monitor, security system with immobilizer, 6-way driver and 4-way passenger manual seat adjustment, 60/40 split sliding and reclining rear seat, leather wrapped wheel with cruise and audio controls, 6-speaker audio system with CD and MP3, speed sensitive volume control, interface for iPod, Bluetooth hands free system, multi function trip computer, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, power windows and auto locks, halogen headlight, variable intermittent front wipers and rear defroster and wiper.

Gas Stats:

$2.95/ Gal avg. August 31, 2010
for more information.

27 City and 31 Highway MPG


MSRP $16,030.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2010 – An Automotive Love Affair


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