All photos by Nissan
How far has styling come along in the last few years is apparent in the 2012 Nissan Cube 1.8 S, and that’s good for car shoppers. There is no mistaking the standout Cube when you see one on the road, and we have a feeling Nissan planned it that way when they designed and built this funky machine.
There is so much more to the Cube than meets the eye, and that includes the skin, which can be deceiving to some. Nissan has a point that a closer look reveals a more complex and intricate design with a surprising sense of dynamic movement. With the Cube’s long wheelbase relative to its overall length (a 99.6-inch wheelbase against a 156.7-inch overall length) and wide track, the wheels are pushed out to each corner, providing exceptional space utilization and a confident-looking stance that has been compared to a “bulldog in sunglasses.” Along with its stance, the Cube’s distinctive look is aided by the wide headlights and grille treatment, the small but substantial body proportions, and the short “tail” section. The Bali blue paint on our test model looked very cool, and although the 15-inch rims are on the smaller side, they looked fine and did their job well. Other exterior notables were body color power outside mirrors, very functional swing-type rear cargo door, body color front and rear fascia and rear privacy glass.
If you want function and space in your vehicle, then you are going to be smiling inside the cabin of the 2012 Nissan Cube 1.8 S with the “Casual Lounge” feel. The interactive interior is anchored by its curve-themed architecture, such as the subtle wavy shaping of the instrument panel, door panels, seat shapes, armrests, and the iconic circular/oval shapes of elements ranging from air conditioning vents, door pulls and climate controls. The comfortable Cube seating includes a 6-way manual driver’s seat and 4-way manual front passenger’s seat, along with a “lounge sofa”-style reclining rear bench seat. The sliding rear seat can be adjusted to three positions: full rearward (providing ample legroom), mid-position (3.9 inches forward) or front position (6.0 inches forward). The rear seat also is positioned higher than the front seats, theater-style, enhancing rear passenger comfort and visibility. We found the sites lines to be remarkable and the overall feel that we were in a much larger vehicle.
Our media car had options like 20 color interior accent lighting, stainless steel illuminated kick plates, keyless entry and push button ignition, Nissan Navigation 5-inch color touch screen monitor, XM Nav traffic, USB connection port, 6 upgraded speakers with Rockford Fosgate subwoofer and amplifier, XM satellite radio, rearview monitor, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, premium cloth seat trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel illuminated cruise and audio controls, iPod interface, Bluetooth hands free phone system, A/C with in cabin micro filter and front ripple hooks & cargo tie down hooks. Storage is plentiful and so easy to load and unload with the easy-access refrigerator-style opening, which makes it possible to open or close it even if parked tight against other cars in parallel parking spaces, or when backed in against a wall or other obstacle.
We noticed right away that the 2012 Nissan Cube 1.8 S is easy to drive and handled well on the road. Per Nissan, the “Cube combines an advanced 122-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder with a choice of Nissan Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) or 6-speed manual transmission for good acceleration response, smooth operation and fuel efficiency. The 6-speed manual transmission is available with cube 1.8 and cube 1.8 S models, while the CVT is available with the cube 1.8 S and standard on the cube 1.8 SL. Engine torque is rated at 127 lb-ft. Fuel economy is estimated at 27 mpg City/31 mpg highway with the CVT and 25 mpg City/30 mpg Highway with the 6-speed manual transmission.”
There is certainly enough power to handle five adults and some storage in the rear, and we can’t say that for all of the Cube’s competition. Again, with superior sight lines, you feel very confident on the road and that lends to a superior driving experience.
The 2012 Nissan Cube 1.8 S sparks opinions from many and that’s what cars are supposed to do when they are connecting to car buyers, and the Cube certainly delivers in that department. Our test model priced out at $20,975, which is very reasonable when you consider all that the Cube offers. The week we spent behind the wheel was fun, as there is something about the Cube that makes you smile in a world that takes things way too serious at times. Loosen up and take a ride in a Cube!
Click the thumbnails below to see full versions of each photo.