2012 Nissan Cube

The 2012 Nissan Cube may be a small wagon but it does not mean that it cannot give the versatility that you need. Having this trait, the Cube competes well in the arena of small affordable cars.

Urban dwellers who are looking for high tech features on the inside and unique looks outside will certainly find the Cube a good choice.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Compact Base Price: $14,980.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gallons (50 l) MPG: 25 city / 30 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 156.7 in. (398 cm) Wheel Base: 99.6 in. (252.9 cm)
Height: 65 in. (165.1 cm) Width: 66.7 in. (169.4 cm)
Curb Weight: 2789 lbs (1265 kg) Ground Clearance: 6.3 in. (16 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 11.4 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 16 Valve 4 Cylinder DOHC Displacement: 1.8 Liter
Horsepower: 122 HP Max RPM: 5200 RPM
Torque: 127 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Available Trims & Engine
Option:1.8S MSRP: $16,580; MPG: 27 city / 31 hwy
Option:1.8 SL MSRP: $18,680; MPG: 27 city / 31 hwy
Option:1.8S Indigo Limited Edition MSRP: $19,580; MPG: 27 city / 31 hwy

Engine

The different trims of the 2012 Cube are equipped with a 1.8 liter engine that delivers 122 horsepower and 127 lbs/ft of torque. It is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission but prospective owners can go for the optional Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT). We find driving the manual transmission fun but we prefer the one with the CVT because of better fuel mileage.

There are no official results from the EPA yet, but we can use the data from the 2011 model that has a fuel efficiency rating of 31 mpg for highway and 27 mpg for city driving. That is not the best in the competition but that is certainly good enough.

Performance

The new Cube runs well in the city as well as in the highway. It handles easily during turns, thanks to its size, it is nimble. If you are looking for speed the Cube is not right for you, but if you want an easy city cruiser, the Cube definitely is. Another thing that we liked about the Cube is the extra maneuverability that it provides especially when parking. Truly, it is designed for the city.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is that the Cube is not intended to be sporty, and that makes it even easier for car owners not to expect more than good city driving performance.

Exterior

The Cube literally looks like a cube with wheels. It is completely devoid of sportiness. It has a rare elegance though, that will suit the taste of car owners who do not want to look like everybody else.

Interior

The materials used for the interior are modest and are right for the price. There is enough headroom inside the cabin but taller passengers may find the space for the legroom lacking. There is no problem with smaller or average sized passengers though.

The seats are comfortable although the support they give may not be enough for very long drives. The rear seat can be reclined forward and backward to give a couch-like stance. Upgrading the trim will get you the high tech features such as wireless connectivity that suits today's clever devices.

Safety

The federal government is yet to test the Cube in most areas. In the meantime, they gave it a 4 out of 5 star rollover score. On the other hand, it is a Top Safety Pick for the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety for scoring "good" in all the tests that they performed.

Moreover, the Cube has the standard safety features such as the dual stage airbags in the front, seat mounted airbags, roof mounted air bags and traction control.

Reliability

The Cube comes with the standard limited 3-year warranty and a 5-year powertrain warranty. Those who chose the CVT will receive a separate 10-year limited warranty for the CVT.

Pros

The 2012 Cube has good handling, competent fuel economy and good styling both for the exterior and the interior.

Cons

The new Cube has less legroom in the rear. It also tends to become noisy at high speeds.

If you live in the city, the 2012 Nissan Cube is perfect for your daily needs.

Competition

The Scion xB (MSRP $16,300; 22 city / 28 hwy) and the Kia Soul (MSRP $13,900; 27 city / 35 hwy) have a similar appearance with the Cube.

Overall Rating
71 out of 100

What others say:

“For those motivated by style and fashion—yet still needing a healthy dose of practicality—the Cube hits the right buttons; practical types might find it hard to get past some packaging issues, though.”Car Connection

“For a basic economy car, Cube is fairly nimble and pleasant to drive. The precise steering has light effort at low speeds, but it builds nicely as the pace quickens. Close-quarters maneuverability is good thanks to Cube's small footprint. Braking control is good.”Consumer Guide

“The tall and boxy Cube has an enormous amount of interior space and easy access.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Although it's doubtful many driving enthusiasts will be falling over themselves to drive a 2012 Nissan Cube, most everyone else will probably find something to like.”KBB

“Reasonable performance; smooth ride; ample passenger space; easy to park; generous standard features list; unique customization opportunities. So-so handling; less cargo capacity behind the rear seats than rivals; below-average fuel economy; disappointing interior materials; excessive wind noise at high speeds.”Edmunds