The Nissan Cube may be new to the U.S. market, but the miniature box shaped people mover has been on sale in Japan for over a decade. For 2009 Nissan has redesigned the Cube and decided that they can compete with other space conscious small cars like the Scion xB and the new Kia Soul. Powered by a 122 HP 1.8 Liter four cylinder engine connected to either a six speed manual or an automatic continuously variable transmission, the smaller Nissan box should be a strong competitor for the segment.
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We recently spotted a couple of Cubes being loaded onto a freight truck here in Miami and took the opportunity to snap a few photos of the squared of Nissan. The interior features some nice touches, like the multi sized cup holder right next to steering wheel. So no matter whether the driver has a small coffee from Starbucks or a Big Gulp from 7-11 they won’t have to reach far to quench their thirst. In the middle of the dash is a small piece of shag carpeting reminding occupants not to take this car too seriously. The most interesting design feature is the ripple effect wavy pattern sculpted into the headliner; Nissan claims that the design was inspired by a Jacuzzi to promote a relaxed sociable atmosphere.
Outside the more interesting features are seen from behind. The taillights are reminiscent of the units on the new Dodge Challenger, made up of a large red bar with cleared out elements on wither side for the reverse lights. Unique to the Cube is a wraparound rear window that creates a large glass surface connecting the back with the rear passenger side pane. A clear example of Nissan’s thought out engineering, the fifth door is hinged to open towards the passenger side of the vehicle. This makes loading cargo into the rear of the vehicle much easier when parallel parked at the curb.
Nissan should do quite well selling the Cube in the U.S. Consumers are looking for smaller, spacious, fuel efficient vehicles that are as unique as they perceive themselves to be. So, watch out Scion and Kia, theres a new box car in town, and it’s sporting the hamburger logo.