By on November 22, 2012

One of the most popular cars in our TWAT talks is the Nissan Cube; the much maligned, slow-selling compact is looking like a shoo-in for our ignominious honor, but Nissan seems to think that a price hike is just the ticket.

For 2013, the Cube will start at $17,550, a $1,790 increase over the 2012 model. Of course, the Cube is built in Japan and the rising yen has a lot to do with the price hike. But it’s not going to help dealers move units any quicker.

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32 Comments on “Nissan Hikes Price Of Unpopular Cube...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Stay on the edge of your seat for the $1790+ rebate, secret or otherwise.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    Did Nissan truly hike the base price, or did they euthanize the slow-selling base model (and possibly the manual transmission versions altogether)?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      You’re right. The new base model is the Cube 1.8S M/T. Last year it cost $17,370. The actual price increase is $180. My local dealer has 26 Cubes in stock. Only one of them is a sub-$18K 1.8 M/T. The rest are all S or SL models, all with CVTs and optioned up to prices around $21K.

      I suspect the Cube’s styling and packaging differentiates it from cars that are simply purchased on price. Nissan has the Versa for those buyers. If someone buys a Cube, they probably really want a Cube.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    Why is this a TWAT? I have never driven one, but having ridden in one, it seemed pretty nice. Lots of room for such a small car, comfortable, economic… Basically, it and the Kia Soul are the successors to the first get xB (which got fat in the second gen). The only reason I can see for it being so hated is that it’s cute and funky rather than being a machomobile. If your criteria for choosing a car is “will it make up for my tiny balls” then I couls see where it fails, but for people who are confident enough to drive things like Miatas it shouldn’t be a problem.

    I mean, if you gave me $18k and told me to buy a car, I’m sure I could find much worse ones.

    • 0 avatar
      geo

      I agree, it’s not ugly and seems quite a useful and funky machine. Nice to see something unique out there.

      And it’s “shoo-in”.

    • 0 avatar
      Easton

      Looks being completely subjective, I still have yet to meet a single person who hasn’t reacted with outright revulsion at the first sight of one of these things. So, no, it is not ugly in the sense that the Aztec was not ugly to the right kind of person. The problem is that there are very, very few of those people.

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      I’ve always had a soft spot for this car, even though the asymmetry is a little gimmicky. Whether it provides value for the money or churns out money for the manufacturer is one thing, but whether its cool or not is another. If this thing makes the TWATs, I would be really sad. So many car “enthusiasts” are hypocrites — they love old funky weird cars, but if you show them a funky weird new car, they emit disgust and revulsion. Cars like the Prius, the Leaf, the Volt, the Cube, the Murano convertible, etc. etc. etc. are basically the modern reincarnations of citroens and tatras (the green ones) or of the amc eagle (the murano convertible). A historical equivalent to the Cube escapes me, but come on, car enthusiasts love weird jdm subcompacts and when they finally get one they vote it a TWAT?????

    • 0 avatar
      lowsodium

      I was looking at one a couple years ago. The biggest problem was the back seats dont fold down, which makes it useless for moving stuff or dogs.

    • 0 avatar
      carr1on

      Agreed. This car shouldn’t be on the TWAT list.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I wonder if all the people who cried for these to come to our shores actually bought one?

    When I was at Nissan, we’d hear all the time about how we should bring over the Cube and how many people would buy it. Some people wrote angry letters even belittling the company for being so stupid as not to put this on sale in NA.

    Where are they now?

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      The I can’t get one, so it’s what I want, and is obviously superior to what I have mentality. Also see Euro built diesel, stick shift, wagons. Most companies still haven’t figured out how to separate the wants of a loud minority and the desires of the majority.

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      You guys took too long and I bought an xB1.

      Then you brought the wrong one. Why Nissan didn’t bring the stretched wheelbase version to America is baffling. I looked at them while considering trading my xB when they finally showed up. I couldn’t get over how much those extra few inches in the back meant to me. The E4wd would have also been nice up here.

    • 0 avatar
      smokingclutch

      My wife bought one when it first came out. 25,000 miles later, we have zero complaints. I don’t like the motorboat power delivery with the CVT, but it makes it faster than it would be with the Versa’s shitty slushbox – and I know, because I’ve had Versa rentals. I do wish they offered the higher trim with stick – my parents’ first-gen xB has all the bells and whistles you’d want in this class but also has a manual.

      Only problem we’ve had with it is a leaky rear door that let some water in until it was fixed in a TSB. Great car, about 30 mpg around town, and limo-like rear legroom with the rear seat slid back. When we go out alone, we take my Challenger, but when we go out with another couple, we take her Cube.

      Even better, we got it during Cash for Clunkers, so we got $4500 for an old Ford Country Squire I paid $800 for two and a half years previous.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    The two Cubes I took a shot at (an ’09 6-SPD and and ’09 S CVT) both had stupid low miles, were priced right, and languished for months. Too bad because Nissan DID build a better box than Scion did with the xB. Every shortcoming of the xB (A/C performance, handling, comfort, storage space) was resolved with the Cube.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      While the Cube may handle better than the xB, and is probably about a million dB quieter at highway speed, the Soul is even better in both respects. Otherwise I’d be driving a Cube right now.

      • 0 avatar
        Flybrian

        Oh, absolutely. And that part I also left out – the Soul (literally) rounded out the remaining rough edges of the xB and Cube into a product with true universal marketing appeal.

        Sure, some people don’t like how the Soul looks. Some people don’t like how a Grand Prix looks either, but not in a KILL IT WITH FIRE way a la the Cube or xB. I’ve driven many iterations of the Soul and have been very impressed with the entire package. Road noise and ride quality are compromised on ! models with bigger wheels/thinner tires, but aside from that, I’d consider one if I were in the market.

  • avatar
    aidanf

    I have a 2011 6 speed manual – love it – it scoots around town -easy to get in and out of – well built -
    And another reason to love it – it’s distinctive, even more so than the soul which tries to hide its boxiness with strakes and other design features – it’s a very clear design.

  • avatar
    Angus McClure

    +1 or more to adianf. Mine is a 2010 model with a six speed. My wife fell in love with the looks(at first glance Easton, and I would introduce you but can’t). Our son derides us for the lack of symmetry but we don’t care. I fell much like I’m driving my 66 VW beetle but with better power, economy, and air conditioning.

    If Nissan made one with a real auto I would buy that too. Won’t buy the CVT and wife cannot drive the stick due to bad knee.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    I’ve been stuck behind Cubes in traffic putzing along. Slow as heck from red lights and clogging left lanes.

    Today’s putt putt driver cars.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    I don’t mind the appearance of the Cube. It’s not in the ‘What were they thinking?’ category like the Aztek. As others have pointed out, it has the same sort of appeal as the 1st gen Scion xB.

    But Nissan could have done a better job of packaging the Cube. For instance, if they’d have gotten a ‘magic’ folding rear seat (like the Fit) in there, well, it might have made the Cube a whole lot more palatable to more of the niche buyers that like the funky, individual look but still want practical, too.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I totally dig the Cube. Im happy there are companies like Nissan willing to take a risk and provide us with unique options. I also appreciate that they provide the manual transmission and the ability to have a flat load floor.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    This car is love or hate. There are many outspoken owners and enthusiasts who love them and are very vocal about it.

    Then, there is the silent majority that hates it.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    When the first – gen , JDM Cube first began to be noticed by the US auto press I saw photographs and thought it looked really cool asymetric but not nearly as much as the current one . More like a slightly kooky , shrunken Ford Explorer . Finally , when it gets to the U.S. it has become maybe a little too weird and ugly for me , and Nissan’s declining rep for guality and reliability hasn’t helped either . I love my 2006 x -B but if I was to replace it I’d probably get a Kia Soul .

  • avatar
    tbone33

    I have never driven this car so I can’t comment on driving dynamics, but I like the design. I think the two things that are killing this car are the popular Soul, and the exchange rate.

    • 0 avatar
      smokingclutch

      You’re absolutely right. It’s one of the few actual made-in-Japan Nissans, which makes it expensive for its size. Of course, that’s why I bought one for my wife, as I feel if I’m getting a car made in North America, I might as well get an American brand. If it’s got a Japanese brand on the label, I want it made in Japan.

  • avatar
    carr1on

    My wife and I each own a Nissan Cube SL. What other car can you get that has the same features for $19k? Remote entry, keyless ignition, bluetooth, navigation, and satellite radio to name a few. It rides reasonably well, good interior space, and good gas mileage. Plus has lots of safety features like curtain airbags around the cabin, ABS, traction control, etc.

    My father has advanced Parkinson’s disease and has trouble walking. The seat height on the Cube is perfect for him. He basically leans-falls back onto the passenger seat while holding onto the “oh crap” handle. Getting out is just as easy. Plus the relatively high interior seating makes this maneuver much easier than in a traditional vehicle.


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