By on April 8, 2013

Haters bust out the Haterade: I mastered your drama back at the College of Creative Studies. My luxury car proposals sported stand up grilles…and why not? The (beautiful-ish) 1990 Lexus LS400 proved an upright grille happily exists on a sleek, masterfully engineered machine. But very talented, well-praised drama queens in the design studio can’t be proven wrong by a talentless schmuck. Even if they get super butthurt when your Lexian-precedent made their grandstanding look like the adolescent ranting of one unfit to judge a grade school art show…

To wit, an extreme argument: The Nissan Cube.

Not that the Cube is remotely as elegant as the original Lexus LS. But unlike the Nissan Juke, the Cube has many logical elements assembled on a boxy body.  The headlights are quite square, but with enough curves to look appealing, not upsetting.  The grille, oversized emblem notwithstanding, looks right: slots and static forms do the job.  The air slot below is another logical element.  Add the lower valence’s strong egg crate grille and you are done.

My only recommendation is to emulate the angular fog lights of the mildly redesigned, 2005 Lincoln Navigator’s fascia.


Imagine the boxy-ish fog lights making more sense with the square-ish elements in the headlights and the slotted grille. This is quite the well-designed piece. Considering the asking price, let’s assume that unique fog lights were never part of the deal.


I wish more non-Cube vehicles had lighting pods this square and logical.  Aside from the side marker lights that bulge out from the body line, these are quite elegant.


And while the lighting pods in the headlight assembly looked square from some angles, note how round they are from this angle!  This is the secret sauce of car design: the perfect balance between soft curves and hard angles.  If the rest of the Cube looked this good, we’d have a stellar machine.


Again, square and round at the same time.  It works, especially adding the depth of the recessed lighting pods in the headlight assembly.  The Nissan Cube is far from an actual cube.  It’s a seriously somewhat complex design.


This is the big problem, or the key selling feature: an upright–yet rounded–A pillar.  It’s jarring.  It’s brutal.  It’s cool and stupid at the same time.  And, after looking at the window sticker, that makes the Cube both cheap and cheerful.

On the plus side: NO DLO FAIL, SON!  Love me some logically beginning glasswork with a distinct lack of plastic triangles.


Pretty clean cowl trim.  A leaf blower will make short work of any debris stuck in these nooks and crannies, probably. Yet, like many vehicles with more concealed wiper arms, the Cube’s goods are somewhat tucked away as to not attract attention.


Unlike the Juke, the Cube has a nice ratio of bumper-to-fender real estate.  The fender does creep into the logical place for the A-pillar: that cutline should be at the base of the windshield, not several inches above.  Too bad about that.

Then again, those 4 spoke wheels are ugly as sin: static and counter-intuitive to the mission of a round element. My design school teachers insisted that 4 spoke wheels are the work of the Devil, and I agree.  Then again, they do take away from the odd A-pillar cut line.


The Cube’s biggest problems are presented here: the wavy door cutline (inappropriately showing a body contour) and a distinctly, overtly round, totally “not cube” B-pillar.


Actually the combo of round elements here (recessed into the sheet metal, much like portholes on a cruise ship) is quite beautiful.The cutline between the doors is super Cube-y rigid.  The window’s DLOs (plural) are round and quite entertaining next to the rest of the package. It’s a delicate balance, balanced.

The problems are elsewhere: and they have an adverse relationship to the B-pillar presented here.  The asymmetric C-pillars (different between Driver’s and Passenger’s side) detract from the quirky anti-Cube design.  You will see it as we progress around the Cube…and I’ll try to make it super memorable for you.


The rounded C-pillar stamping is cute if there wasn’t a gigantic DLO FAIL embodied in a plastic trim…with shockwave ripples casted into the fail.

Of course, this argument hinges on one’s approval of the Cube’s appalling boxy, top-heavy, overtly JDM space-efficient car styling.


I’ll admit that the plastic trim’s ripple effect negates the foolishness of this DLO FAIL, but it’s certainly not enough.  This is horribly ugly.  No doubt, this needs to be a quarter window instead.  Raise the base price by $50 and make it happen, Son.

Or $100. Or whatever: easy credit is flowing like cheap wine once more, just fix it. We can afford it!

So step back and look at the thing: not bad!  The wavy door cut line below the equator is only somewhat upsetting. The big DLO FAIL on the C-pillar is well, still pretty horrible.  But the stylish “I” design present in the B-pillar personifies all that’s right with the Cube: static yet quite dynamic.

And I’m lucky to have both 4-spoke wheels stopped in the same position: they look even more static when double teaming the Cube’s body.


There’s something very right about a vehicle with zero rear overhang.  Maximum space efficiency, just a little bend and stretch at the bottom for a crashworthy(?) bumper. This is a seriously cool piece of shit kit.


Turning the corner, confusion.  The elongated panel between the bumper and the tailgate looks like an afterthought.  While I didn’t have the keys to open and inspect the Cube’s door mechanism, it’s a safe bet there’s some hinge that demands a unique panel.  On a car this cheap, it’s only a mild bummer.


I like how the rear glass emulates the B-pillar’s rounded and recessed glass treatment.  It looks expensive, compared to what you normally see here. (See Scion xB).


The CHMSL gets the job done without overselling, over styling.  Nice. Too bad the rear wiper washer jet pokes out rather cheaply.


I took these pictures last July, so I forgot if this Cube has a backup camera: but this tacked-on thing looks like a backup camera. (Go ahead and Google it, show me up, etc.) On a vehicle this cheap, this is acceptable.  Like Cindy Crawford’s birthmark, it’s just a cute little bump on a cute little curve of sheet metal.

Well maybe not Cindy Crawford cute, but you catch my drift.


I like how this reflector is tucked inside the bumper cover.  It makes a unique plane within the body.  A simple, cheap and often overlooked way to add some texture on an otherwise boring and massive sheet of painted material.


Alright no more teasing: the back-end is head-scratchingly fantastic.  There’s the trim bumper with an elegant, full-width tail light treatment.  Go further up and it’s a tall JDM van-let, except with a flaw: the asymmetrical rear glass treatment.

Honestly, after months of deliberation, I don’t know if this is brilliant or idiotic.  Probably both, since I can’t take my eyes off of it. This isn’t eye-watering like a Pontiac Aztek, it’s just…profoundly interesting.


Something about the full width tail lights makes this design more cohesive and expensive: it makes up for the normally horrid feelings most of us feel about asymmetric design. It’s like Lyle Lovett and Julia Robert’s child, on wheels.


Except the Cube is kinda cute…not this.


More good design: the rear door seamlessly blends into the bumper and quarter panel.  Very trick, and a good use of minimal cut lines to carry out a particular need. Add that unique plane for the reflector light and you have something exciting, and not offensive.


And if the driver’s side of the Cube was the Lyle Lovett, the passenger side is Julia Roberts. RAWR!

Note how the C-pillar is completely encased in glass. And glass equals class.  It makes me wish the other side was this impressive.  Totally worth the extra cost, no matter what it is! (i.e., this isn’t a loss leader Versa, go ahead and ask a little more for being unique.)

Also note how the 4-spoke wheels continue to fight every damn element on the body.


While I’ve mentioned the Cube’s nice use of hard edges and soft forms, the square gas cap needs a good rounding out.  This would help accentuate the “Julia Roberts” C-pillar and it will also match the round negative area behind the door handle.  Shame.


Maybe this DLO (odd fitting black paint between two sheets of glass) isn’t as pretty as Julia Roberts, but this ain’t no Lyle Lovett.  I like how the DLO’s hard edge (Left) and round edge (Right) play with the straight-then-curve demeanor of the rear door’s cutline.  This is just car design cool.


Yes, car design cool.  Offensive? You betcha!  But, aside from the wavy door cutline (just like the driver’s side) that smears reflections (note the Versa’s wheel cover) from an unfortunate curvature, the Nissan Cube is a well-integrated design with moderate attention to detail.

At least on the Julia Roberts side. The Lyle Lovett side?  Not as much.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have a lovely week.


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49 Comments on “Vellum Venom: 2012 Nissan Cube...”

  • avatar

    Don’t hate the Cube for it’s styling. Hate it because if you take a descending freeway off ramp at speed and apply the brakes to stop at the bottom, you feel like you are about to roll the car end over end.

    • 0 avatar

      The first-gen Xb was a “box” that surprised many with its decent driving dynamics – the Cube… not so much.

      But, Sajeev is correct, there’s nothing boring about the Cube’s styling – much more interesting than the Soul. But then, the Soul is a better driving vehicle.

      Slap some batteries in the Cube to lower the COG, improve the brakes and you’d have one heck of an EV. I hope Nissan is thinking about that.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    “…side marker lights that bulge out from the body line…”
    I see this on other cars and am thoroughly perplexed by the purpose. My guess is that it is something aerodynamic, like those little swirl inducers or whatever on side mirrors.

    I must agree that this is a prime example of daring design that is almost there.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it’s so the reflectors are angled in a way that they’re visible from the side. NHTSA rules and such…

      • 0 avatar

        I think those are more international rules that the US doesn’t follow (think Dodge Challenger front turn signal) that were kept on the Cube since it’s sold worldwide without many changes. Most cars will have a light in the side fender that is omitted from the US sold version.

        • 0 avatar

          You’re conflating two things, here. UNECE regs require side marker lamps (behind the front wheel, if I’m not mistaken). FMVSS regs require side-facing reflective surface area.

  • avatar

    Damn, damn, damn….. all that beautiful glass and tallness RUINED by tiny-ass skateboard wheels and not enough ground clearance for a softball. I’d never make it out of my neighborhood in the winter, let alone deal with blowy, drifty country driving.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    The big problem with this Cube’s styling occurs on the inside. When you sit down and look out through any of the side windows, your eye is immediately drawn to the hard, squared off corners for the interior window seals and door trim. No attempt was made to match the outer door skin’s upper or lower curvature in the interior corners, which destroys the rounded rectangle look and creates an unforgivable visual dissonance.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, the interior is full of that sort of thing. They put in this wild ripple headliner that looks like the circular ripples you get dropping a pebble in water. Then they put a parts-bin square interior light in the middle. It completely breaks the flow of the design.

    • 0 avatar

      In my one experience driving a Cube (rental I had for three days), I couldn’t get over a bizarre optical illusion inside, which is that it looks from the inside like the sides of the car tilt outward at the top. It is apparently possible for the sides of a vehicle to be TOO vertical; inset just the tiniest amount of tumblehome and that illusion would go away.

  • avatar

    “There’s something very right about a vehicle with zero rear overhang.”

    Only if interior volume is your bete noir.

  • avatar

    So I am not sure this makes it the asymmetry better, but here in Japan the rear door, and rear window configuration, is reversed. This puts the DLO fail element on the driver’s side in all markets. This makes sense since the opposite side is going to be the one you are checking your blind spot through. Additionally, the JDM Cube’s lens elements in their tail lights are squares, and it is an absolutely great detail, if impossible to see if you are following closer than safe distances. I personally am a fan of the overall design including the asymmetry.

  • avatar

    I love the rear bumper/tail lights of this car. Everything else…… no. IF they took the bottom rear of this, and put it on a small boxy sedan like the those old Datzuns….. something. Just seems like too good of a design piece to be wasted on such an awful car.

  • avatar

    I know the purpose of this series is to sail as close to the wind as possible, but really…you are engaging in art-school extra-credit thought exercise and jargon, praising the clever treatment of small isolated details in an attempt to redeem designs that most people, viewing the vehicles in their entirety rather than in contrived 3-degree-wide visual slivers, would deem unattractive.

    I mean, in your Julia/Lyle mashup, that is undeniably a beautiful blue eye. So? Do you want to kiss that face?

    Remember – “wearing blinders” refers to an apparatus that does not block vision, but restricts it to a narrow vista. So you’re asking us to wear blinders here.

    Yes, in the final assessment, a car is a car, and the only characteristic that will render one completely unacceptable is failure to reliably move under its own power, but nowadays most of us are setting the bar a bit higher than that.

  • avatar

    For all you haters, this is a great car. We drove a 2010 for 76k miles. It was a stick and circumstances forced us to go to an automatic. So we washed the car and traded it in on a 2013…..cube.

    My mama told me when I was just a boy that looks would probably be a losing proposition for me. I should concentrate on function as that was the only place I had any hope. I think she was right. This is an economical people mover and it is not top heavy. It takes corners and curves very well. Larger engine than it’s counterparts IIRC and it feels like it. Was going to put a trailer hitch on it and imitate a much larger car on trips. Now I won’t because I bought an automatic.

    I strongly resisted the CVT since the time they tried to sell one to me on the 2002 Saturn Vue we bought. I looked very carefully and it seems that Nissan has taken care of the problems they had with them. We bought an extended warranty just in case. I know the majority of the commenters on this site don’t like them and it seems those are the ones who have never driven one. You have a right to have your opinions but you ought to qualify them with an IMO instead of presenting them as fact. Hard car to dislike when you are actually driving one.

    • 0 avatar


      I’m no hater…. from the axles up I love it…. just wish it were 20% larger and built upon a decent CUV chassis. Hell, I’d hop off a heart surgery table to run out and buy two.

      My all-time favorite body-design is the ’88 Trooper. Only because G-Wagens are out of my social caste.

      • 0 avatar

        @ Summicron and Dolorean

        You give me food for thought. I don’t think expanding it 20% across the board is the right answer because it’s already tall enough and wide enough but I agree that more ground clearance would be great. I tore a spoiler loose in a ditch once but that’s it. I would like it to be longer with the capability to just remove the seats (maybe you already can) and shove a dirt bike completely inside. It has the power to carry a load already. I understand these are rated to tow 2K lbs in the UK so that could work too.

        The rear door btw opens by swinging away from the curb and is a big improvement over the top lifting hatch. If you don’t buy that you haven’t ever had a leaky shock let one drop on your head in cold weather. It opens the same way that the old sedan delivery did and I expect that also is reversed in Japan. I don’t recall seeing the prior edition or a JDM. A 2008 was the first one I did see. We were in western NY and there seemed to be a lot of them..

        There is a reason that suicide doors got their name. My first car, a 1947 studebaker had them IIRC. People opening them at speed could have them ripped off. An electronic disabling device could probably handle that. An advantage is the ease of access to the seat with suicide doors. These doors make ingress and egress very easy unless you are larger than my short obese self.

        To Dolorean. Heads up. Nissan is working on a Perp Dissolving Device. It seems that a short time ago some crazy person began to beat up on the jukes and cubes in the car lots. If this device detects a metal object bigger than a key it sets off and dissolves the perp. Seems some sort of legal hangup to actually putting it on the road. I wish you luck but please tell me if you come to East Texas.

    • 0 avatar

      @ teacher, again

      Rereading your post makes me appreciate it all the more. I really want to be sold on this car enough to replace my wife’s ’08 Rio5 with one. We live in heavy snow country but her commute is all in-town and pretty reliably plowed. I’m at the point where if she likes the test drive, we’ll go with it. Unfortunately, getting her to test drive anything is like getting me to a furniture store :-)

    • 0 avatar

      I own two Cubes: one for me, one for the wife. We love them. Great little urban warriors. Price is very nice.

      I’ve driven mine across the country on a family vacation (2 adults and a kid). We never had any issues with stability, or loss of control, even at high speeds. Ice, water, etc., have been no problems for the little Cubes. Or at least no more of a problem than any other car we’ve owned (Accord, Altima).

      For our use, the CVT transmissions have had no issues. I’d prefer a manual, but the spouse (aka War Dept.) can’t drive a stick.

      We plan on turning replacing them with two new Cubes at the end of the year, when their lease is complete.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I drove a 2012 rental on the interstate and was surprised how well it handled…

  • avatar

    “Something about the full width tail lights makes this design more cohesive and expensive: it makes up for the normally horrid feelings most of us feel about asymmetric design. It’s like Lyle Lovett and Julia Robert’s child, on wheels”

    I’m so glad you made this comparison, because it completely explains my primordial desire to beat this Mother F-Ugly thing with a shovel like it was a rabid, Outbreak-esque Rhesus monkey.

  • avatar

    20 percent larger: not a bad idea. Keep the current proportions and almost-zero overhang and you have a viable alternative to the nostalgic micro bus many pine for – but with safety and reliability! It would not be a “lookalike,” or course, but the Cube has its own quirky appeal.

    • 0 avatar


      Yeah…. tall and square is where it’s at. The zero-overhang thing only works for me if the wheelbase is long enough to allow sufficient interior volume w/o overhang.

      I actually have a lot of auto passion myself… it’s just that none of it is for going fast or cornering hard.

  • avatar

    Between this and the Juke Nissan easily wins the ugly contest. Someone please stop them! The only way a Cube looks right is painted pink and covered with Hello Kitty logos. There is so much wrong here I don’t even know where to start. I am normally a fan of bringing over JDM vehicles as unmodified as possible, but this is one that should have never left Japan.

  • avatar

    I love the Cube’s exterior. Its unfortunate that there is no place for a designer cheap car in America. People who are into avant garde designs, wouldn’t be caught dead in a mainstream japanese branded economy car. People who buy mainstream japanese economy cars, are too shy to be seen in anything too radically different than their neighbors.

    By japanese standards, the Cube is not even the most daring design. You should check out the Will VI and Will Cypha.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I did check out the WiLL Cypha. I wouldn’t call it daring (it seems to fit in with the same “new millennium” school of design as several VW and Audi products circa 2000), but it might well have been where GM got its inspiration for the Sonic hatchback…

  • avatar

    The specific model critiqued (brilliantly, in my opinion…but then look what I drive) is (probably) a 2010 in SL trim with the “Preferred” package added (it may be as recent as 2011 or 2012, but the only way to know for certain is if it has a SAT/NAV); those split-spoke 16″ wheels are unfortunately standard for that trim level (Nissan offers another 16″ alloy wheel which is unfortunately also a split-four spoke “X” design that looks worlds better…available in a choice of silver or gunmetal finish, too). Also included in that package are the foglights (Nissan offers DRL’s that can be ordered a la carte is the Cube is not optimizing the SL Preferred package), but they don’t add anything else to the look, other than replacing the black-out circles that my car sadly still has).

    And the “pimple” on the rear fridge-door hatch IS the housing for the reverse camera, also available as part of the “SL Preferred” package.

    If you want OEM alloy wheels with a better look, Nissan DOES offer a split-six spoke design that is offered either a al carte or as part of a “sport” package (go ahead and laugh, you know you want to), but those are unfortunately only 15″. Those came standard on my car’s 2012 “S Indigo” trim which was not brought back for 2013 and for factory rims on a cheap car they don’t look bad…I had been considering ordering Enkei RPF1’s in 16″x 7″ as replacements, but they look so similar to the factory 15″ rims that I’m not sure it’s worth the effort, weight reduction advantage be damned.

    I love the overall design of the car…the only changes I’d make based on driving mine for over a year are suspension-orented; they opted to make a good car cheap rather than a cheap car good, and the handling is the most obvious casualty of that. When I heard NISMO was doing up a special edition of the Juke, I was hoping they’d give similar treatment to the Cube in terms of at least a suspension upgrade if not a chintzy body kit (although the OEM aero package offered isn’t bad; the squared-off “duckbill” rear spoiler definitely takes off from the boxed-off design of the top of the car), but alas only the aftermarket can save us now.

    Oh. And suicide doors. This car definitely needs ’em.

  • avatar

    As a designer – of folding cartons – I love this vehicle for the sheer absurdity of it.

    If I were in the market for something that made a “statement”, the Cube would be it, hands-down.

    The design shows daring and a desire to be a bit different, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I applaud Nissan, and wonder what a domestic (is there such a thing anymore?) equal would look like.

    Yes, to Sajeev’s comments about this fail and that fail, I agree somewhat, but I’m sure budgets were only so big, and to achieve the general look, some corners had to be compromised, but overall, it works well.

    Every time I see a Cube on the road, it brings a smile to my face, and as it takes more facial muscles to smile than frown, it’s good exercise!

  • avatar

    I always thought the 2002-08 models were a nice blend of odd and elegance, after that Nissan basically melted the original clay model and now we have this new one.

  • avatar

    Can’t agree more – the Cube from the passenger side rear 3/4 view is just plain fun to look at. The low rear bumper with the full width tail lights and the wrap around glass over the C-pillar are just outstanding. At least from this view the asymmetric sides of the tail work because you set the symmetry of the driver side of the tail and the passenger side rear door at the B-pillar tying the whole view together.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It’s a quirky little machine. And it’s not my taste, but it’s gotten to the point that when I see one, I’m compelled to smile rather than retch, if for no other reason than the fact that it is indeed a very complex and passionate design. I think the way they’ve affixed the wing-mirrors to the window bevels in order to avoid your “DLO fail”.

    And I agree with you about the four-spoke wheels; they always look like drain plugs. It was one reason (among many) that I told my mother not to get the first-generation Xterra, back when she was in the market for her first SUV…

  • avatar

    Looks like it would be well suited for a courier or equipment repair service in a city.

    Also, have any cubes been modified? I wouldn’t turn down a “cube-R” similar to the Juke-R…

    • 0 avatar

      USDM options for modifications are limited…there are a number of cold air/ram intake options, two exhaust systems (one axle-back, one cat-back), some tower/underbraces, and a number of suspension upgrades via springs/coilover options. The previous generation’s JDM Cube had a model-specific supercharger manufactured by Impul for its 1.6 I4, but nothing quite that radical has been built for the current gen’s 1.8l mill, either for JDM or export market cars.

  • avatar

    I feel about this car the same way I feel about the current Cadillacs – it is not that I love the look, I just appreciate that they don’t look like anything else. The automotive landscape is pretty dull on average, nice that there are some things out there to liven it up a bit.

  • avatar

    A question about the DLO fail on the driver’s side, and the black strip on the passenger side C-pillar. As the rear windows are heavily tinted, would piano black glossy inserts (like what the new Kia Soul does with the back end) work as a better disguise? I could see the shine of the gloss black inserts blending nicely with the glass.

    I love the previous generation of the Cube. The round squareness of that design was great!

  • avatar

    “The rounded C-pillar stamping is cute if there wasn’t a gigantic DLO FAIL embodied in a plastic trim…with shockwave ripples casted into the fail.”

    The Buick LeSabre Grand National still has it beat hands down for black plastic inserts on the rear windows.

    • 0 avatar

      Well said. Probably be biggest head scratcher for DLO fail in the automotive universe.

      • 0 avatar

        Perhaps, but at least they gave it some character by adding the ripples!

        I give Chrysler credit for their DLO-fail on the 200, but they changed it to gloss black and stuck the “200” there, so they made it work to their advantage as best they could.

        I wish the designers of all OEMs would address this issue with cars that have this, and just work the limitations into their design, but in their efforts to make a stubby car appear longer, that’s why these DLO-fails exist.

  • avatar

    Too bad about that gas cap door. My Element’s gas cap is a circle that curves into the rear fender. It’s really a nice little unexpected touch. I don’t gas it up very often–no self service in Oregon–so I kind of forget about it until those rare time I have to open it, and it always makes me smile. A little thing, but someone at Honda cared enough to push it past the bean counters. As for the rest of the car, well, it’s distinctive. Like the Cube.

  • avatar
    CV Neuves

    Reminds me of my treatise on the animal website, elucidating the beauty of the warthog. For me, this car remains raped sheetmetal.

  • avatar

    The gas cap is an interesting touch, my nissan car dealership didn’t have one on display when I initially went to see these but my goodness.

  • avatar

    The DLO fail is sad because so unnecessary. Why not just give both rear doors a porthole window (like the front doors), and the let the drivers side have a big fat painted D pillar, and the passenger side have a rear quarter window that begins with rounded corners like the door portholes, continuing back to wrap-around to the hatch glass. Eliminates all DLO fail, doesn’t change outward visibility, and makes for a much cleaner but still quirky asymmetric design. Cost wise, I would think it would save money (no need to make and install the fake DLO panels) while getting rid of the elements that cheapen the look of the car.

  • avatar

    I don’t agree with everything you say here, but you’ve pointed out some things that have changed my mind. So, it’s a learning thing for me.

    But I have seen you mention four spoke wheels before, and to me, at least, if you have four lug nuts, you go four spokes, or eight, or something that divides the four up evenly, even two.

    So, tell me, how would you do the wheels?

    To me, too many spokes (8, 12) just looks busy for no reason. So, show me a sketch of a four-spoke wheel. I need to see what you’re talking about.

    Don’t take this as a criticism, take this as a teaching opportunity, the more you teach, the more you learn.

  • avatar

    How the heck did I miss this VV, Sajeev?

    There are elements of the cube’s style of which I’m not particularly fond– principally, that huge DLO fail on the driver’s side rear quarter. Why can’t it be glass? If it was, the design would be a lot better. But as a whole, this is the best thing Nissan has built in ages. Cheap, cheerful, and pretty much the most comfortable subcompact you can buy.

    The design has the benefit of placing the chairs at a logical height. You neither fall down into them nor clamber up to them. Standing 6’3″, I hate the former, and being 5’3″, my wife hates the latter. The cube has given us automotive harmony that I thought we may never experience in the compact and subcompact cars she prefers, all at a price that was not painful at all.

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