By on October 23, 2014

scion-la-concept-2-1

The death of the Toyota Matrix will leave a hatchback-sized hole in Toyota’s lineup. But the replacement won’t be a Toyota, if Scion’s newest concept is any indication.

As we reported back in June, Scion is said to be readying a new hatchback based on the Toyota Auris. The Auris is a European version of the Corolla, which features an independent rear suspension, rather than the Corolla’s torsion beam setup. The new vehicle will apparently be dubbed the Scion iM, and will debut in lightly disguised “concept” form at next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Some time ago, our own Ronnie Schreiber got a chance to drive both the Auris hatchback (akin to the Matrix) and the Auris Touring Sports, which is a true station wagon variant. Will Scion be bold enough to bring the wagon version here? We’ll find out next month.

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82 Comments on “Is Scion’s Next New Car A Station Wagon?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Derek, you know your audience well.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “The Auris is a European version of the Corolla”

    Surprising that they’d use the Auris, when they already have an Avensis hatch (the tC). Possibly the Auris is cheaper, but it seems odd to federalize the Auris when the Avensis/tC does almost the same thing—unless this will replace the tC as well as the Matrix.

    Personally, I like the tC: it’s a nice car that rides well and has Saab 900/9-3 like cargo-hauling ability; it generally feels better than the Matrix did. It’s a pity it’s a two-door.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Th tc is such an underappreciated car. Wish I could have one. Hell it’s the only Toyota sold in the US I desire at all. Incredible use of interior space.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      I like the tc more than the FRS. I see it as the modern equivalent of my old 89 camaro rs. I wish there were more sport hatch cars being made, especially with the fastback styling ruining trunk openings.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The Avensis is more of a Euro-sized Camry equivalent, akin to the old TSX being a Euro Accord. Auris is an upscale Matrix replacement.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I’d imagine the Auris being a reskinned Corolla being pretty easy to federalize as well.

      I definitely prefer the Auris. With the right engine (NX200t’s 2.0T) it could prove to be a dark horse pick amongst the likes of the GTI, Focus ST and upcoming Mazdaspeed 3.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      TTAC isn’t ranting about how awful the tC is? Something is amiss in the universe.

      I’ve enjoyed mine immensely. It’s 3 years old, paid off, and has taken me through the last 65,000 miles with zero issues. On top of that:

      – It has a ‘grown-up’ engine. No 1.8L torqueless wonder, or 1.6L that needs an air pump or to be revved to 9000 RPM to make power.
      – The cockpit is terrific. Everything in easy reach, generous legroom, no console intruding into knee space, and the flat-bottomed wheel serves a utilitarian purpose, allowing easy egress and a wheel that sits low in your lap.
      – The long wheelbase allows sedan-sized back seat legroom.
      – I can haul junk with the rear seat folded down… a LOT of junk.
      – Real world fuel economy is good (mid-30’s on the highway, high 20’s around town).
      – Giant moonroof, not the usual tiny porthole over the console. The distinctive roof shape pushes the sunroof further forward, so the view from the seat includes lots of sky.
      – Manual transmission.
      – It’s surprisingly fun. The steering feel could be better, and it’s somewhat prone to understeer, but it has a lot of lift-off oversteer up its sleeve. Enter a corner pushing the limits of understeer, and then lift off when you want it to correct – it will VERY quickly realign itself, to a surprising degree at times.
      – It cost me $l8,000 new.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Sounds just like the Integra/RSX everyone hates Acura for not selling.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        It’s a good day to day car, of course- it’s a little Camry coupe.

        But IMO it’s ugly and underpowered. If you can look past that it’s a damn good bargain… most people can’t though. Hopefully next go round they go for a shooting brake look, and maybe make the 2.0T an option. As is, no go

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          Is 180 hp with 180 lb-ft really underpowered for a 3000 lb car?

          • 0 avatar
            Occam

            Absolutely. But the 183hp, 3000 lbs Mazda3 is not. That 3 HP brings the Zoom-Zoom!

            Also… I was shocked at the price on there. the 2.5L, 183 hp Mazda5’s START at $25K. Isn’t that well into MS3 pricing?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I wouldn’t get to excited the Auris isn’t exactly setting the world on fire

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Will it be available in brown with a diesel engine and a manual transmission?

    There, I beat everyone else to the most relevant question.

    I think that we should construct a hypothetical TTAC approved vehicle.

    Station wagon, diesel engine, manual transmission.
    Elevated ride height (like a Subaru Crosstrek).
    Flat floorplan and seating for 5.
    All seats flip and fold for luggage, carrying lumber and like my old Honda Wagovan, fold flat to make an ’emergency’ bed.
    Optional AWD.
    Rubberized interior like the Honda Element so that it can be hosed down.
    MSRP of $19,995.
    Optional fake wood cladding?

    Any others?

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Wagon with the new 2.0T from the NX. They could justify those big wheels and brakes, too.

    Now that wishful thinking is out of the way, it will be a semisporty 5 door hatch (think Mazda 3 with the 2.5). I figure it will get some variant of the 2.5L.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I just saw the latest Auris Touring Wagon at MegaWeb in Tokyo. It’s a great looking car that I would buy if it were available. It suits my needs very well since it has plenty of room but isn’t a large car. It looks much better than the hatch version, which I’m sure is what we’ll end up with. I’ll still look at that, but I just don’t understand why Americans are so averse to legit wagons.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      What legit wagons?

      You know the answer, right? Carmakers these days all make a ‘wagon’, jack it up a couple inches and give it macho fenders, call it a utility vehicle, and add $5K to the price tag. If you were running a car company right now, you wouldn’t make wagons either, or at least not until the SUV/CUV market gets saturated.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        I know, it makes no sense to build/sell them because Americans won’t buy them. It’s the end consumer I don’t understand. It’s 2014. Most people at the age of buying a small family car never rode in a station wagon growing up. I don’t understand why there is still the perceived stigma of owning one for those born after about 1985.
        I guess it all boils down to the culture of buying the most you can afford, not what you need.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          No, it’s just that there’s no really good reason to buy a low-roof car when high-roof cars that are objectively better exist.

          People like high hip points, easy access and easy loading. I think the best you can really hope for is that the lower-floor trend of most crossovers continues, and the end result is more Chevy Orlando then Chevy Blazer.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I would argue that lighter weight, better handling, better fuel economy and not being old and tired are objective reasons to not buy the car on stilts.

            People manage to buy 2-3 million normal height sedans in this country every year, surely there is a market for some of those to have long roofs and a fifth door.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            This cannot be repeated enough, newer CUVs are coming in under the weight of full-size sedans and the smallest CUVs still hold more metric volume than their station wagon counterparts.

            The ‘best of both worlds’ argument was put forward by the Scion xB gen II & Kia Soul. The soul sells well in the 13K price point, the Scion has languished on the vine. People do not want station wagons, simple as that. It’s kind of like wanting anchovies on your pizza, it’s cool for you but don’t keep asking why 90% of the rest of society doesn’t care for it.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            @krhodes1 those would be relevant reasons if the buying market cared about them

            Unfortunately they have more pressing needs like old aching bodies that can’t sink down and pop up from the low seat of a conventional car; or the need to load kids into car seats which is much easier to do standing by a CUV than crouched over into a conventional car. Average person doesn’t know or care what their car weighs, doesn’t come close to the limits of their handling, and isn’t phased by fuel economy as gas is cheap- the top selling vehicles in the US are pickup trucks that struggle to hit 20 MPG highway. You can project your personal preferences as “objective reasons” but ultimately there are legit reasons folks moved away from wagons. And again, this is coming from a guy who has a sports car and a hatchback comprising my stable.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            @psarhjinian

            ur post make me luv u

            Toyota doesn’t need a squat 20K-ish hatch when they can sell all those RAV4s.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @SportyAccordy

            Some of the car buying market does care. And as I said which you seem to conveniently ignore, there are several million ordinary sedans sold annually. Obviously those people don’t car about height. Some percentage of them would buy that sedan with a long roof and an extra door if such were available. As shown by the fact that where a maker sells both CUVs and wagons, they do still sell wagons. Not in huge numbers, but sports cars sell in tiny numbers too.

            Luckily, three of my favorite car makers still sell wagons here, should anything happen to the one I have currently.

          • 0 avatar

            krhodes1 “And as I said which you seem to conveniently ignore, there are several million ordinary sedans sold annually. Obviously those people don’t car about height.”

            I have an ’08 Civic sedan (clutch), and I like it a lot. But I wish the greenhouse had another inch and a half or two inches in the vertical plane. Can’t tell you how much I hate the slit windows, and the extreme rake of the windshield. If I didn’t like the small size and low weight and the agility that comes with that so much, I’d get a Forester or an Element for the windows.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            krhodes1: “Some of the car buying market does care.”

            <1% does not a business case make.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @redav

            And yet VW, Volvo, BMW, and MB have made a business case for them. Do you seriously think a Camry or Accord wagon would not sell at more than 1%? But of course, that would cut into those sweet, sweet CUV profits.

            @David C Holman

            I agree with you 100%. There is hardly a car on the market that would not be improved by a little more headroom and a couple inch taller windows. The problem is you currently have to get something with a raised floor to get it.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            @krhodes1

            Given your exceptionally long torso you’ve mentioned, tall cars will be a lot more attractive to you once your hips get all limed up and you have to pick up your left leg to help get it in & out of the car.

            Long torso means more weight leveraged on the hurty parts.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @peteziess

            I have the legs of an average height male, despite being 6’2″ tall. A normal modern mid-size sedan seat has about perfect butt height for me. I do not enjoy climbing UP into a vehicle (my Rover is a PITA in this regard, even with the air suspension), and I certainly don’t have to fall down into a mid-size sedan. And as I have mentioned, both my Mother and Great Aunt gave up their vans because they were too high for old people of average stature to climb into.

            If there is such a huge call for greater seating height, why don’t we have a glut of CUVized sedans on stilts on the market? Subaru tried it once with an Outback’d Legacy sedan, and it was a failure.

          • 0 avatar
            Occam

            @krhodes: I have the opposite build – 6’1, slim, with long legs, long arms, and a short torso: the classic runner’s physique. To me, many cars now seem to have obnoxiously high ceilings and tall windows, but limited rearward seat travel. Everyone told me that the Honda Element was the ultimate car for taller people, but the legroom felt tight. Lots of towering space above me though!

            I’m frustrated by the constantly rising hip-points in cars. In a world where height-adjustable drivers seats are standard even on the cheapest cars, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to crank it down extra low and stretch out my legs. On top of that, the seats are frequently wide and flat. Aging, spare-tired boomers with bad knees are clearly driving the market!

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “why don’t we have a glut of CUVized sedans on stilts on the market?”

            I thought we did. From CR-Vs and RAV4s to Traverse, Enclaves and Pilots… how are those not functionally sedans on stilts?

            Not to mention the crazy popularity of 4-door pickups. People like tall.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            @krhodes1, the market doesn’t care…. if they did, wagons would not have been dying a slow death over the past 20 years, starting long before the CUV’s reign began. No amount of whining on the internet will ever strengthen the station wagon’s business case in the US… they have failed under nearly all conditions and in all permutations.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Those are all wagons on stilts. We have a bunch of very vocal people on here who just love sedans for that enclosed trunk, so why don’t we have sedans on stilts too? The number of ordinary sedans sold tells me that the height thing is not an overriding part of the decision process.

      • 0 avatar

        That “legit wagon” carping have played out back in 2003.

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      Am I the only one who sees a Prius V with slightly different style when looking at the Auris Touring Wagon?

  • avatar
    Fred

    I see a lot of Matrix/Vibes on the road, not to mention PT Cruisers, and assorted other small hatch/wagon type cars. If everyone else abandons those owners Toyota would be smart to get them into the fold even if they call it a Scion. Otherwise they will just be assimilated into the CUV horde.

  • avatar
    DeeDub

    And Betteridge’s Law of Headlines remains unchallenged.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_law_of_headlines

    “Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Station wagon? really? Scion was the young people’s brand, now it’s the no one wants to buy one brand!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Scion in 2015 is about as relevant as Saturn was in 2005.

    This experiment has completely failed.

    Consumers rejected the iQ.

    The FR-S/FT-86 is a global flop.

    The xD has never burned up the sales chart.

    The xB is largely considered “ruined” by the Scion faithful, and the current model is ancient by every standard (rode in one as a taxi in Vegas and I was impressed – actually I don’t exactly get the hatred from the Scion diehards on the Gen II xB)

    Really the only thing of interest and deserved reputation of reliability and value in the Scion line up is the tC.

    Just kill the brand already – it has failed it’s ever shifting mission.

    Put the xD and xB out of their collective misery.

    Rebadge the tC a Corolla coupe, call the FR-S a Celica and be done with it.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I like my 1st gen xB. It’s like the Tardis – small on the outside, big on the inside.

    I know Scion intended to be a brand for young people, but the 1st xB is what this old guy wants. Give me the Auris in the true wagon form, and my OG xB is GONE!

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Well that definitely looks like an Auris…

  • avatar
    superchan7

    An edgy replacement for the Matrix would be welcome. < $20k, good tech features and please, please, please no low-rent cabin.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    “Will Scion be bold enough to bring the wagon version here?”

    No.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    I’m guessing the hatchback and not the wagon. The prius V is effectively the most wagon-esque vehicle they sell and it isn’t exactly a barn burner. But it makes sense for them to bring in another Corolla-based variant not being offered in the Toyota showroom to Scion to keep them relevant and slap a decent price tag on it to shovel a few thousand units out the door for excess factory capacity.

    The wagon looks interesting but the Jetta wagon isn’t killing it so unless the wagon is practically free to amortize it isn’t coming here.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I think this is a good idea. It follows their mostly wagon-ish vehicle history and it suits the brand’s purpose of appealing to a demographic that the parent company has lost communication with.

    Given Toyota’s overall volume and their past product assignments to Scion it’s pretty clear that world domination isn’t the ultimate goal with this sub-brand. There’s no way they have huge sales projections attached to any Scion project.

  • avatar
    7402

    After owning “legit” station wagons for decades, I finally bought a CUV (Subaru Forester). The station wagon lovers, including me, need to get over themselves. CUVs and SUVs are station wagons, just tall ones that are called something else.

    I took a really hard look at the Jetta Sportwagen, but while it won on handling and ergonomics (much nicer manual shifter linkage than the Subaru manual), it lost out big time on interior space, ease of entry/egress, higher seating position and view, and all the other things that appeal to baby boomers and Gen-Xers in the car market.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    As a former (2ZZ) Matrix XRS owner, the concept of the Auris making it stateside is incredibly exciting.

    As a realist, I will be shocked if they put anything resembling a decent powertrain in this car.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Sadly, I foresee that utterly gutless and worthless Corolla 1.8 as possibly the only engine option.

      (seriously, with all the engine technology we have today, you can’t get even 150 hp out of a 1.8 engine? That’s bollocks, mate)

      • 0 avatar
        Occam

        That seems about normal for a 1.8L. The Mazda SkyActiv 2.0 makes 155 (77.5hp/l). The 1.8L in the Civic is 140 (77.8hp/l). The 2.0 in the Focus is 160 (80hp/l). 132 seems a bit low, but not horrid for a 1.8L(73.3hp/l). The Versa Note’s 109 hp from 1.6 (68.1hp/l) or the Jetta’s 115hp from a 2.0L (57.5 hp/l) seem far worse).

        The usual tactic lately seems to be cramming the smallest engine possible, and cranking the pressure up with forced induction. I’d rather have a bigger naturally aspirated engine once the car rolls over 100,000 miles! Leave the forced-induction for the lease crowd.

  • avatar
    matador

    I think it’ll do well.

    In New Zealand, Jeremy Clarkson proved that it was the fastest car out there.

    I’ll take six damage waiver forms, please.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    SPAM filter ate my reply.

    *saab*

  • avatar
    boogieman99

    Take a low volume brand and give it a bland model in a vehicle class that hasn’t done well in North American in the recent past.

    Sounds like a recipe for success…

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Just like every other suggestion from internet car enthusiasts.

      While it would be entertaining and satisfying to see how many car companies would go under if they were run by internet fanbois, I wouldn’t want to live in such a world.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    On my second Nissan cube. (cue the derision concerning looks). Probably will be driving them for as long as they make them. Over 30mpg and carries just about anything. First one was a six speed and we would still be driving it if the wife hadn’t boogered up her clutch knee. The roofline looks higher than it is and we get in and out comfortably. Our joints are “limed up” at 71 years but we do ok.

    Don’t understand the fuss. I suspect the manufacturers would try a few low volume models and see who would buy them if the govt had not made it a pain to get them certified. The cars are all so much better than they were 25-30 years ago that I think some of the assumptions we make about them and their business models are probably wrong. I sure don’t know why it took so long for them to decide to import my little box and I don’t know why more people don’t buy them. And yes, there are a lot of Gangstas with xB boxes here in Texas. Not so many cubes and souls which are pretty much the same car (appearance only).

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      The easy, “free-market” solution would be to harmonize NHTSA standards with Euro standards, so that cars could be sold freely between countries. There’s no shortage of tall, roomy wagons over there, and now that Detroit is just as invested in Europe as in the US, it would be a win for them.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      @wstarvingteacher

      If only they’d find a way to lift the Cube’s suspension 3 or 4″ I’d want nothing else. That and some Blizzaks would be all I need when it’s white outside.

      How do you find the CVT? Easy to get used to?

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    @ petezeiss

    I would love to have it be higher as well. My first one loosened the front chin mount and the attachment to the right front fender by going through a wide ditch. The other complaint is that with the CVT, the payload is just over 800 lbs. Three fat friends and I will hit that. No luggage racks or trailer hitches or the warranty is voided. What it does very well is provide comfortable transportation for up to four people. Excellent back seat room with no loss of front room.

    The CVT took almost no getting used to. In town, none at all. On the highway I sense that the braking effect of an automatic is diminished by the CVT. I just prefer a stick.

    I have the torso of a pretty large person and a 29inch inseam so the seats are the right height. A body that was made for work and not for buying “off the rack”. Getting into and out of my 4runner is much more difficult for me. I I thought the 6 speed cube we had before was just about perfect. Then my wife needed work on her left knee and still finds a clutch a challenge. She could drive anything I could before that and, in fact, picked out the car with the clutch. We drove it 85k with zero problems. Now have about 45 on this one. They are absolutely dependable. I don’t live in snow country (SE Texas) so the height is unimportant.

    I would pick a cube or a versa as a good car for a person who was getting older and did not need mechanical repairs very often. It is easy to get into and/or out of. I think adapting from an automatic trannie into a CVT is very easy. Go rent a versa and pretend it has a higher roof as the power train is essentially the same. Btw, I think neither is a penalty box but no need to get into a peeing contest with the fanbois. I’m just enjoying passing most of the gas stations I see.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      Fellow cube owner here!

      I will add to the excellent wstarvingteacher’s comments the following:

      Nissan CVTs are reliable as long as you keep them serviced. Per the maintenance manual that comes with the cube, that means a tranny flush and refill every 30,000 miles. It costs about $300 at our dealer’s service department, and we end up doing it about every two years, given our driving habits. Worth it.

      The cube’s 1.8-liter MR18DE engine is not the same as the Versa anymore, unfortunately. If you can find a first-generation Versa Hatchback to rent, THOSE had the same engine. The new Versa and Versa Note have smaller 1.6-liter engines that don’t make as much power (I think 109 horsepower in the new engines vs. 122 for the cube and first-gen Versa.) The power is plenty to move the little cube up to extralegal speeds despite its wind resistance.

      The cube is, so far, the one vehicle both my wife and I can get fully comfortable in for a long drive. She’s a foot shorter and a little more than 100 lbs lighter than I am — I’m 6’3″, 220 lbs. She loves how easy the cube is to park because she can sense where all her “corners” are. She can actually see the end of the hood from her seating position — a first for her — and she has no trouble seeing out the back, unlike the sloped-windshield sedans we’ve owned previously.

      We’re at 65,000 miles now with nary a hiccup. I think we may need to replace the so-called “torque strut,” which is kind of a non-weight-bearing engine mount that is designed to quell vibration felt in the cabin. We started noticing a little vibration every time the A/C would cycle on while we were idling at a traffic light, and this appears to be the culprit. The part is $92 from Nissan and much, much cheaper elsewhere. We can likely do the replacement job in the driveway.

      Final thing you need to know: IF YOU WANT A CUBE, GET ONE NOW. Nissan will not be importing the cube to the States in 2015. We had planned to buy a second cube in 2015 when our 2010 is fully paid off, but now, unless we find a leftover 2014 model languishing on a dealer lot somewhere, we won’t be able to have our dream of his-and-hers cubes.

      If you ever have any questions about the cube, don’t hesitate to seek me out on NissanCubeLife.com forums or e-mail me at themediabanger [at] gmail {dot} com.

      • 0 avatar
        wstarvingteacher

        @ Banger:

        Thanks for the update. Sorry they aren’t coming through with another one in 2015. Wife doesn’t want anything else and I’m happy with it since I got past the asymmetry. Have had a feeling they were better than the competition but probably comes from being a Nissan Fanboy. Any insight on whether the other box vans intend to soldier on?

        • 0 avatar
          Banger

          The piggish xB is on an extended stay of execution, it seems — though I, like most who loved the first-gen xB, think it lost the plot with its enlargement and redesign.

          The Mazda5 was on my list before we bought the cube, but it’s now gone. Crash test results were not impressive once the small-overlap frontal crash test started decimating well, just about everything to be honest. Some say that contributed to its demise in the American market. I think it was like the cube: Still assembled in Japan, cost too much to import, and got no marketing support from Mazda as a result of low profit margins on the model. Result: Slow sales, quick death of the model in America.

          The Scion xD is just utilitarian and cube-like for me to have a schoolboy crush on now and then, but it never sold well. I think I heard somewhere that it was on the way out.

          The Honda Fit likely is going to be around a long time, but it’s less cube than Versa Note, to be honest. I use the Nissans as my point of reference because I, like you, am sort of a Nissan fanboy. Truth be told, the Fit is probably much better than the Versa Note — especially where powertrain is concerned. Anyway, I think the Fit opened more people’s eyes to the wonders of modern subcompact car packaging than any other subcompact of the last 15 years, so it earns a respectful glance from me every once in a while.

          My wife is ga-ga for the forthcoming Jeep Renegade. It’s basically a Jeep take on the cube. Higher ground clearance, but it practically mirrors the cube’s exterior and interior dimensions. We plan to check one out at an auto show soon, assuming Jeep is wise enough to bring them to the Nashville Auto Show hosted by Motor Trend — the show is basically the remnants of the LA Auto Show and an excuse for automaker marketing types to get your contact information so they can stuff your e-mail inbox and your physical mailbox full of glossies. If Jeep nails the pricing of the Renegade — it had better start in the $16K range if they know what’s good for them — we’re squarely in the target demographic. Get it? Squarely?

          We do love the cube, though, and we’re in our 20s. It’s the best small car Nissan has made in ages, with the best interior packaging to wear the Nissan badge dare I say ever. It’s the first car my wife — who is decidedly NOT a “car person” — has actually said she loved. She even named it. That’s saying something for someone who used to lecture me on how stupid it was to name cars.

          Part of me is holding out hope we can pay off our cube in the first month or two of 2015 and pick up a leftover 2014 cube so our onetime dream of his-and-hers cubes can be complete. Most people don’t understand that unless they’ve owned a cube. The little car puts a spell on you.

      • 0 avatar
        Occam

        My wife has a 2007 Versa (with the CVT, unfortunately). She’s not a car person by any stretch of the imagination, but loves her little Versa. It’s not fun to drive – it’s the very antithesis of fun driving (quite possibly the only less enjoyable vehicle to drive would be an F150), but it’s hard to fault the car on doing everything it should. It’s fairly roomy, has decent fuel economy, a spacious trunk, and has run for 7 years/64,000 miles without the slightest sign of trouble.

        My only complaints with the car: The front seats have limited rearward travel, so they’re a bit cramped for taller drivers (I have a 34″ inseam and size 12 feet – there’s plenty of space behind with the seat all the way back. The seats also don’t ratchet down quite enough – I feel too high and tippy while driving it. I prefer a driving position where I sit low with my legs stretched out, and shoulders about even with the tops of the doors. The roof could be a bit lower without sacrificing space to lower the center of gravity.

        Well, that and the CVT loves to rev high while passing on the highway, and it makes an awful racket. Once it settles back to the overdrive end of the spectrum, it’s very quiet.

        • 0 avatar
          Banger

          “Fun to drive” is a relative thing.

          Our cube is fun to drive relative to the Ford Ranger that is my daily driver. It turns much quicker, is much smoother in town, and much quieter on the highway than the Ranger. It also has a much, much better factory audio system than the Ranger.

          Most people don’t “get” CVTs, and because of that, they hate them. CVTs are designed to peg the engine at its best mixture of economy and power for any given throttle application you, the driver, make. Nail the skinny pedal getting on the interstate, and it’ll zing up to peak torque on the tachometer and just hold there until you relent your lead-footed throttle application. If you’re like me, you can also drive it in such a way that it almost never surpasses 1,500 RPM in city driving. This is part of the reason why we average 36 MPG in our cube while many others get mid-20s figures on Fuelly.

          I’ll also say the cube is fun to drive relative to the 2004 Sentra it replaced. The Sentra was probably faster, but definitely didn’t have as much safety equipment, nor was it as comfortable to drive on a daily basis. Backseat passengers might as well forget legroom in the old Sentra. Despite the cube having a smaller footprint than our old Sentra, it has more interior space by far.

          You really need to try out a cube before they’re all gone, Occam. Just so you can know whether your Versa issues translate to the cube. Like I said, we love the little cube. It cast its spell on us and never let go. We’re pretty steamed about Nissan canceling importation of the model for 2015, to be honest.

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