Nissan recognized the renewed success of the subcompact market in North America and promptly brought over their Cube in 2009. It's powered by a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine found also in Nissan's other subcompact, the Versa. The engine makes 122 horsepower in the Cube. Two transmissions are available -- a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.
The Cube stands out from other compact cars because of its distinctive, standout styling. It features an asymmetrical wrap-around rear window on one corner, rounded window frames and a box-like design. Inside, unique Japanese styling cues abound: the dashboard is shaped like a wave, cresting in the center where the stereo controls and the circular climate control pod resides. The most talked-about design element has been the "ripple" ceiling, which provides the illusion of radiating waves from the center dome light.
The Cube features a reclining 60/40-split rear seat as well as 11 cubic feet of cargo room. The rear seat also slides forward and back to make even efficient use of that rear cargo area. Over 50 cubic feet of cargo space is available with the rear seats folded.
The base Cube model starts under $14,000 and includes a CD player with auxiliary audio input jack, 6-way adjustable driver seat, an astounding 11 beverage holders, a trip computer, air conditioning, side curtain air bags, remote keyless entry and anti-lock brakes. The S trim adds $1,700 to the base price, but also an upgraded stereo, premium cloth seats, map lights and a cargo cover. The so-called Ginormous package is available on the S trim, and includes interior accent lighting, a custom grille as well as various interior trim treatments.
The SL trim upgrades the wheels to 16" aluminum, adds automatic headlamps, a premium stereo system and automatic climate control. The Preferred package, a $1,600 list of add-ons, includes push-button ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, XM satellite radio and a 150-watt Rockford Fosgate subwoofer.
The top of the line Krom edition includes unique aluminum wheels, a roof spoiler, unique body enhancements, special silver & gray cloth seats and various interior accents. Pricing for the Krom edition starts just below $20,000.