2009 Nissan cube

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Flash Drive: 2009 Nissan cube

By Staff of MSN Autos

View Pictures:  2009 Nissan cube

When I saw the cube drive up, all I could think of was a '70s Triumph ad that proclaimed the wedge-shaped TR7 was "the shape of things to come." Well, now, the boxy cube could use the same slogan. Not quite as long as a Honda Fit, the cube has a rather small footprint, but you'd never know from the inside. I had close to a foot of space above my head, and rear-seat passengers had plenty of legroom, even with the front seats slid back in a comfortable position. The deep cargo area is quite useful, and if cargo is the priority over rear passengers, the back seats can be folded flat for impressive cargo-carrying ability. Drivers will enjoy a high view of the road ahead, adding to the large-car feel. The cube is no sports car — nor is it trying to be. Even so, it scoots up to highway speeds with ease, utilizing Nissan's excellent continuously variable transmission. As expected, fuel economy is also quite good; I saw close to 30 mpg in mostly city driving. Priced around $16K, the cube really could be the shape of things to come. – Perry Stern

It is great to see Japanese-inspired commuting cars arriving in the U.S. The Nissan cube slightly resembles the first-generation Scion xB, but has a funkier edge. With unique oval wrap-around windows and an elongated body style, it looks like a junior-sized delivery van. Inside, the cube is functional — it has 11 cupholders. The central lighting is complemented with a cool, water-ripple-style ceiling. The seats are super comfortable and feel like sitting on memory foam. There is plenty of headroom throughout the cube, and two adults can sit comfortably in the back seat. Like the Versa, which shares the same engine, the cube achieves admirable gas efficiency while still having enough power to scoot around town. I hit 34 mpg in mixed driving. The cube should please many drivers because it has a great mix of style, efficiency and roominess. – Joe Chulick

The Nissan cube looks quirky, to say the least. The small wheels and rounded lines easily break up the boxiness, but I'm not sure the car is better for it. The outside may suggest that the cube is more a toy than a tool, but the interior is certainly improved by the strange shape. I'm sure the various natural competitors have plenty of room inside, but the cube is just amazing! My largest friends and co-workers all say they feel small inside the cube, in some cases for the first time in any car. There's not a lot of space behind the rear seats, but for passengers the cube is cavernous. Surprisingly, the cube is also great fun to drive; it manages to feel almost like a sports car. Don't let the looks fool you — the cube is no toy; it's a tremendously spacious, capable and fun car. – Paul Hagger

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BB03 - 4/19/2014 3:21:11 PM