Nissan Cube

The cube is available in basic S and better-equipped SL trims, with S trims offered with a choice of either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while the SL is only offered with the CVT. All cube models are powered by a 122-horsepower, 1.8L 4-cylinder engine, providing adequate and economical operation and EPA fuel economy ratings of up to 27 mpg city, 31 highway with the CVT.

Thanks to a MacPherson strut suspension in front and a torsion beam setup in back, the cube rides mostly flat and handles like a softly sprung small car; speed-sensitive electric power steering helps this boxy vehicle maneuver around town. Its length of less than 157 inches is shorter than many subcompact cars. Stopping power is provided by anti-lock front-disc/rear drum brakes with Brake Assist. S models come with 15-inch steel wheels while the SL gets 16-inch alloys.

The boxy shape of the cube on the outside pays off inside. The seating layout prioritizes passengers over cargo. There's a sofa-style sliding rear bench seat that can recline, as well as slide to three different positions, plus lots of storage spaces and a total of six cupholders plus 'shelves' at the instrument panel. Two interior color themes are offered: Light Gray and Black. The cube has an unusual asymmetrical look that helps with outward visibility, as well as a side-opening hatch that Nissan says helps aid cargo access when in a tight parallel-parking spot. The cube manages up to 58 cubic feet of cargo space inside.

The cube S includes air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, cargo hooks and a 6-speaker CD sound system with auxiliary input. In addition to that, the SL gets an Intelligent Key system, push-button start, automatic climate control and rear heating ducts. Factory options are very limited, with the only significant one being the SL Preferred Package, which adds a navigation system with 5-inch touch screen, a RearView Monitor, a USB port, Rockford Fosgate audio with upgraded speakers and a subwoofer and SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility.

There's plenty more room for extras, though--through the long list of more than 40 official accessories available at the dealership. Everything from special trims, wheels and lighting kits are offered, as well as a cargo organizer.

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