As well as the body having its fair share of curves, most notably the wheel arches and rear bumper; the windows also have rounded bevelled frames that make it look as if the windows are inset.
As well as the body having its fair share of curves, most notably the wheel arches and rear bumper; the windows also have rounded bevelled frames that make it look as if the windows are inset. But it is the asymmetric windows that cause the real stir, the rear windows are glazed in privacy glass and on the nearside, appear to wrap around the invisible D-pillar and into the rear screen…but only on one side. The other corner-pillar is fairly conventional, so it looks as if the dark glass is one single corner-piece.
This isn't entirely true and they are separate windows. Indeed, the side-hinged door forms one of the breaks. The rear quarterlight on the left side is regarded as a parking aid but on the opposite side it is replaced by a high-level storage cubby (one of many). The 'solid' side is also where the large 'fridge door' is hinged.
Unlike the real thing, the J-Lo rear end features a narrow bar with the taillight clusters at each end. There's a high-level brake light above the door and reflectors on the trailing edges of the rear wheelarches. To give an idea of the size of the door, it starts immediately above the low-level, light bar and rises to form part of the roof. A side opening was chosen over a conventional tailgate because it was considered easier to open in tight spaces and items can be loaded from the safety of the kerb-side. Besides, a lifting door would conflict with the distinctive design.
Although the Nissan Cube has a rather slab-like appearance you would be hard pushed to find a completely flat body panel. Apart from the flared wheelarches, the body curves are more of a nuance than clearly defined shapes and these are broken up by the large side doors with body-coloured handles. The low sills and 16-inch alloy wheels set perfectly within the arches, seem more accentuated when viewed in profile.
The headlight clusters echo the shape of the rear lights as they spread across the bonnet in a bar. This is where the sunglasses idea comes from, with the bridge represented by an almost solid upper grille.
Just below is another air intake but this one is more of a slit in the bodywork, a motif that is repeated below the Nissan Cube's number plate, between the fog-lights.
Now, if the exterior is madcap, oddball and quirky then the Nissan Cube's interior is sure to blow your socks off. So much so that it is difficult to know where to begin. So I'll go through it as the surprises presented themselves.
The floorpan is quite low, the driver and front passenger sit tall and, with the aid of 'theatre' seating, the rear passengers sit even taller. Despite the upright position there is still masses of headroom not to mention elbow- and legroom for all.
Nissan Cube Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Nissan Cube 1.6 LDN|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.3 Seconds|
|Top Speed||109 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||50.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 12/04/10)||£14,600|