2011 Nissan Cube Wagon Review | Edmunds.com
 

2011 Nissan Cube Wagon

 
 

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Nissan Cube Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 122 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 27/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2011 Nissan Cube

  • The 2011 Nissan Cube is a reasonably versatile and spacious little hatchback, but it's also bizarre, so you'll have to be an adventurous sort to appreciate its virtues.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Reasonable performance; ample passenger space; easy to park; generous standard features list; unique customization opportunities.

  • Cons

    Soggy handling; less cargo capacity and versatility than rivals; disappointing interior materials; excessive wind noise.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, an integrated navigation system with real-time traffic and a USB audio interface is added to the options list for the SL and S…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (5 total reviews)


When you drive a box...

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube 1.8 SL 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I think that most people take aerodynamic vehicles for granted these days. With a Cube, you're driving a box. A square box. When highway driving, road debris doesn't bounce off a Cube's windshield, it impacts. On a windy day, your cube shakes around the road because it's a box. I've had my cube for three years now, ever since my wife insisted on buying it, then refusing to drive it anymore and bequeathing it on me. The interior is comfortable, the car is roomy, but the things that matter don't deliver. Gas mileage tops out at 29-30mpg on the highway, a stiff breeze will blow my cube off the road, and every tiny pebble kicked up from the road is a crack in my Cube's windshield.




This dog can hunt!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube 1.8 SL 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I purchased my 2011 Nissan Cube a year ago and put over 60000 kilometers in that time. I have performed meticulous preventative maintenance and use symthetic oil. The car has been extremely reliable thus far and gets excellent fuel mileage! The Cube is very comfortable with thick padded seats and has plenty of headroom for tall people. My SL model is fully loaded with the likes of heated front seats, Navigation, Back-up camera, climate control and a Rockford Fosgate sound system mounted on the rear door. My only complaint is that the interior plastic paneling scratches very easily :(




Soft paint job

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube 1.8 SL 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I recently purchased a Nissan Cube from a dealer in Toms River, New Jersey. My Cube is parked in my garage each night. I have had the Cube five months now. After a few weeks I noticed scratches by the front left wheel, then some scratches on the hood, and in the back, and so on. Then I got stuck in the recent snow storm here in the northeast (October 2011). My car was covered with several inches of snow and I only had a plastic shovel to clear my car off with. Needless to say my car now has scratches from getting the snow off. There are also several more scratches I cannot attribute to the shovel that I assume were from the highway ride home thru the storm. Unfortunately, the warranty state



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 27
  • cty
/
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2011 Nissan Cube Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, an integrated navigation system with real-time traffic and a USB audio interface is added to the options list for the SL and S Krom Edition trim levels.

Introduction

You'd be shocked how few people ask us, "Hey, I'm looking for a car with a shag-carpet toupee fastened to its dashboard. Got any suggestions?" And even fewer people write, "I wish I could find a car that looks like a vintage kitchen appliance and has 20 mood lighting colors!"

Actually, nobody has ever actually asked us those things. But if there were such people, we'd direct them to the 2011 Nissan Cube.

At its core, the Cube is a compact hatchback with a low price, a generous amount of passenger space and a fuel-efficient engine. To fully appreciate these talents, though, you first have to appreciate the Cube's unusual character. Such boxy and quirky cars are all the rage in Japan. However, the Cube is so boxy and so quirky that it almost seems like a Japanese caricature -- the car equivalent of a ninja dressed in Hello Kitty pajamas riding on the back of a robot Godzilla.

Yet there are obviously folks who find the 2011 Nissan Cube's unique style and array of features appealing. For them (and perhaps you), it's important to note that beneath the boxy exterior is the same platform that underpins the Nissan Versa, a comfortable but somewhat dull subcompact. Along with the Cube's water-like rippling texture in the headliner and dashboard that looks like the cabin of a Chevy cargo van viewed through a funhouse mirror, the Cube provides plenty of passenger space and amenities for the price. Of particular note is the backseat that both reclines and slides, which is a unique feature for this class.

Put all this together and you have a car that's a practical little runabout for those who appreciate its unique personality. Of course there are other vehicles at this price range that offer less style but with more practicality. The Honda Fit is a champ in terms of cargo space, interior versatility and handling. The Ford Fiesta feels like a more grown-up car to drive. The Kia Soul is even cheaper and offers its own brand of funky style, while the Scion xB is the original Japanese box on wheels.

You certainly have choices when it comes to low-priced compact hatchbacks with generous passenger space and a fuel-efficient engine. But if you want something extremely out of the ordinary, there's really only one choice: Nissan's Cube.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Nissan Cube is a five-passenger compact hatchback available in base, S, SL and Krom Edition trim levels. The base Cube comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player. The Cube S adds cruise control, upgraded cloth upholstery, a driver armrest, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, map lights, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with steering wheel controls and an iPod audio interface.

The Cube SL gains 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights and automatic climate control. The SL Preferred package adds keyless ignition/entry, a rearview camera, a touchscreen navigation system, real-time traffic, satellite radio, a USB port and Rockford Fosgate upgraded speakers. The S Krom Edition comes with the Preferred package as standard and also gains unique 16-inch wheels, unique exterior body styling items, special interior trim and 20-color interior accent lighting (available separately).

The long list of accessories includes different alloy wheel designs, body kit items, interior trim pieces (available in five different colors), bungee cord map holders, multicolor interior hooks and a piece of shag carpeting that attaches to the top of the dashboard with Velcro.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2011 Nissan Cube is front-wheel drive and features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces 122 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the base and the S, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional on the S and standard on the SL and Krom. In performance testing, a Cube with the CVT went from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds -- average performance for a subcompact car. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the CVT; the manual returns 25/30/27.

Safety

Every 2011 Nissan Cube comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes (disc front, drum rear), front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

The Cube has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) were four stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Cube its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

To complement its head-turning exterior, the 2011 Cube's basic cabin design has soft curves, notably a headliner with the effect of a dropped pebble in a pond, not to mention optional mood lighting with no fewer than 20 different colors. Add the shag carpet dash topper and you'll think you've time-warped back to a 1970s boogie van.

At the same time, simplicity is the theme of the cabin layout. The standard climate control is the old-school three-knob style (the optional automatic system is more complicated). The no-frills stereo has large preset buttons and the cruise control has easy-to-thumb buttons on the wheel. The overstuffed front seats are comfortable during hour-long commutes, although not for much longer.

In back, the tall roof and adjustable backseat (it not only reclines but also slides fore and aft) provides head- and legroom for 6-footers. This hatchback's split rear seat doesn't fold entirely flat for cargo, but it does deliver more than 50 cubic feet of space.

Driving Impressions

In the cut and thrust of city traffic, the 2011 Nissan Cube is rarely caught flat-footed. Much of the credit goes to its superb CVT, which makes the most of the engine's available power. Another positive is the plush ride quality. On the highway, though, the Cube's shape doesn't exactly slip through the air, so noticeable wind noise at higher speeds is the result. This is also not a platform for enthusiastic driving, as the Cube's slow, light-effort steering and soft suspension make it an uninspiring companion.

Talk About The 2011 Cube