2012 Nissan Cube Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Nissan Cube Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Cube Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 122 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Nissan Cube

  • The 2012 Nissan Cube is a reasonably versatile and spacious little wagon, but its far-out styling may prevent many from discovering its virtues.

  • Safety
  • Pros

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

  • Cons

    So-so handling; less cargo capacity behind the rear seats than rivals; below-average fuel economy; disappointing interior materials; excessive wind noise at high speeds.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Nissan Cube returns with only minor changes, including a new front passenger seat armrest on S and SL models and standard keyless ignition/entry on the top-of-the-line SL. A new limited-edition Indigo option package adds a number of high-end features to the midrange S model.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

When you drive a box...

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube

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.

2011 nissan cube red

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube

Bought my 2011 Cube in Red, used, was about 11 months old, with about 16k miles, got it for about $14k total. I traded in my 2007 PT Cruiser for a Cube. I love the look/interior/headliner! I did NOT get the extras; 20 color lights/Rockford stereo/better seats/better ac/heat dial (wish I would have), but it is still a great car! Rides pretty bad (like a truck), and you have 2 hold the wheel at all times (very shaky and flimsy) BUT after I had the car a few months I was doing about 50 on the interstate and could not avoid a 12 foot piece of wooden fencing and I went right over it without ANY damage or problems! I love Nissan! BUT my PT was a much better car! I would buy another cube!!!!

This dog can hunt!

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube

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 :(

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Utilize the mpg technology

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube

This is a great car! I have 34000 miles and it drives very good and quite comfortable. You must deduct about 2.2 mpg from the instant dash meter to get an accurate mpg est. that being said if I put my cruise control on 59-60 for a 55 mile stretch I get 41 mpg one way and 42 mpg back. That is after deducting the 2.2 mpg. I use syntheitic oil, I went to 9.9 pound wheels with a 35 oz spacer on all 4 wheels. In a week or so I will put on new oem size rubber but they weigh 2 pounds less than the oem tires. I use a light weight crank pulley as well. If you find a place that sells ethanol free gas it may help slightly. One pound of turning weight equals 4 pounds of static weight.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Better than what even good

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube

We only buy Nissan in our family. Currently own a pathfinder, I traded in a fully loaded altima only 3 years old & completely paid off for the cube, there was no room in the altima for me, carseats and a 6'3 husband. Best decision to date. I have owned my Krom 10 months & room is great for groceries and car seats. Back seat adjusts, bonus. Gas mileage I was only getting about 25 city, until I hit about 8 k miles and rotate tires. I drive backroads daily for work, no highways. I get 30/31 now city and 36 when I drive the occasional highway, seriously. I fill my tank every 10-14 days, which is great. Downfall little compartment storage & not speedy, but I have adjusted. If it fits u buy it.

Soft paint job

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Cube

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


  • 25
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Nissan Cube Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Nissan Cube returns with only minor changes, including a new front passenger seat armrest on S and SL models and standard keyless ignition/entry on the top-of-the-line SL. A new limited-edition Indigo option package adds a number of high-end features to the midrange S model.


In a world where we're too often forced to choose between items that are stylish or those that actually work, the 2012 Nissan Cube is one of those rare exceptions that manages to do both. That's because once you get past the Cube's adventurously styled exterior, this is one very likable little wagon. In fact, its roomy passenger cabin, smooth ride and affordable sticker price are enough to expand its appeal far beyond the 20-something first-time car buyers its designers at Nissan were hoping to attract.

Among the Cube's notable strengths are the comfortable ride, rear seats that both slide fore and aft and recline for greater comfort, and a long list of desirable features, including options unexpected in a car at this price point, like a navigation system and rearview camera. Weaknesses include anything to do with serious cross-country travel, like uninspiring handling, elevated amounts of wind noise at high speeds and significantly less cargo capacity behind those rear seats than you'll find in some competitors.

Overall, we like the Nissan Cube because of its metro friendliness, but it's certainly an acquired taste. For a more traditional take on a small wagon (or hatchback, if you prefer), you could check out the sportier Chevrolet Sonic, the more versatile Honda Fit or the Nissan Versa. There's also the Scion xB, which offers a much larger cargo hold. We also strongly recommend the Kia Soul, which, like the Cube, offers boxy yet distinctive styling but boasts advantages in cargo space and fuel economy.

Still, the 2012 Nissan Cube deserves credit for delivering a comfortable, practical package that's perfectly suited to a crowded urban environment, in a shape that makes a city car seem kind of cool. Apparently style and practicality aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Nissan Cube is a five-passenger compact wagon that's offered in three trim levels, including base, S and SL.

The base Cube comes equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, deep-tinted rear privacy glass, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, full power accessories and a CD stereo with two speakers. Stepping up to the S trim level gets you upgraded cloth upholstery, driver and front passenger armrests, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a USB/iPod interface. The top-of-the-line SL adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry and automatic climate control.

Options include the Preferred package available on the SL that bundles foglights, a touchscreen navigation system, a rearview camera and an upgraded six-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system with satellite radio. A new Indigo Limited Edition package offered on the S trim level adds 15-inch alloy wheels, distinctive cloth seat trim and all the contents of the Preferred package except the foglights. A variety of personalization accessories, including an aerodynamic body kit and 20-color ambient interior lighting, are also available.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive Nissan Cube is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that puts out 122 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on base and S models, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available as an option on the S and is standard on the SL.

In performance testing, a Cube with the CVT went from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds -- a fairly quick time for a subcompact car. EPA-estimated fuel economy, however, is pretty mediocre for a subcompact at 27 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined with the CVT automatic and 25/30/27 with the manual.


The 2012 Nissan Cube's list of standard safety features includes antilock brakes (disc front, drum rear), stability and traction control, front-seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Cube earned the top rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the Cube is every bit as unique as the exterior. From the headliner and speaker grilles that mimic the ripple effect of a pebble dropped into a still pool to the 20 different colors of mood lighting, it's a safe bet that you and your passengers will have never seen anything quite like it.

Unlike many cars that try for an edgy-looking interior, all this attention to form doesn't get in the way of function. Gauges and controls are simple and straightforward to use. Front seats offer good comfort in everyday driving, but leave something to be desired on long trips. The rear seats offer abundant head- and legroom, even for taller passengers. With the seatbacks of the 60/40-split rear seats in their upright and locked position, there are just 11.4 cubic feet of cargo room, but dropping them gets you a reasonably flat load floor and a healthy 58 cubic feet of space.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Nissan Cube isn't designed to burn up the road, but its 1.8-liter engine and excellent CVT automatic still deliver peppy performance. The relative soft suspension provides an excellent ride but somewhat uninspiring handling, though this balance should suit most buyers just fine. The boxy shape that creates the roomy interior also makes for noticeable amounts of wind noise at higher cruising speeds.

Talk About The 2012 Cube

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