Unlike some other vehicles with a four-cylinder/CVT setup, this Cube "lights off" quickly and the engine rpm ramps up to near-redline by about 40 mph. Very linear acceleration, good throttle response and the engine doesn't feel burdened or as if it's about to throw a rod. Pretty quick and an outstanding job integrating a CVT -- but Nissan has always done a good job with CVTs.
Remarkably fade-free stops, with the shortest coming on the fifth stop from 60 mph. Some forward pitch, but nothing too terrible or unexpected. Straight, steady stops all. Pedal effort is appropriately moderate: not too soft nor too hard.
Skid pad with VDC on uses throttle to mitigate understeer. With VDC off, the limit is predictably discovered to be understeer, but there's a slight ability to rotate the Cube by lifting off the throttle. Good balance, decent steering weight (despite EPS). In the slalom, late-acting VDC does a good job of reducing the Cube's tendency to oversteer after two left-right transitions. Soft suspension causes some yaw delay/gain, but the steering is quick and friction-free. Pretty sporty results despite soft feel and boxy appearance.