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Nissan Cube 1.6 Kaizen - Car Review

Review

Added: 21 Nov 2010
Last update: 21 Nov 2010

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THERE'S one thing that’s guaranteed in this lifetime - if you drive round in a Nissan Cube you will turn heads.

However, it’s not quite the same admiration and jealous glances you may get if behind the wheel of a sleek supercar - it’s more a case of curious disbelief.

And that’s because the Cube perfectly lives up to its descriptive name-tag and looks just like a square box on wheels.

Now, it may seem like I’m being a bit harsh and critical of Nissan, but in reality, the Cube is an ingenious stroke of creativity and is simply ideal for anyone who wants to stand out in a crowd.

Whereas most motorists drive around in the conventionally-designed streamlined shapes and curves we have become accustomed to, the Cube offers the complete opposite.

And Nissan are not the only manufacturers striving for this uniqueness - take the Fiat Qubo for example - another box-like car on wheels.

From the second you lay eyes on the Cube you cannot fail to notice its unsymmetrical appearance with a back end that displays the wide door pillar on the right and a continuous window that looks like a trendy pair of wrap-around sunglasses on the left.

It’s fair to say the Cube looks different from every side - and believe me, I wandered round and round before braving the interior.

And once inside, that quirky feel continues. One of the first things to catch your eye is the bright orange elastic bands on the armrests to hold small items or papers. Sadly, mine catapulted across the car and proved far too fiddly to reattach.

But elsewhere there are many more practical features such as a very efficient sat nav system, cruise control, rear parking sensor, rain-sensing wipers, climate control and, back on the quirky front again, a sunroof with Japanese-looking paper-style blind.

There is an abundance of space inside the Cube and with its massive windows and that huge sunroof, light floods in from every angle. All occupants are treated to plenty of leg and headroom and rear seat passengers have a wide fold-down armrest with sturdy cup-holders should they require it.

The boot is fairly compact, but can easily and quickly be enlarged by folding the rear seats flat. Elsewhere, there are a number of useful storage areas - apart from the elastic band option.

The Cube was surprisingly pleasant to drive considering its total lack of streamlining. In and around town, it proved very agile and the great all-round visibility made parking a complete doddle.

Then out on the faster roads, the 1.6-litre petrol-driven engine provided ample power as the Cube accelerated through the five-speed manual transmission. However, I did find it laboured a little uphill if trying to gain some acceleration.

The Cube is fitted with a comprehensive list of safety specifications including anti-lock brakes, electronic stability programme, numerous airbags and plenty more besides.

My big fear though is where do we go from here. If manufacturers are moving towards weird and wonderful shapes and the box on wheels style becomes popular, then whatever’s next?

FAST FACTS

Nissan Cube 1.6 Kaizen

Price: £15,123

Mechanical: 110ps, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 11.3 seconds

Combined mpg: 42.8

Insurance group: 15

CO2 emissions: 151g/km

BIK rating: 15%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

Words: Maxine Ashford

Keywords: nissan, cube, compact-family-cars, nissan, cube, manufacturers, £15-20, 000, 151


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