You're watching a WheelsTV Top 200 Video Test Drive on the 2012 Nissan Cube.
INTRO: Terms like unconventional, retro or hip might come to mind when describing the look of the 2012 Nissan Cube, but its rounded-edge box shape and asymmetrical rear window are merely tip-offs that this versatile, roomy and fuel-efficient multi-purpose vehicle is not your average small station wagon.
Now in its fourth generation, the 5-passenger Cube comes in base, S and up-rated SL models. The unusual refrigerator-style rear door incorporates part of a wrap-around rear window that carries through to the right side of the vehicle. The vehicle's upright stance, coupled with the low-slung ride height, gives the driver a commanding view of the road while zipping through city traffic.
PERFORMANCE: The Cube uses a 1.8-liter inline-4 cylinder engine sending 122 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.
FUEL ECONOMY: Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
FEATURES: The uncommon theme continues inside the Cube's cabin, where water-drop accents throughout the interior, including a ripple effect emanating from the center of the ceiling, create a harmonious space for passengers. A unique accessory is the available 20-color interior accent lighting kit. If music is a big part of your driving style, we recommend opting for the S Indigo Limited Edition or the SL Preferred Package that includes an upgraded 6-speaker stereo system complete with Rockford Fosgate amplifier and subwoofer.
The Cube's unorthodox interior design makes for improved ergonomics and roominess. With a cup holder mounted in the door to the left of the steering column, the driver's right hand is free to change gears or manipulate the radio and climate controls. Meanwhile, rear-seat passengers benefit from a sliding, reclining theater-style seat with a 60/40 split fold-down design that gives way to an impressive 58.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
SAFETY: Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control, side impact door beams, an energy absorbing steering column, and a full array of front and side impact airbags.
PRICING: Base MSRP for the 2012 Nissan Cube is $14,980. An SL model starts at $18,520.
WARRANTY: The Cube is backed by a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
CLOSING: Oddly appealing in a smart sort of way, the 2012 Nissan Cube offers an innovative and practical ride with the fuel efficiency of a small wagon.