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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Mar 14, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


By Roy Nakano "Cool" is a fitting word to describe Nissan's new box car, the cube. Consumers seem to fall into one of two camps: Either they think it's a cool car, or they are left cold by its appearance. I received a good dose of both during my one-week stint with the car. A high school girl on a bike shouts out, "I love your car!" The guy in the 5.0 Mustang next to me doesn't share the sentiments, and steadfastly refuses to let the little box car in his lane. A driver of a raised pick-up truck mimicks the Mustang driver. This little box just brings out the best and worst in people.


Ultimately, however, it’s all about how the car makes the owner feel, and the Nissan cube carries a high ‘feel good’ factor in its DNA. All around, there are things in and around the car to amuse – from the amusement park ride-like dash, to the little turf of shag carpet on the dash to hold your sunglasses, to the zen-like circular waves that surround the overhead light like a pebble dropped in a pond, to the asymmetrical rear windows, to the great visibility exhibited all around. This car has a sense of humor, and it’s contagious. As a daily driver, the cube acquits itself well. Both acceleration and handling are more spirited than one would expect out of a econobox car. Nissan’s continuously variable automatic transmission is among the best in the industry. Fit and finish are quite good, and a cut above expectations as well. About the only item that breaks this thought is the rear hatch door, which sounds decidedly pick-up truck gate-like in operation. Last, but not least, fuel economy ranks right up there, with an EPA rating of 28 miles per gallon in the city and 30 on the highway.


The 1.8 Krōm option adds a number of goodies to the already basic goodness of the cube. Developed by Nissan’s Specialty Vehicles Group, the package includes 16-inch Krōm aluminum-alloy wheels, Krōm integrated body design – front fascia and grille, body side sills, rear fascia and rear roof spoiler, automatic on/off headlights, Krōm black/gray seat cloth, 20-color interior accent lighting, aluminum-trimmed pedals, titanium-tone interior accents, Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) with in-cabin microfilter and outside temperature display, premium AM/FM/CD audio system with 4.3" color display, Rockford Fosgate subwoofer and amplifier, 6 upgraded speakers, including two tweeters, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition, RearView Monitor and USB connectivity (iPod®-compatible). You’ll have to decide whether the thousands the Krōm Edition adds to the bottom line is worth the enhancements. It should be mentioned, however, that the Krōm Edition includes all the goodies from the 1.8S Package, including Body-color outside mirrors, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, premium cloth seat trim, driver's seat armrest, visor vanity mirrors, dual overhead map lights, front passenger seatback pocket, and chrome-plated inside door handles. To my way of thinking, you don’t necessarily have to go Krōm in order to enjoy the cube’s overall goodness. That should save you quite a bit to spend on other cool toys for your collection.


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SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Nissan cube 1.8S Krōm Edition Price Base price: $13,990 As tested: $20,420 (Krōm Edition, with optional Interior Design Package) EPA fuel economy estimates (miles per gallon): 28 city/30 highway Engine: 1.8 liter DOHC in-line four cylinder LEV (low emission vehicle) internal combustion engine Horsepower: 122 @ 5200 RPM Torque: 127 pound-feet at 4800 RPM Transmission: Xtronic CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) Drive configuration: Front-wheel drive Steering: Speed-sensitive electronic power-assisted Suspension Front: Independent strut suspension with stabilizer bar Rear: Torsion beam with integrated stabilizer bar Brakes: Power-assisted front vented disc and rear drum brakes Wheels and tires: 16-inch Krom-Exclusive aluminum alloy wheels and P195/55R-16 all-season radial tires Dimensions Length: 157.5 inches Width: 66.7 inches Height: 65 inches Curb weight: 2904 pounds


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