autojaponica

New Nissan Cube

In Nissan on November 19, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Car manufacturers are increasingly talented at designing maximised space in vehicles that are essentially built on small platforms.

A direct result of this is the cubist design revolution that has especially found a foothold here in Japan.  Think Toyota bB, Daihatsu Coo, Subaru Dex and especially Nissan Cube, the second generation of which was unveiled in Tokyo yesterday.

Reputedly based on the same underlying platform as the upcoming March/Micra model, the Cube comes equipped with a 1.5l petrol engine producing an adequate 109 PS and returning a sort of frugal 19.2 km/l. 

It would be easy to say that Nissan has become a little passive with its designs of late, as evidenced by the latest generations of X Trail and Fairlady Z (370Z) appearing to be distincly similar aesthetically to their predecessors although it would be easy to contradict that statement by observing the GT-R.

Cube 2 follows the design theme of its foregoer closely and it’s clear that Nissan believes the basic composition of the Cube still has some way to go before exasperating.  If the previous generation had only been released now it would still garner praise for being contemporary (actually this is now the third generation Cube but the 1998 mark 1 looked more like a turd than a car so it doesn’t warrant mention, apologies to any owners).

The new model does look changed somewhat with the most striking exterior difference at the front where a particularly well resolved headlight and bumper arrangement take precedence.  Attention has also been focused on the rear lights although i can’t work out if they look better or not.  A unique feature of the old car that’s been carried over is the rear wraparound glass on the opposing side to the driver which should be helpful if you’re a crap parker etc.  The perhaps polarising consequence of this is that the single rear D pillar can give the impression of the Nissan looking a bit like Jane from Tarzan.  Front passenger windows are well thought out resulting in a very designed look that emphasise the thick pillars on the car.  A real feature for the observer.

The architecture succeeds in looking squat (not to be confused with sporty) and funky.

Inside is where Nissan really got their crayons and paper out and it looks frankly fabulous. 

A steering mounted CVT transmission enables bench seating and liberates lots of space.  The sofa like seats appear very soft and springy and suit the character of the Cube exceptionally, creating a proper lounge atmosphere.  Attractive interior fittings abound, particularly the metal door handles but most of all the wave effect dashboard and console.

The Cube will be looking for the younger market again for sales but it is a fairly universal car with a much softer stance than some of its domestic competitors.

Prices start at 1,449,000 JPY.

Nissan Cube

Nissan Cube

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