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2012 Nissan cube

Overview
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2012 Nissan cube Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

One of the Big Three CEOs once said that his company didn't build small cars because it was impossible to design a good-looking small car. Well, that theory has certainly been put to the test, and cars like the 2012 Nissan Cube prove not only can a small car be frugal and inexpensive, it can be funky and unique and cool, too. The 2012 Nissan Cube cleverly disguises a roomy and versatile people-hauler as a 20-something chic urban commuter. Best of all, you can slide into a Cube for just a shade over $15,000. Cough up a few more bucks and you can have yourself a really well-equipped model complete with options you won't find on any other car (like the circular shag carpet dash pad). And, lest you think the Cube is too small to safeguard you against a world filled with SUVs and pickup trucks, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has handed the Nissan Cube its Top Safety Pick award. The Cube may not be alone in the boxy-compact-wagon-thingy category, not with the boxier Scion xB still in the running (the Honda Element is no more), but its rounded edges and asymmetrical rear pillars make it far more interesting to look at, and it certainly is a conversation starter.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for something small, fun and inexpensive that expresses your desire to not blend in with the crowd, the 2012 Nissan Cube 5-door wagon is a great start. The great gas mileage, roomy and versatile cargo area, and fun option choices simply sweeten the deal.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Cube is a great urban commuter, but if you plan on doing some light off-road trips or weekend ski trips, you'd be much better off in something like the 2012 Suzuki SX4. Those seeking more power and bit more polish might want to look at the more expensive Mini Cooper Clubman or Countryman, or even the Nissan Juke.

What's New for 2012

Changes to the 2012 Nissan Cube wagon are limited to some option shuffling. There is a new package for the 1.8 CVT that adds unique seat color fabric, navigation, a rearview monitor, and the Rockford Fosgate audio system. Nissan's Intelligent Key is made standard on the SL trim, while both the S and SL gain a passenger-seat armrest.

Driving the cube

Driving Impressions Although it's doubtful many driving enthusiasts will be falling over themselves to drive a 2012 Nissan Cube, most everyone else will probably find something to like. Acceleration is passable given...

the 1.8-liter engine's mere 122 horsepower. We highly recommend going with the manual transmission if you can. It helps squeeze the most out of the Cube's engine and makes the drive a bit more entertaining. Exhibiting noticeable decibels of wind and road noise at highway speed, the Cube is not the quietest vehicle on the road, but, it's no worse than other small cars such as the Kia Soul or Scion xB. Like most Nissan compacts, the 2012 Cube is blessed with a firm suspension that delivers a smooth ride even when encountering uneven or choppy pavement. Thanks to its small turning radius, the 2012 Nissan Cube is a breeze to move around in tight confines, while its available rear parking sensor ensures you'll never damage its pretty rear end (or anyone else's for that matter).

Navigation
Part of the Preferred Package, Nissan's small and inexpensive navigation radio is as good, or better, than units costing four times as much. The Cube's navigation unit is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use systems we've encountered, and that includes aftermarket units. With maps and data stored on an SD card, updating the map data is as easy as accessing your home computer.


Rippling Headliner
With only a cursory glance, one might overlook the unique form of the Cube's headliner. Even though a flat headliner would have been perfectly acceptable, Nissan's designers decided to simulate the ripples created by dropping a pebble in water. The result is an interesting conversation piece and an indicator of Nissan's commendable attention to detail.

2012 Nissan cube Details
Interior

An expressive exterior deserves an equally expressive interior and the 2012 Nissan Cube wagon doesn't fail to deliver. Round shapes populate the dash and door panels, while unusual textures are sprinkled throughout the Cube's spacious cabin. Look up, and you'll see a large dome light attached to a foam headliner with a rippling pattern emanating from the center out. The design mimics the ripples made on a lake after a stone is tossed in. The same effect is repeated on the Cube's door-mounted speaker grilles. The 2012 Nissan Cube's boxy wagon shape makes for a roomy interior that can easily carry five adults. A sliding rear seat allows for a choice between maximum legroom for passengers or cargo space for their luggage. Headroom is beyond reasonable, and the Cube's long list of cool options includes a user-friendly navigation radio, ear-drum-busting Rockford Fosgate stereo and Interior Illumination Kit.

Exterior

Looking more like a die (the singular of dice) than a cube, the 2012 Nissan Cube nevertheless fits the 4-corner definition of a box on wheels. Its soft, rounded edges give it a friendlier feel than the Scion xB, and its rounded headlights, taillights and side glass juxtapose nicely with the Cube's squared-off silhouette. The wheels appear a bit small, as do the wheel-well openings, imparting the look of a rolling top hat. Without question the most intriguing element of the Cube's design is the asymmetrical rear section that features wraparound glass on one side and a body-color pillar on the other. Adding to the Cube's distinctiveness is a wide variety of exterior accessories that allow you to create one super-stylish mode of transport. We do worry a bit about the taillights being so low and close to the rear bumper, a position that might expose them to damage even in a low-speed bumper kiss.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard features found on the base 2012 Nissan Cube include a 2-speaker audio system with auxiliary input, air conditioning, power locks with remote entry, a 6-speed manual transmission and 15-inch steel wheels. The S trim adds a 6-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, an iPod interface, steering-wheel audio controls, body-color mirrors and cruise control. SL models get automatic climate control, Intelligent Key entry and start, automatic headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels. Standard safety features include stability and traction controls, anti-lock brakes with brake assist and six airbags.

Optional Equipment

There are a few stand-alone options offered for the 2012 Nissan Cube, such as the 20-color interior accent lighting and the Interior Designer Package. Most other options require buyers to move up to the next-higher trim level to add equipment. The 1.8S Preferred Package adds unique seat color, Nissan Navigation System, RearView Monitor, Rockford Fosgate audio, Nissan Intelligent Key, and 15-inch alloy wheels. Small businesses might appreciate the special-order Cargo option, offered for the base Cube, which deletes the rear seats, armrests, cup holders and seatbelts, transforming the Cube into an efficient delivery vehicle.

Under the Hood

There is one engine offered for the 2012 Nissan Cube, a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder unit rated at 122 horsepower. Power is acceptable for a small, inexpensive and fuel-efficient car, but those who value rapid acceleration may be disappointed by the Cube's performance. On base and S trims, a 6-speed manual transmission is standard, while a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is optional on the S Trim and standard on SL. The CVT does a good job in maximizing the engine's output and actually offers better fuel economy than the manual transmission, but some buyers may be put off by the way the engine seems to race under hard acceleration.

1.8-liter in-line 4
122 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
127 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/31 (CVT), 25/30 (manual)

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2012 Nissan cube Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 110 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

Stylistically I love it!

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun, stylish, different, deceptively spacious"

Cons: "Road noise, windshield issues, can't avoid the sun"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

The day I bought it. Needless to say I was happy, the sales guys liked that I insisted on jumping for my photo.

"The Pros: I love this car, it gets a lot of comments and stares until people get inside it and see how roomy it is. I like the look of it although I know its not for everybody. I always liked the way they look and you can not beat the cabin space. I have moved dressers and mid sized furniture. Interior seats tall folks with comfort even though its really compact there is so much head space. Good gas mileage, love the driver size cupholder. I have the sound system and rainbow lights, push to start, keyless entry all awesome. The Cons: I do not like my fabric interior no mater how much I vacuum that thing hair seems to stick to the seats. Cabin noise, because of the shape of the car there is more road noise than I was used too previously. The window shades are teeny tiny and do not block the sun, invest in some sunglasses for you and all potential passengers. Also the nature of the way the windshield sits almost straight up and down it is prone to chips and cracks."

5 people out of 14 found this review helpful

The day I bought it. Needless to say I was happy, the sales guys liked that I insisted on jumping for my photo.

so fun to drive! more get-up-n-go than you'd think

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had my Cube since the first month of their USA release (May 2009) and six years later I am still completely happy with it. I have had NO major problems of any sort and only minor work done during my entire time of ownership (new tires, tune-ups, regular oil changes as recommended) fun, reliable, unique car"

14 people out of 24 found this review helpful

I love my cube !!!

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage"

Cons: "We need a louder horn to honk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have a 2009 Nissan cube. It just made 90,000 miles which is being serviced now at Nissan. We had no major issues with it. Great gas mileage, roomy space inside. I must say this little car rocks.."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Shoud have not trade in !

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Wife needed awd

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "All good"

Cons: "0- bad"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We put 4000 miles on wifes new 2015 nissan rogue sv that was very good in this years very bad winter weather in pittsburgh.But I wish we had not traded her 2009 cube in,it was a good , rooomy, comfy, always found a parking place , easy on gas and all around good car . But she needed a awd"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love, love, love my Cube

By on Friday, February 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Roomy, cup holders everywhere, artistic design"

Cons: "Only 1 power outlet, not many aftermarket parts"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had my Cube for 4 years. It has proven to be great on gas (28 city/32 highway), dependable, and LOTS of fun to drive. Everyone is amazed by how roomy the interior is. On long drives, I would like to have the drivers seat move back a tad more but overall it is a great ride. Biggest downfall I have found is that aftermarket parts are mostly non-existent for this car. Research and creativity are key in keeping repair costs down. That being said, I have had very few issues with this vehicle."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Much bigger on the inside than it looks

By on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, decent gas mileage, roomy interior"

Cons: "Could get better mileage and more power"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this 2009 Nissan Cube for 4 years and I do really love it. It is funky looking but better than that is the interior is bigger than it looks, it gets decent gas mileage especially on the freeway, it is so easy to drive (easy like a go-kart), mechanically sound."

16 people out of 25 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?