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2013 Nissan cube

Overview
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2013 Nissan cube Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

What exactly is the Nissan Cube? Part mini-wagon but with a taller profile like a crossover SUV, you'd also be correct if you just called this category-defying compact vehicle exactly what its nomenclature suggests: a box on wheels. And it's a relatively inexpensive one at that, good news for the younger drivers whom this car attracts. With a starting price around $17,500, the 2013 Nissan Cube boasts big style for the money. Because of its shape, the Cube offers lots of versatility, too. Beneath that funky sheet metal is a flexible 5-passenger interior with a surprising amount of space. The Cube isn't as sprightly as the Kia Soul or as fuel efficient as the Mini Cooper Hardtop, but offers its own sense of style at a budget-friendly price.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your eyes are among those that dig this car's looks, you may not even need another excuse to head to the Nissan dealership. Should further incentive be required, your peepers – and bank account – will appreciate the Cube's low price and easy driving manners.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Visual appeal (or lack thereof) aside, the Nissan Cube is not a highway warrior or a road carver. If you endure a long commute or crave a speedy vehicle that's good at cornering, consider stepping up to the Hyundai Elantra GT, Nissan Juke, Ford Fiesta, or Mini Cooper Clubman.

What's New for 2013

Only minor changes are in store for the 2013 Nissan Cube, including Sapphire Slate exterior color replacing Golden Ginger and the addition of "PUREDRIVE" badging on all models that signifies Nissan's wider efforts to improve fuel efficiency. The 1.8 base grade is no longer available, and neither is the Cargo Version Package. Also waving goodbye is the Indigo Limited Edition model.

Driving the cube

Driving Impressions With its squat and square styling the Cube makes no pretensions of driving exhilaration, so its lack thereof shouldn't come as a surprise. Not that we expect the Cube's buyers...

to be itching to carve mountain roads. More likely, they'll be using the Cube to scoot around the city. With just 122 horsepower, the Cube requires some patience getting up to speed on freeways. At higher speeds, the engine drones and the cabin is filled with wind noise, the latter issue an aerodynamic compromise inherent in a vehicle shaped like, well, a cube. At much slower speeds, we appreciated the Cube's tight turning radius that made parking a snap. Cube models with an automatic transmission use a continuously variable version (CVT). CVTs take some getting used to because they feel like you have just one gear instead of several.

INTERIOR DESIGN FEATURES
Is a big tuft of shag carpet in the middle of the dash a bit kitschy? Well yes, but it's a conversation starter and can even be useful. We found that big soft spot a good one to set sunglasses and other items that all too easily scamper about in cars.

SLIDING/RECLINING REAR SEAT
Nissan dubs the inside of its Cube a "lounge," and helps bolster that proposition with the inclusion of rear seats that slide and recline. This allows greater passenger comfort, not to mention flexible cargo room when it's time to haul the dorm-room furnishings.

2013 Nissan cube Details
Interior

Rather than mimicking its boxy exterior, the 2013 Cube's cabin is ripe with waves, circles and undulations. The entire dash slinks to and fro, and the air vents are elongated orbs. Take a gander above at the high ceiling, and you'll notice a headliner with a rippling pattern emanating outward from the center dome light, akin to ripples created after a stone plunges into a lake. The seats are spacious, though not exactly supple. The steering wheel tilts but does not telescope. Rear cargo room is limited but can be expanded to over 58 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seats folded. Nooks and crannies abound to hold drinks and devices.

Exterior

The Cube joins the small cast of other boxy compact vehicles such as Scion xB and Kia Soul, but still manages to stand out from them. Whereas those rivals have taut, angular lines, the Cube's symmetry is softened with rounded edges. And then there are the windows, big orbs of glass that make the Cube look like it jumped to life from a cartoon. The rear-left window especially stands out, as it gives the appearance of wrapping around the corner of the car. Rounded lights front and back complete the square-meets-circle motif. The Cube's rear door swings out toward the left instead of raising vertically like a hatchback.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Nissan Cube S model includes power door locks, windows and mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD player with an auxiliary input, folding rear seats, and a security system. In addition to six airbags, safety features include anti-lock brakes, brake-assist technology and traction-control systems.

Optional Equipment

Extras available on the 2013 Cube include a Preferred Package that bundles a navigation system with 5-inch touch screen, rearview monitor, and premium Rockford Fosgate speaker system with subwoofer. Individual options include an ambient lighting kit for the interior and aerodynamic enhancements for the exterior. And of course, we can't leave out the interior design kit that includes that dash-mounted tuft of shag carpet. On base S models, a CVT automatic transmission can be had in place of the 6-speed manual.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Nissan Cube is powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes a just-adequate 122 horsepower. Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual in base models or a CVT automatic that's standard in SL trim and optional for the S. All Cubes are front-wheel drive. The Cube's highway ratings of 31 mpg with a manual transmission and 30 with the CVT are good but not jaw-dropping. By comparison, a Subaru Impreza reaches up to 36 mpg, a Mini Cooper rates 37 mpg, and a Ford Fiesta can garner the magical 40 mpg.

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

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2013 Nissan cube Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 103 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

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."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great all around vehicle

By on Tuesday, January 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

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: "Economical vehicle without feeling cheap."

Cons: "No outdoor temp display"

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

"Have the six speed manual which gives me plenty of power when climbing hills as well as control on slick roads. Love the ergonomics. Easy to get in and out of car. Holds a tremendous amount of stuff. Great gas mileage. Great visibility. Plus it is just plain fun. Would recommend popping for really good tires once it's time to replace the tires that came with the car. Makes a world of difference in the smoothness of the drive. Also easy to park or drive in tight traffic because it is small on the outside. Oh and there are cup holders everywhere."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Comfy and Reliable

By on Friday, December 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Roomy, storage space, fun "disco" colors, &parking"

Cons: "Bad gas mileage-no passenger armrest,a bit "flimsy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"This vehicle is very roomy and can haul a lot (the main reasons I purchased.) However, not good on gas mileage if you have to drive a lot. Also the overall quality is just OK. It can park almost anywhere -- best feature! However, it can blow around in the wind a bit. Overall fun little car, but I'm ready for something a bit more sophisticated."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

The quality difference is unreal.

By on Thursday, December 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

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: "All positives other than its boxy design."

Cons: "There are no negatives."

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

"This is the first 100% made in Japan vehicle that we have owned. The difference is noticable. It makes you wonder why we can't make them like this here in the USA. It also is puzzling as to why Nissan did not promote this vehicle more, offer it in more brighter colors, and 2014 is the last year for this model as it is being discontinued."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Good car

By on Thursday, December 04, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Wife needed new car

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "roomy, great mpg,always could find a place to park"

Cons: "O"

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

"Just traded wifes 2009 cube, kids moved to ohio longer trip lots of hills . Needed awd so traded cube in for 2015 rogue sv, we like the rogue but sure miss the cube !"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

great car for the price

By on Monday, November 24, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: family member needed a car

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

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

"I was looking in August 2010 for a new car, I had driven Chevy Astros for years. I tried many different auto & being handicap I needed a car that I could get in with out any help. The Nissan Cube was the only one. I'm able to get a lot of things into the car, great leg & body room, you don't feel like your squished into a small car. Great large windows all around. A family member needed a car so I gave her mine & got myself the next model style up at purchase & found out they are no longer going to sell the Cube in the USA."

6 people out of 11 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

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