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2013 Nissan cube

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2013 Nissan cube Review

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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 114 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

I love my Cube!

By on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

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
9/10

Pros: "All the toys for the money, Easy to park!"

Cons: "Noisy on the freeway and mpg doesnt improve on hwy"

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

"I bought the Cube for a few very specific reasons. First of all, I am 6ft5 and my height is in my torso. That being said, finding a car with ample headroom and ease of entry and exit are very limited in a small car. I came out of a Dodge Megacab 2500 into this car and I tell people that its the same cab with no bed and half the hood. I bought the Cube because I work less than 5 miles away and use it for commuting and running errands. The car is a snap to park, will carry all the groceries and stuff you need for the majority of the time. Its nimble and mileage is as good in town as the highway. It is amazing for an intown vehicle. Now for the negatives. It is noisy at highway speeds above 65. Wind does affect its drive due to the high profile and lightweight. It does get a little buzzy as you run 2800 RPMs at 80. Power and handling are good from intown to highway driving. The ride is stiff, so it does wear you down on longer trips. I have done 8 hours of driving non stop and after about hour 6, I was starting to seat crawl to keep comfy. The perks are great. For an eco car, I have the SV that has automatic climate control, parking sensors, XM radio, Bluetooth, tilt/cruise and the keyless ignition. This car was better equipped than my $50k megacab diesel was. It is also more fun to drive in 90% of my driving. In summary, its quirky, but its fun. You will get looks and people are always amazed at the interior room. I can not think of a better car for a tall/big person who just wants a cheap car for around town errands. One last thing. I bought mine used with 72,000 miles on it. All I have had to do is the regular maintenance. I have no doubts of issues and it is as solid and tight as when I bought it. Simple, but reliable and efficient."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Urban Unique

By on Thursday, November 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Easy to park, great mileage"

Cons: "Not most comfortable for long trips"

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

"This is a great urban car, easy to get in and out of spaces, and great on gas mileage. The design is funky and refreshing, and there is plenty of room for just about anything you are hauling. It isn't built for luxury or performance, but for the price, it is a practical car that also offers a unique look and driving experience."

12 people out of 17 found this review helpful

great little car, distinctive in style

By on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

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
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "lots of people talk to you about the car...."

Cons: "really belongs to a youth"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"i have gotten older and would like to have more of a sedan style now. this is a great little car.....it even has disco lights! they can be dialed off or even made more jazzy with the dial. great interior volume with the seats down. having the hatchback open side to side is good for those who may have shoulder issues. i have even had a u-haul tow apparatus installed by u-haul, and it towed their smaller van with no trouble as they now have vans with a lower profile. ive never had a problem with it. it has a drivers arm rest as well and well positioned electronics on the steering wheel. my ONLY downside is that i am financed upside-down, and thats because i dont know how to deal with car dealers due to my age. plus! its loaded with little storage nooks and cup holders......very thoughtful.."

9 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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."

11 people out of 22 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"

19 people out of 31 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.."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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