2010 Nissan Cube
I love the Cube. There, I said it. This oddly-shaped and quirky looking (let's just say it) "box" has me feeling excited and the last time I felt like that was this morning at 6something a.m. and also when the first gen Scion xB came out a few years ago. It's a superb offering for the B-spec market from Nissan, making up plenty of ground over the Versa sedan mostly because it just looks and performs like it is: totally f'in bueno. And in a small car segment that's quickly growing by the minute, it's good to see another JDM original take over and score big in the realm of cool.
Like most B-specs out there trying to make its mark, the Cube automatically nails it with an appeal that those outside of the enthusiast core will appreciate. It's as if Nissan's designers took all things hipster and futuristic and applied it to an automotive theme, but the best part is you won't feel like you're trying to be too cool. Inside, the modern approach to design might leave you (as it did me) with a few "WTF?" moments, like the swirl-shaped roof liner, bungee cords sprinkled on the door panels and center console or the random shag carpet on top of the dashboard that can only be described as maybe a spot to leave your iPhone or squash air fresheners in style. The climate controls are operated very easily through a series of soft-touch buttons in a single circular area while the gauge cluster speaks volumes to the eyes, displaying brightly for the driver and all those who dare fall victim to its song. Our model didn't come with the Rockford Fosgate sub or portable navi, so we were left unable to rock out with our (bleeps) out, but we could easily stage our own light show with the 20-color LED under-panel lights and illuminated Cube side door sills.
The cool thing about the Cube is that you either get it or you don't. Take it for what it's worth: looks weird, looks dope, kinda girly, whatever; I think that's the point. It's supposed to make you stare. Even the optional aero kit is a subtle enhancement and had someone not mentioned it, I probably would've never noticed it was there. The front end really needs the lower fog lights and lip to visually "lower" the body lines while the rear trunk benefits from the optinal roof spoiler; we'd even opt for the Hyper daytime running lights and side window deflectors for the true JDM look, but please leave all the chrome trim out or paint them flat black.
But the big question remains: how will the Cube take to modifications and the aftermarket arena? With a more than sufficient 1.8L MR18DE, the 122hp (unfortunately) isn't enough to come close to touching the VQ37VHR (or anywhere close to the VR38DETT if it tried) but we're sure the basic bolt-ons will yield easy results, and those daring to fit a custom turbo kit can see something close to the 200hp mark. A stiffer suspension and a mildly bigger brake kit (think at least rotors, pads and lines if calipers are out of the question, which is more than likely) will help greatly and the fenders seem as if you can squeeze a set of decently wide wheels under there. Slammed, we see it more as an aggressive and stylish street cruiser, even if it can't perform like its older brothers. Alternatively, Nissan also offers the Krom version Cube, which is more of a decked out blinger that will save you time from having to modify anything on your own although everything is cosmetic rather than performance minded. We still say if you're going after a Cube, you need to give it your own brand of love. Fix it up the right way with a little bit of creativity because we see nothing but good things for this car for years to come.