Nissan Cube shows out-of-box thinking


Are you different and brave enough to show it? Do you think outside the box often? If your answer to the two question is yes then you must be smiling as you look at this picture. This car is unlike anything else on our roads today.

A few Kenyans have dared to buy the Cube and it is not available as new, neither is the Murano Convertible. Even if it were, DT Dobie would not dare offer them as most Kenyans are generally too conservative to try something that radical.

So would you buy the Nissan Cube today? Most of us would rather conform and play it safe and drive a large 4×4 that blends in with the elephants and buffalos.

Well, Nissan seems to be challenging all design rules and chances are you will take notice and try them out. The Cube will appeal to style-conscious and open-minded original thinkers, people who will see it as an “extension of their personality,” and who question how they live and are brave enough to want to change it for the better.

This unique small car was developed eight years ago and it startled Japanese motorists. It approached driving from a new angle… a right angle (pun intended) and earned a cult status without the need for viral marketing. Needless to say, it was an instant hit. Now it is available in the used car market.

I would buy it and here is why. I have a weakness for boxy designs and the cube would fit into my life like a bottle of 18-year-old scotch on the rocks. If you really fall in love with it get the 2010 Cube as it maintains the handsome looks of the original, but is taller and wider. Design must not only look good, but be functional and practical.

The Cube does a little more by putting the fun in function. Despite its compact footprint - perfectly suited to crowded city streets - Cube’s boxy body provides ample interior space. And while its unique asymmetric rear end styling means it stands out in a sea of look-alike mainstream models, it has a practical purpose, too: by wrapping the rear window around the rearside C-pillar, rearward visibility is greatly enhanced, but only for those in the left-hand-drive markets. The rest of us have to contend with a pillar double the size but that’s just about all that is wrong with this car.

The rear door is side-hinged, refrigerator-style, and opens to facilitate loading from the kerb for added convenience and safety.

You will certainly stand out on the street and in the mall. I would tick the Bitter Chocolate colour on the spec sheet but you may opt for the more conservative Sea Turquoise.

Interior styling is equally individual with features inspired by nature: the ripple effect caused by dropping a stone into still water is reflected in the headlining, the cup holders and the loudspeaker grilles.

Lounge-style seating in the front and rear creates a relaxed and calming atmosphere. The overall calming, comforting ambiance of the interior is enhanced by the standard inclusion of a glass roof, which has a sliding shade to allow light into the cabin and which is inspired by the traditional Japanese Shoji shade. Equally, a full sliding blind is available to block all light from entering the cabin.

It has more storage space than a Toyota Vitz and Mazda Demio. To customise the interior, you can choose to have shag pile carpeting extended to the dashboard if you so desire.

Power comes from a choice of two engines and three transmissions. A 81kW (110PS) 1.6-litre petrol and 81kW (110PS) 1.5-litre diesel with a total of three different transmission offerings. The petrol version has a five-speed manual gearbox as standard with the option of an X-tronic CVT, while the diesel has the latest generation six-speed manual transmission. Keep it simple and either go for the 5-speed auto as you may have trouble with the CVT when things go wrong.

“Cube is unique, distinctive and fun. It’s also clever and it will appeal to lovers of style regardless of whether they are ‘car-people’ or not,” So ladies, are you brave enough to join me on a ride in a dark chocolate box? In a complicated complex world full of drama it brings a simple yet ultimately complex blend of straight lines and subtle curves. I like that, very much.


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