The cleverly designed Nissan cube®, with its asymmetrical rear window, refrigerator-style rear door and wide range of personal accessories, enters its second year of production in 2010 with its unique style firmly intact – plus a number of enhancements to its audio and entertainment systems and one new exterior color, Sapphire Black.
The 2010 Nissan cube is available in three well-equipped models: cube 1.8, cube 1.8 S and cube 1.8 SL – along with a specialty vehicle cube 1.8 S Krom™ Edition with exclusive sport body pieces, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a custom interior with exclusive black and gray seats, premium audio system and more.
“The Nissan cube took the North American market by storm in 2009 with its unique blend of fashion and functionality,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). “Designed to enhance people’s lives, cube is a vehicle that people fall in love with, moving beyond mere transportation to become a core part of their social activities.”
For 2010, the Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel audio controls are now standard for cube S and SL models; the Interface System for iPod®, MP3 CD-ROM playback capacity, Radio Data System (RDS), speed-sensitive volume control (SSV) and two additional speakers (six total) are now standard on cube S models.
The cube 1.8 S Krom Edition adds a new 4.3-inch color audio display with USB connectivity and RearView Monitor, along with Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Ignition. In addition, the 4.3-inch color audio display with USB connectivity and RearView Monitor is added to the optional SL Preferred Package.
Unique, Asymmetrical Design
At first glance, the 2010 Nissan cube’s appearance seems to embody the simplistic nature of its name – a box on wheels. But a closer look reveals a more complex and intricate design with a surprising sense of dynamic movement.
With cube’s long wheelbase relative to its overall length (a 99.6-inch wheelbase against a 156.7-inch overall length) and wide track, the wheels, in effect, are pushed out to each corner – providing exceptional space utilization and a confident-looking stance that has been compared to a “bulldog in sunglasses.” Along with its stance, its distinctive look is aided by the wide headlights and grille treatment, the small but substantial body proportions and the short “tail” section.
In the rear, the bar-type taillights reinforce the wide, anchored look. The cube’s creators also sought to maintain a sense of “pure design,” reducing the number of character lines to give simplicity and freshness to the styling. Another unique aspect of the cube’s exterior is the greenhouse. The A-pillars are positioned far outward and relatively upright, giving a wider range of forward visibility. The front door windows utilize a “photo frame” design patterned after a personal photo frame, while the asymmetrical wraparound side/rear window creates enhanced rear diagonal visibility for lane changes and reverse parking.
“The ‘geometric circle shape in the square’ rear window is cube’s signature,” said Castignetti. “Though there are D-pillars on both sides of the cube, the visual effect of the narrower passenger-side pillar is quite remarkable in the overall appearance, a look aided by the asymmetrical back door.”
Unlike typical top-hinged or clamshell-style utility rear doors, cube features an easy-access refrigerator-style opening, which makes it possible to open or close it even if parked tight against other cars in parallel parking spaces or when backed in against a wall or other obstacle. The back door opens fully when space allows for loading groceries, luggage or large-sized objects – or to a limited-access position (about eight inches) when space is restricted for retrieving or loading a backpack or other small objects. The one-hand door handle operation is designed for easy use, even while carrying things in the other hand or arm.
For 2010 Nissan cube is available in eight mild-to-wild exterior colors: Scarlet Red, Sapphire Black (new for 2010), Moss Green, Steel Grey, Chrome Silver, Bitter Chocolate, White Pearl and Caribbean Blue.
A “Casual Lounge” Interior
The centerpiece of cube’s universal appeal is its “social space” – the surprisingly roomy interior that offers room for five in a lounge-like comfort. “Cube is not wasteful in terms of its footprint, carbon or physical. It creates a third space, in addition to home and school, for interacting with friends. It’s a space that is highly changeable and adaptable to owners’ evolving lives, with plenty of room for personalization,” said Castignetti.
Cube’s clever, inspired and surprisingly open occupant space combines “casual lounge”-style passenger seating with a relaxed driving experience. The interactive interior is anchored by its curve-themed architecture, such as the subtle wavy shaping of the instrument panel, door panels, seat shapes, armrests and the iconic circular/oval shapes of elements ranging from air conditioning vents, door pulls and climate controls.
The comfortable cube seating includes a 6-way manual driver’s seat and 4-way manual front passenger’s seat, along with a “lounge sofa” style reclining rear bench seat. The sliding rear seat can be adjusted to three positions – full rearward (providing ample legroom), mid-position (3.9 inches forward) or front position (6.0 inches forward). The rear seat also is positioned higher than the front seats, theater style, enhancing rear passenger comfort and visibility.
Other interior features include the “floating pod” instrument panel with asymmetrical light blue and white gauges, which are designed to make it easier to distinguish between the speedometer and the tachometer. The gauge needles “sweep” when the engine is started to add a sense of flair, while the gradation effect gives a natural ambience similar to the glow of the white moon and the blue earth. Sub-gauges are concentrated for enhanced visibility. The three-spoke steering wheel is available with leather wrapping and steering wheel-mounted audio controls (now standard on cube S and SL models).
Convenient storage spaces and cup/bottle holders are abundant throughout the cube interior – including six cupholders (instrument panel, front center console and rear armrests) and five bottle holders (door panels and center console). There are also detachable multi-hooks for holding bags or hats, which can be moved from place to place – including the instrument panel and rear passenger doors.
The “shelf expression” concept features two “shelves” located on top center and the passenger side of the instrument panel. Not designed for holding objects when the cube is in motion, they provide convenient spaces for placing keys, cell phones or digital music players when the vehicle is parked. Cube’s accessory “Front Door Bungees” are colorful rubber straps (red, yellow, orange or gray) that slip into cutouts on the door armrests to secure items such as maps, nametags, photos, towels or small stuffed animals.
The cube interior design also incorporates a series of subtle “Water Drop” concentric circles. Inspired by nature and the calming way that ripples move outward from a drop in water, the circles can be seen in items ranging from the roof headliner to the cupholders to the climate control design.
A Wide Range of Available Features
Cube’s heating and cooling system provides quiet, efficient operation with easy to recognize and use knobs and switches. Other standard equipment offered on the 2010 Nissan cube includes power windows with driver’s side one-touch auto up/down feature, Remote Keyless Entry system, power door locks with auto-locking feature, variable intermittent windshield wipers and intermittent rear window wiper, rear window defroster with timer, cargo area hooks, 12-volt power outlet and adjustable front seat belt upper anchors.
Available cube technology features include Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Ignition, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Rockford Fosgate subwoofer with six upgraded speakers, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately) and Interface System for iPod®. For 2010, a new 4.3-inch color audio display with RearView Monitor is offered on cube 1.8 S Krom Edition and with the SL Preferred Package.
The cube interior is offered in two color environments, Light Gray and Graphite. Light Gray, available in a quilted suede-like fabric with special “natural wave” stitching only, is designed to create a relaxing contrast between the warm, light gray upholstery and warm off-black interior accents. The warm off-black Graphite interior, available in two cloth grades, provides a combination of relaxation and more traditional “driving enjoyment” attitude. The cube 1.8 S Kr?m Edition features exclusive gray and black interior coloring.
Unexpected Power and Driving Ease
Just as cube has its own unique take on styling and interior design, the engineering team took a fresh approach to performance – creating a vehicle that is easy to drive and easy to handle in traffic. Cube’s stress-free driving experience is the result of a number of factors: an extremely tight 33.4-foot curb-to-curb turning radius, a tall seating position made possible by the tall body height, an extremely short hood “invisible length” (the area of the hood panel that the driver is unable to see) and good rear visibility for parking and backing up.
Cube combines an advanced 122-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder with a choice of Nissan Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission) or 6-speed manual transmission for good acceleration response, smooth operation and fuel efficiency. The 6-speed manual is available with cube 1.8 and cube 1.8 S models, while the CVT is available with the cube 1.8 S and standard on the cube 1.8 SL and cube 1.8 S Krom Edition. Engine torque is rated at 127 lb-ft.
Fuel economy is estimated at 27 mpg City/31 mpg highway with the CVT and 25 mpg City/30 mpg Highway with the 6-speed manual transmission.
Cube’s suspension combines an independent MacPherson strut front design with stabilizer bar with a torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar. Its comfortable, flat ride is a result, in part, of the “Ripple Control” shock absorbers and the high body stiffness. Other standard equipment includes vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power-assisted steering, power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes and 15-inch wheels with P195/60R15 tires.
Cube’s long list of standard safety features includes the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), seat-mounted driver and front-passenger side-impact supplemental air bags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection. Cube also offers standard front-seat Active Head Restraints, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS), along with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The 2010 Nissan cube has been named a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Three Well-Equipped Models
The cube is offered in three well-equipped models: cube 1.8, cube 1.8 S and cube 1.8 SL.
Two option packages are offered – the SL Preferred Package and Krom Edition. The SL Preferred Package includes the Nissan Intelligent Key™ with request switches on the driver’s door, front passenger door and rear door; Push Button Ignition, fog lights; 4.3-inch audio display; USB connectivity, RearView Monitor; upgraded speakers; Rockford Fosgate subwoofer; and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
The 1.8 S Krom Edition (available only on cube 1.8 S with CVT) includes exclusive upper and lower front grilles, fully integrated front and rear bumper fascias and body side sills, rear roof spoiler and 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, along with a custom interior with exclusive black and gray seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, upgraded audio system with 4.3-inch color display, RearView Monitor and Rockford Fosgate subwoofer, aluminum trimmed pedals and new-for-2010 Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Ignition. Cube Kr?m Edition is available in only four exterior colors – Steel Gray, Bitter Chocolate, White Pearl and Sapphire Black.
More than 40 individual accessories are offered – ranging from a unique 20 Color Interior Accent Lighting kit and “shag dash toppers” to aerodynamic body kits and custom wheels – allowing cube owners to personalize their vehicles to reflect their own tastes and needs.
Other accessories include illuminated stainless kick plates, rear cargo area organizer, wheels, aero kits and more. Three Accessory Packages are also available, which combine a number of popular features: the Interior Designer Package, Interior Illumination Package and the Ginormous Package with both exterior and interior personalization parts and equipment.