This Nissan Cube was a 5-door hatchback mini multi-purpose vehicle produced from 1998 to 2019. It was available in North America from 2009 to 2014 and in Europe from 2009 to 2011.
Nissan Cube Introduction and Features
The Nissan Cube was designed to be a compact vehicle that south an ideal balance between efficiency and cargo space. It was constructed on the same B-platform as the Nissan Micra, but the Cube was slightly larger. It featured a 1.3L CG13DE inline-4 engine, which was powerful enough to get around town but also did incredible well at conserving fuel. There were two transmission choices available in the first generation Nissan Cube, a 4-speed automatic and a CVT.
Second Generation Changes
In 2003, the second generation Nissan Cube (Z11) was released. It remained on the Nissan B-platform, but offered a slightly larger interior with additional cargo space. The overall design shared many aspects with the third-generation Nissan Micra and March. A longer three-row model was also introduced, called the Cube Cubic. The engine displacement was slightly increased to a 1.4L CR14DE inline-4, and starting in 2005, second-generation Cubes had an available a 1.5L HR15DE inline-4, previously seen in the Nissan Tiida.
Available Options and Features
The transmission options remained closely the same with a 4-speed automatic and a CVT option. If one selected the CVT, a sport option was available to provide slightly peppier performance when needed. Additionally, an e4WD option was available on the Nissan Cube. This unique 4WD system used a small electric motor to transfer power from the front to the rear wheels if the front wheels lost traction. Many options were available, including a sunroof, satellite navigation, bodykits, and 14 or 15-inch wheels. An Ion Filter cabin air cleaning system was also available, perfect for those stuck in constant city traffic with concerns about air quality.
Third Generation Updates and Export Introduction
More changes came to the Nissan Cube in 2008, branded as a 2009 model year. This third generation Cube was still build on the Nissan B platform, and it was the first model to be sold outside of Japan. It was offered in both North American and European markets. This generation has more rounded styling and a distinctive asymmetrical rear window. The rear tailgate used a side-mounted hinge, rather than the usual upward opening tailgate found in most hatchbacks. The Japanese domestic market Cube’s used a 1.5L HR15DE inline-4 engine as seen in the previous generation. The North American model added a larger 1.8L MR18DE inline-4 engine that produced 122 horsepower and 127 lb ft of torque. For Europe, the Cube used a 1.6L HR16DE inline-4 gasoline engine, or a 1.5L K9K dCi diesel variant.
Available Options and Awards
Transmission options included two different manual options, 4 or 5-speed, and the Nissan CVT. e4WD system was still available, providing a boost in traction to those who drove in slick conditions. In an effort to provide the ultimate personalization, Nissan offered many options for the Cube model. Not only were there the usual options like increased wheel size and upgraded stereo systems, there was also an entire line of color-matching additions such as air vent covers, LED lighting, and even shag carpet. Poor sales in the export markets caused the Cube to inch closer toward discontinuation. Production continued in Japan until 2019 after being pulled from elsewhere earlier in the decade. The Nissan Cube received many awards, including Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, Kelly Blue Book’s Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 and Top 10 Road Trip Cars, as well as Japan’s Good Design Long Life Design Award of 2018.