Adventuresome styling, a plush ride, peppy performance and plenty of space within a tiny footprint are admirable highlights of the 2009 Nissan Cube. However, a certain Honda may be a more sensible "Fit."
A box is the most space-efficient vehicular architecture, and perhaps nothing since the first Scion xB expresses that school of design more effectively than the 2009 Nissan Cube. Popular in Japan for decades, tiny-but-tall cars like the Cube offer an impressive amount of passenger and cargo space relative to their modest exterior footprint. The Cube is the latest to invade the United States.
With its styling compared to everything from an aquarium to a washing machine, the Nissan Cube shares much of its underpinnings with its Versa sibling. That sharing of DNA means the Cube's handling is rather lazy due to its soft, long-travel suspension. But it also means that the Cube has a comfortable ride, a peppy 122-horsepower engine and an available CVT (continuously variable transmission) that's the best example of this gearless transmission technology fitted to an economy car.
As you might expect from the Cube's space-efficient design, passenger space is plentiful. The tall roof and multi-adjustable backseat (it slides fore and aft and reclines) create more than enough headroom and legroom for two tall adults in back. Nissan has also taken care to fill this box with plenty of features, with optional luxuries such as keyless entry/ignition, Bluetooth connectivity and iPod integration all available. Even the bargain-priced base version comes with air-conditioning, full power accessories, a CD player and a full complement of safety features including stability control and side curtain airbags.