The Nissan Cube is a worldwide phenomenon that proves it is hip to be square. Now this cult car is coming to the UK.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where Nissan got the name from – the Cube looks like a box on wheels. But this utilitarian aspect of the design, which effectively functions as a blank canvas allowing owners to express their own personalities, is combined with quirky, asymmetrical detailing and unique Japanese accents.
It’s this deceptive impression of simplicity that has made the Cube such a success in Japan and America. More than one million Cubes have been sold since the car first went on sale in 1998.
The London Design Museum even voted it one of the 50 cars that changed the world. Yet it has never officially been sold here.
Cube in the UK
Now in its third generation, the Cube is finally coming to the UK. Initially power will be provided by a sole 1.6-litre petrol engine, producing 108bhp while returning 42.8mpg and 151g/km CO2 emissions. Nissan’s (and Renault’s) familiar 1.5-litre turbodiesel will be added later.
The Cube’s interior offers spacious, lounge-style seating for five, in what is described as a Jacuzzi Curve layout. This car is as much about socialising as travelling, apparently.
The unique details kick in with the asymmetrical rear window, ‘water drop’ ripple design of the speaker grilles and cup holders, and the three-layer glass roof. This is fitted as standard and, in addition to a conventional cover, comes with a Japanese shoji shade, which allows some light through while absorbing heat.
LDN special edition to start
There are just two trim levels: standard from £14,000 and Kaizen from £15,100.
In addition to the glass roof, all Cubes get rear privacy glass, Bluetooth and cruise control as standard. Kaizen seems worth the extra outlay, as it adds full climate control, Nissan Connect infotainment and satellite navigation system, plus a rear reversing camera.
However, the first 100 Cubes sold in the UK will all be LDN special editions. These are priced from £14,600, include climate control, auto lights and auto wipers, and are finished in Bitter Chocolate paint with matching suede interior.
At less than four metres long, the Cube is compact, with an emphasis on inner-city motoring. It’s functional, but funky – and we can’t wait to see how it drives.
In the meantime, if you’re keen to try it for yourself, Nissan is bringing just 2,000 to the UK next year, so get your name down fast. First deliveries are scheduled for January 2010.