Nissan Cube 1.6 road test review

evo's first drive of the mad Nissan Cube. Can its driving experience live up to the looks?

Evo rating
Price
from £15,100
  • It looks like nothing else in its class
  • It drives like everything else in its class

What is it? The Nissan Cube, in official UK import spec for the first time. It’s a distinctively styled mini-MPV, its styling an intriguing mix of hot rod, Kei car and fridge freezer. This one’s in Kaizen spec with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and costs £15,100. Technical highlights In truth, there aren’t any. The Cube shares its platform with Nissan’s Micra supermini and Note mini-MPV. Its main USP is the styling. Browse the pictures and you’ll see that it’s asymmetrical, with differently shaped windows on each side. And since the Cube is going on sale in mainland Europe for the first time, too, Nissan has had to develop two different body styles to ensure that the Cube works in all markets while retaining its eccentric looks. What’s it like to drive? Entirely acceptable. Which obviously isn’t the dab-of-oppo, cocking-a-rear-wheel kind of answer you were after, but it’s a credit to the Cube that it doesn’t drive like it looks. It’s just like piloting a conventional Micra or any rival hatchback, such as a non-Renaultsport Clio: light but direct steering, a smidge of body roll through corners (but nothing too intrusive) and a reasonably snappy gearchange that’s mated to a 1.6 petrol engine with just enough oomph. Those without a pressing interest in cars will find nothing to fault; those of us keener on driving will be left wanting more. How does it compare? It’s hard to pick an obvious rival for the Cube. While its size and proportions aim it at the Vauxhall Meriva/Citroen Picasso family car crowd (it’s preferable to both), the emphasis on looks and image could see it fighting the likes of the Mini Cooper and Alfa Mito for sales. If you’re not fussed about sharp dynamics, the Cube’s a very covetable (and practical) car. Anything else I need to know? There’ll be 2000 Cubes coming to the UK this year, with just the one engine option (this 1.6 petrol) for now. A 1.5-litre diesel will join the range around May.

Find a used Nissan Cube for sale on the Classic and Performance Car site > http://www.classicandperformancecar.com/nissan/cube

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Specifications

Engine1598cc, 4-cyl
Max power108bhp @ 6000rpm
Max torque113lb ft @ 4400rpm
0-6011.3sec
Top speed109mph
On saleNow
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

6 Nov 2019
Visit/audi/r8/201931/entry-level-audi-r8-v10-rwd-added-to-the-range
Audi R8

Entry-level Audi R8 V10 RWD added to the range

6 Nov 2019
Visit/bmw/m2/201929/track-only-bmw-m2-cs-racing-unveiled
BMW M2

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019
Visit/volvo/v90
Volvo V90 estate

2019 Volvo V90 T6 R-design review - the great estate?

5 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
6 Nov 2019
Visit/news/18843/car-pictures-of-the-week
Toyota

Car pictures of the week

This impromptu trip to Germany included the unlikely chance to drive a rare Japanese icon
8 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019