Boxy Dynamics

I have no reason to believe the Cube is unstable, and it has a standard electronic stability system, but it does feel more top-heavy than the other boxes — and definitely more so than conventional cars. It's also more susceptible to crosswinds, as I learned on a gusty day of highway driving.

The Cube is modestly powered, and our car's continuously variable automatic transmission cost us a little off-the-line acceleration compared with last year's six-speed manual. It also seemed slower than it actually was. Though Nissan's CVTs are among the best-executed on the market, they characteristically let the engine rev up to high rpm, often at unexpected times, which gives the impression of straining. In truth, it's just finding the most powerful and/or efficient combination of engine speed and gear ratio.

It pays off. The CVT is rated 27/31 mpg city/highway, and the manual gets an estimated 25/30 mpg. This beats the xB (22/28) and the Soul's smaller engine (26/31). Of the three, the Soul gives the most options, challenging the Cube with its smaller engine and the xB with its more powerful one (24/30).

    See also:

    Event Data Recorders (EDR)
    This vehicle is equipped with an Event Data Recorder (EDR). The main purpose of an EDR is to record, in certain crash or near crash-like situations, such as an air bag deployment or hitting a ...

    Auto-reverse function (when closing or tilting down the moonroof)
    The auto-reverse function can be activated when the moonroof is closed or tilted down by automatic operation when the ignition switch is placed in the ON position or for about 45 seconds after the ...

    Security systems
    Your vehicle has two types of security systems, as follows: - Vehicle security system - NISSAN Vehicle Immobilizer System The security condition will be shown by the security indicator ligh ...