2009 Nissan cube KromEnlarge Photo
The 2009 Nissan cube hits dealerships in May, and pricing has just been announced. The base model will run an affordable $13,990, with various custom packages pushing that figure higher. The cube will come in four flavors: cube 1.8, cube 1.8 S, cube 1.8 SL and cube 1.8 Krom. Not surprisingly, each will be powered by a 1.8 liter inline 4-cylinder engine boasting 122hp, which should get around 30 mpg on the highway.
Like its most obvious competitor, the Scion xB, the cube offers a veritable pu-pu platter of bling, including various trims, sound systems, and--we're quoting here--"'shag carpeting' instrument panel inserts". There's also--another quote--"an Interior Illumination Kit, which provides a changeable 20-color palette of accent lighting under the instrument panel and in the center console cupholder." The Krom model is already tricked out with a special set of gear, including 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a Bluetooth hands-free phone set-up, and a bumpin' audio system. Sounds perfect for the teen who's overwhelmed by too many choices.
The best paragraph of Nissan's press release has to be this one:
A centerpiece of the new cube appeal is its "social space" interior that offers room for five in a lounge-like comfort. Along with its open occupant space, "floating meter pod" driver's area and "lounge sofa" style sliding and reclining rear bench seat, the cube interior is available with a long list of innovative accessories.
So, in case you were wondering: yes, the cube and its competitors have become the customized vans of the 21st century. Cue the Foghat, please.
Despite the model's annoyingly lowercase name (seriously, is it 1997?), the cube has been popular with critics and drivers. And of course, it's done very well in Japan, where the boxy, cargo van-ish genre is full of contenders. So, what say you, gentle readers? Drop us a line or weigh in below.