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2011 Nissan Cube Photo
6.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$14,221
BASE MSRP
$14,740
On Performance
The 2011 Nissan Cube isn't at all sporty, but it performs adequately.
6.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The electric power-assisted steering is delightfully light—your best friend in traffic or while parking—but otherwise feels artificial and reveals little about road textures.
Car and Driver

easy to maneuver and fun to drive
MSN Autos

Handling isn't particularly agile and body lean sets in early while cornering
Consumer Reports

the Cube feels like a dancer who's a beat or two behind the music
Edmunds

smooth steering, six-speed manual, passable handling, terrific low-speed maneuverability
USA Today

All Cube models come with a 122-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, powering the front wheels. The engine is offered with either Nissan's Xtronic CVT automatic or six-speed manual transmission, and in either configuration it's enough to move the Cube quickly, but not with the verve of a performance car. Between the two transmissions, it's a tossup; Nissan continues to improve the CVT's calibration and drivability, so it's smooth going and there's none of the lurching feeling on moderate acceleration that we still observe on other CVTs. The six-speed manual has a nice linkage, but the slow-to-react electronic throttle doesn't encourage spirited driving.

Surprisingly, while the Cube has quite the personality in terms of styling, design, and function, it doesn't possess much of a driving personality. The Cube is maneuverable but not particularly nimble, handling well in ordinary driving but demonstrating lots of roll and lean in hard cornering. The steering wheel brings no feel of the road, and it stays almost fingertip light whether parking or cruising at expressway speeds. It's a bit susceptible to crosswinds, so we found ourselves overcorrecting sometimes when thrown off course. The soft suspension is a smart setup for most city driving, as it soaks up jarring expansion strips and even modest potholes without drama.

That said, the Cube accelerates adequately, with enough reserve power for passing on two-laners, and brakes have a nice, firm feel, even though under it they're just drums in back.

Conclusion

The 2011 Nissan Cube isn't at all sporty, but it performs adequately.

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