Cargo-wise, the Nissan Cube isn't quite as stellar. There's not a lot of cargo space behind the back seats when they're up in place, and when they flip forward they don't provide a flat, continuous cargo floor. There are, however, plenty of places to put smaller items, including door pockets, dash cubbies on either side of the steering wheel, and cup holders up high and down low. The side doors even have bungee hooks.
The Cube is truly surprising in terms of refinement. Inside, it's far quieter and more sophisticated-feeling than most shoppers in this price class will expect. Road noise is well muted, and we didn't sense any of the boomy resonance that's common in other small-car models at high cruising speeds. The engine is luxury-car smooth at idle and has none of the roughness or vibration transmitted through to the floor or pedals while accelerating as we've observed on some competing models. What's more, the ride is on the soft side but never pitchy, as short-wheelbase vehicles can be.
Considering the Cube's almost shockingly low base price—$15,040 for 2011, including destination—Nissan had to skimp somewhere, and it appears that up close, materials and plastics is where. There's also significant wind noise at highway speeds, which isn't all that surprising.