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STYLING | 9 out of 10
As it is, its chief claim to fame is looking like a refrigerator from the ’50s.
Car and Driver
looks like a junior-sized delivery van
The design is very simple, very Japanese and very hip.
Cube's styling...looks straight from the streets of Tokyo
Road & Track
The styling is cartoonish, as if the body was melted onto the frame, dripping almost to the road.
It's no shrinking violet, that's for sure. The 2012 Nissan Cube stands out even among the "small-box" vehicles with styling to make you take notice. But it hits the right buttons if you need a healthy dose of practicality with your automotive fashion and style. Competitors like the Scion xB and Kia Soul are small boxes too, but the Cube is by far the most unusual.
Looked at head-on, the 2012 Cube has a tough stance, with headlights set wide apart in a rounded snout and horizontal lines widening the grille opening. The designers call it "Bulldog in Sunglasses," picturesque if nothing else. Aside from the nose, the Cube is almost pure box, with vertical sides and rear, making it noticeable on the road and in parking lots. The side-hinged rear hatch has a bustle at the bottom that signals this is no ordinary small van. The tailgate opens to the left side, breaking a rear window line that curves uninterrupted and continuously around the right rear corner of the car and along the side to the pillar between front and rear doors. The windows are all framed with a bevel in the sheetmetal, and the middle side pillar tapers to highlight the effect.
Inside the Cube, the "Casual Lounge" theme layers the curves of a Jacuzzi tub over a surprisingly practical and functional layout. The instrument panel, rounded and recessed, wraps through into the door panels, with carve-outs for the front seat occupants and water-ripple lines everywhere. Trim pieces and other accents are oval shapes, and a depression in the center of the dash is designed to hold an optional piece of artificial grass--a feature probably found on no other vehicle today.
The 2012 Nissan Cube is unapologetically eccentric in its styling, but surprisingly practical anyhow.