2013 Nissan Cube Comfort & Quality

On Comfort & Quality

The 2013 Nissan Cube has more space for people than you might guess from the outside, but if you need versatility, and to maximize space sometimes for larger items, you can do a lot better.

Seating is one of the Cube's strengths; and in layout, inside, it's quite van-like. The seats up front are much better than what you get in the Versa or Sentra--and of course a little higher--provided you aren't cornering that hard, as there's no significant side bolstering. The rear seats offer plenty of room for two tall adults, and folding up the pull-down center armrest will just barely allow a third person in the rear. The rear seat slides back and forth and also reclines--though not all the way.

The 2013 Cube's interior looks nicer than the price might suggest, but its reasonably comfortable cabin is let down by some subpar materials up close.

But it's clear that passenger space gets the priority over cargo space. With the rear seat is up there just isn't much space in the short load bay, and flipping down the rear seat-back doesn't help much, because the cargo floor inexcusably is neither flat nor continuous.

For smaller odds and ends, Nissan did much better. There are cubbies in the dashboard on either side of the steering wheel, along with door pockets, and cupholders both down low on the console and up high. Bungee hooks on the side doors add a novel touch--even if most owners wouldn't ever actually use them.

The Cube rides remarkably well, with more refinement than you'd expect in a very affordable vehicle. There's not a lot of road noise, or really any of the boomy resonance that wagons and crossovers tend to get at highway speeds. There aren't any odd vibrations, and the ride is smooth and well-damped, soft but without the pitching that can sometimes make short, over-damped cars less pleasant.

And as isolated as the Cube is from road noise, it's probably no surprise that there's considerable wind noise at highway speeds.

There's one other down side to the Cube: Up close, its plastic trims and materials just aren't that impressive. The design flourishes throughout the cabin go a long way toward disguising it, but they're (very obviously, in places) economy-grade details.

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