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SVOboy 11-28-2008 05:50 PM

Is the Nissan Cube the Future of Transportation?
This year at the LA Auto Show, Nissan unveiled a new vehicle, the Cube. While the Cube has been kicking around in Japan for quite a few years, it had good company. There are tons of similarly shaped compact and subcompact cars that don’t make the Cube seem quite so out of place. In North [...]Related posts:
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Cd 11-29-2008 10:50 AM

I'm afraid that yes it is. Every generation tries to be as different fron the previous generation as they can.
I see the X-Box and Cube craze as rebellion from the previous generations rounded 'bar of soap' look.
The X-Box and Cube are as extreme as you can get - take a few boxy shapes and add little wheels to it.
It's different looking, and people go for things that look 'different' .
I think what helped the Scion Xb ( "X-box" ) sell so well is that it was marketed to teenagers. Toyota even set up an entirely new brand to seperate it from 'normal' cars.

Chevy created Geo as a seperate brand, but failed to market it as a 'cool' car that appealed to younger kids. The fact that the X-box and Cube, the Mini, and especially the 'smart car' are small cars that actually appeal to kids is proof that apparently 'smallness' in a car can be immediately overlooked if the car has a 'cool' image to it.

ShadeTreeMech 06-06-2010 03:30 PM

I bumped this thread partly due to a Cube owner just signing on and also I think this is an interesting piece.

I also marveled at the funkiness of the xb, but the fact that it seems to also get good mileage is astounding to me. I guess it may not be a bad thing to make the next generation more interested in a small car than in SUVs.

cfg83 06-06-2010 04:37 PM

Hello -

I like the Cube from an abstract design POV, but I doubt I would get one. I *like* asymetrical execution in car designs when it's appropriate. My aesthetic is out of date, I like early '90's low-slung cars. I wish this came with a 1st-gen Civic hybrid drivetrain that had the manual tranny :


RobertSmalls 06-06-2010 05:10 PM

No, it will remain a niche. Other high-drag niche cars include the VW Beetle, PT Cruiser, Scion xB, Kia Soul, and the Smart. Okay, so it's a growing niche, but it won't become mainstream because there are too many new car buyers who care about and pay attention to fuel costs.

Of course, in my opinion, the idea of "sedan" is inferior to a streamlined body. People put up with sedans' higher fuel consumption for the sake of conformity and vanity. We need more cars shaped like the Citroen SM, Datsun B210, CRX, Prius, and the Honda Crosstour.

I guess sedans are easy enough to swallow, and streamlined bodies are repulsive enough, that sedans remain the norm in America.

Lokalazeros 06-06-2010 05:51 PM


Originally Posted by RobertSmalls (Post 177884)
(...)Okay, so it's a growing niche, but it won't become mainstream because there are too many new car buyers who care about and pay attention to fuel costs.

In my opinion the xB seems to be doing quite good, mpg-wise.
I drive a '03 VW Jetta 1.8t, and I can't really get past the 35MPG barrière (EPA 24mpg combined), while most xB seems to get in the 35-40mpg with an EPA rating of 28-29. Heck, I don't even spool the turbo, and can't beat a brick on wheels.

Of course, it's not like the Scion was getting low 50' either, but if in a couple of years cars getting 35mpg would be the worst, i'd be quite happy for the planet:)

SentraSE-R 06-06-2010 08:50 PM

I like the whole genre, from the original xB to the Cube and Soul. They're cute, and capable of decent fuel economy.
As far as ugly replacing sedans, you haven't been paying attention to minivans, pickups, and SUVs, apparently.

Rokeby 06-06-2010 09:30 PM

I too find the mini two-box vehicles intriguing. I still like the Gen I Xb the
better looking, the Gen II looks bloated to my eye.

As to the Cube. Me thinks the asymmetry is a window treatment and merely
cosmetic. I see vertical structure inside the "wrap-around. Ho-hum.

Nothing as daring and 'out of the box" as Frank Lloyd Wright's cantilever
corner window sans post:


Of course, meeting roll-over and crush standards with no roof support on the
left rear corner would be difficult/expensive. :rolleyes:

Phantom 06-09-2010 11:55 AM

I hate the Cube it looks like Warf from Startrack was *** by a *** wearing flannel and some how he gave birth to this atrocity called the Cube.

gasstingy 06-11-2010 06:36 PM

The Cube sure is funky for an old man like me, my first new car was a '76 Pinto. :p IMHO, the rear window not wrapping around on the left side has more to do with the bulge for the upper door hinge. Stretching glass must take too much effort.

All that said, I'd rather see a youngster in a Cube than a 1997 Chevy 4X4 with a 6" lift and monsterous tires. :eek: Oops, I did't say that out loud, did I?

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