My Nissan Cube Experience "Good Lord, I'm gonna look ridiculous driving this thing," I thought. When I climbed into the Cube, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to fit inside with reasonable comfort so I told the Enterprise man "I'll take it," and thus began my Week with The Cube. Not being much of a "car guy," I had never even heard of the Cube, and I have to admit that at first I stifled a chuckle when the rental agent took me out into the lot to show it to me. I'm not sure if my efforts were successful or not. The Look...
Despite its outer goofiness, the Nissan Cube turned out to be a fun vehicle to drive. Cubes are obviously not very common in my area, because I was aware of people giving it, and me, strange looks every time I stopped at a red light or parked it in a lot. You should be able to comfortably carry up to five full grown adults in the Cube. There are an unusually large amount of drink/cup holders in the Cube -- two are set right next to each other on the driver's side dashboard (a large one for coffee cups and Big Gulp sized drinks, plus a smaller one that would fit a water bottle), three in the center console, and two more for the rear seat passengers. The rear storage compartment is spacious enough to stack several suitcases or medium size boxes, making this an ideal vehicle for a dorm bound college student's Back-To-School travel.
The good news: if you're the type of person who chooses a vehicle based on how quirky or unusual it is, then your ship has definitely come in. One thing I immediately learned is that driving a Cube will get you noticed. I've read some reviews of the Cube online where its paradoxically boxy-yet-rounded shape has been described as "a refrigerator on wheels" or "a car that looks like it's made out of PlayDoh," both of which seem to sum it up pretty well. If you were to keep a drink in every beverage holder in this vehicle, you'd never get to your destination because you'd be stopping to pee every five miles. The interior of the Nissan Cube is surprisingly roomy. Even though it's been a while since I drove a vehicle that only had front-wheel drive (as opposed to the 4x4 Jeep that I was used to), it handled fine on the highway though it could probably use a little more "pep" for going up steep hills. Out of the cars they had available on the lot, they suggested the 2011 Nissan Cube. Of course, there's never a good time for your vehicle to give up on you, but the timing here was particularly bad -- a new work week was dawning with little to no time to go car hunting, plus my kids were about to
start school again, so my wife needed to have her vehicle during the day. (I did drive it in heavy rain, however, and had no problems other than the sound of the raindrops drumming on the roof drowning out the stereo.) If I had to take a wild guess, I'd imagine that the Cube might have trouble navigating through any snow deeper than a few inches. Its small size is ideal for getting in and out of tight parking spaces, and its on-the-road performance was satisfactory. Keeping in mind that I am not an automotive expert or a "gearhead," I'm going to try and give you a somewhat thorough overview of my experience driving this vehicle. If you're a thirsty sort of traveler, the Cube has you covered. If the Pixar Studios crew had put an animated Cube character in their "Cars" films, they probably could've sold a million plush-toy versions of it to little girls. The Cube is so goofy looking that it borders on cute, as if it drove straight out of a Japanese comic strip. Fortunately it's only early September as I write this so it's unlikely that I'll be finding out first hand. It looks as if someone dropped a pebble into a pond, and I suppose it's intended to give the driver a Zen-like sense of inner peace while they're driving. At first glance, the Nissan Cube looks like the kind of car a sorority girl would use to take her friends to the beach. In order to buy some extra time till a more permanent solution could be found, it was necessary for me to rent a car for a week just so I'd have something to get back and forth to work. Another odd feature of the interior (which I didn't even notice till one of my kids pointed it out to me) is the ceiling, which sports a "ripple" pattern surrounding the light in the center. Between that and the shag rug circle, I was beginning to feel like I was driving a mobile version of Austin Powers' swingin' pad. http://fatfreddyscat.hubpages.com/hub/My-Nissan-Cube-Experience The Interior... Last week my aging Jeep Grand Cherokee finally breathed its last. Why is it there? What purpose could it possibly serve? At first I thought it might be intended as a pad to keep your cell phone, iPod or other device in place while you're driving, but after I rounded a turn and my phone went skidding across the dash while testing that theory, I wasn't quite so sure anymore. My favorite was "Cubic Hair." or, "My Week in a Weird Looking Little Car". The Cube is certainly the oddest looking car I've ever driven. The Cube is much lower to the ground than my previous vehicle, however, which made me very conscious of every dip and pothole in the road and also made me wonder how well this car would handle in the snow. I have scanned several message boards devoted to The Cube trying to figure out what this "rug" is for, and though I didn't find any definitive answers, I learned that many Cube owners love the Rug and have come up with a variety of nicknames for it. Unfortunately, I'm not a sorority girl, I'm a 41 year old father of two. I was able to fit my 6-foot-6 frame into the driver's seat with no problems, and my two sons (ages 4 and 9) settled into the back seat with plenty of room to spare. However, my kids thought the Cube was cool, and it was the least expensive option on the rental lot, so I told them I'd take it as long as I could fit into the driver's seat (I'm 6-foot-6). That's something prospective buyers might keep in mind if they live in the often-frosty Northeast like I do. The Driving Experience... One feature that I have yet to figure out is the completely out of place, seemingly random circle of greyish shag carpeting (?) that is attached to the center of the dashboard by a strip of Velcro. I explained my situation to the nice folks at Enterprise Car Rental and emphasized that I didn't need anything big and fancy, just something that I could use for a week's worth of commuting. It had
served me well over the course of eight years, and had almost 135,000 miles on it at its time of death (a moment of silence, please...). I hoped that they were wondering, "What the heck kind of car is that?" but more than likely it was something along the lines of, "Why is that big burly dude driving that girlie little car?" I soon began playing lethal doses of Slayer and Black Sabbath on its stereo every time I drove in an attempt to counter-act its un-coolness