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2012 Nissan Cube 1.8 S

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5 of 5

Journey's End
2012 Nissan Cube 1.8 S

2012 Nissan Cube.

Photo © Nissan

Oh, I so wanted to fall in love with the Cube. I love Pikachu, I love Chococat, and I worship at the altar of Julius the Sock Monkey. I wanted my own slice of Kawaii to pilot down the road. But the fake asymmetry turned me right off, and I just can't get over it. My wife, who is a Hello Kitty devotee, soured on the Cube as well. She can't stand it when one thing pretends to be something else -- she's very rigid that way. It's a shame, because the Cube has a lot of merits. It is a very good size for urban drivers. It's easy to maneuver, easy to park, and easy to live with. It is, unfortunately, a little bit too expensive to be considered cute, especially in the face of some serious competition.

The obvious competitors are the Scion xB and Kia Soul, on an aesthetic and functional basis. But there are less obvious competitors as well. Nissan's own Juke and Versa Hatchback can each make a case for the same turf. Toyota's Matrix, Honda's Fit, and Chevrolet's Sonic offer nearly the same level of utility at competitive prices. Once you get past Kawaii and into Kaizen, the choices broaden.

There will be people out there who care less about functionality than they do about appearance. They'll fall in love with Cube's looks, and won't care at all about anything else. I get it. I just can't buy it.

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