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DRIVER SEAT> Miami Meets the Nissan Cube

2009 Nissan Cube Miami Epic Hotel Biscayne waterfront

The Nissan Cube is one of the newest Japanese imports to American shores, and what better place for such a spicy import to come ashore than caliente Miami? Not too long ago, we got to spend a little time with this habanero chili pepper-colored specimen (very nice) and we’re digging the flavor.

Marketed by Nissan as the “Cube Mobile Device,” this new product offering from Nissan competes directly against the highly popular Scion xB and the newly introduced Kia Soul.

Nissan Cube steering wheel interior

Even though the exterior of the Cube, with its assymetrical rear hatch door and neverending rear window, gives the impression that the interior setup might be two exits beyond practical, everything turned out to be very functional and well placed – while still remaining cool and fashionable. A perfect place for the perfect pair of shades. We especially liked the circular climate control design.

Nissan Cube gauge cluster

The gauge cluster itself was very interesting. The gradient white-to-blue that surrounds the tachometer and speedometer made the two stand out, especially with red gauge needles. Multicolored dash displays are definitely a plus because they’re easy to read at a glance – we hate looking at monotonous “all red” or “all white” hued gauge clusters.

Nissan Cube 2009 roof ripple

The interior is anything but “cube”-like, with many oval styling cues and rounded edges, as evidenced by the roof which gives the impression that someone dropped the interior light into a still pond.

Nissan Cube krom Miami 2009

The assymetrical rear window is nothing short of panoramic and visibility is much better than expected. Factor in a hatch that opens sideways like a regular door and the super cool rear taillights; we’re seriously considering getting a Cube for the Motor Mavens fleet.

Nissan Cube rear taillights

We love the futuristic look of the Cube – especially the taillights. They look sooooo cool in our opinion.

white Nissan Cube krom

For such a small car that many would refer to as “quirky”, the Cube has tons of attitude. Despite the usual associations that accompany cars in this category, it’s doubtful that anyone will describe it as “girly.” Many are describing it as a “bulldog in sunglasses” but we think it looks more like a little guerilla warrior. C’mon, look at that first picture next to the Miami waterfront and tell us you can’t imagine the Cube as a stylish automotive depiction of Che Guevara complete with military hat and shades…wayyy cool.

Miami was incredible in the springtime; cool ocean breeze, cute Ocean Drive breezies, Nissan Cubes and Cuban food. What else could you ask for? No wonder we love Miami.

Nissan Cube krom engine

The Cube’s 1.8 Liter, 4 cylinder MR18DE engine puts out 122 hp @ 5200 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque @ 4800 rpm but…do these specs really matter? Who’s gonna drag race a Cube?

We had the automatic transmission cruising the Miami streets and we got as much “Ooo” factor as any sports car. What more do you need? Well, maybe slightly better gas mileage than the listed 28 city/30 hwy ; because when a car is this small, it immediately makes us think “Versa/Fit/Prius/Smart/insertsmallhybridcarhere.”

Nissan Cube krom interior lighting

Honestly, we don’t really care for the colored LED interior lighting inside cars like Nissan Cube, Scion xB, and Kia Soul. However, while we prefer the cool white LED interior lighting of a Lexus, there are plenty of people out there that really like this colored LED look.

The combination of the interior lighting, carbon fiber and chrome accents throughout the interior make for a pretty classy-looking combination, especially at the 13K-19K price point. By the way… is it just us, or does that cupholder make you think of Mickey Mouse?

Nissan Cube krom

The Cube officially seats four tall adults with a surprising amount of space and, if you raise the pulldown center armrest, you can fit another person on the bench seating in the back.

There’s also a few surprise storage areas, like this one (above) behind the rear passenger seats. I wonder what one would put in the compartment back there, anyway? Secret storage for your spare housekey? Cellphone? USB hard drive?

Nissan Cube Krom Epic Hotel Miami

We found this special edition Cube parked right outside our hotel; the “Krom” is a factory modified version of the Cube, which is distinguishable on the exterior with its aero kit and different grill.

Miami Biscayne waterfront Epic Hotel

Miami was the perfect place for Nissan to get us acquainted with its Cube Mobile Device; and from our balcony at The Epic Hotel at night, the entire surrounding area  seemed to have a Cube-like theme. The architecture and rooftop pools just seemed to glow at night, making Miami look like the most exciting city in the world.

Miami Biscayne waterfront Epic Hotel

We really can’t stop staring at Miami’s Biscayne waterfront. Driving the Cube around Miami in the springtime, everything felt perfect. We thought, “this is exactly how all young people deserve to live” as we cruised around Ocean Drive and the surrounding areas to experience the Cube and take photos, ending our night at our own tall hotel overlooking the waterfront, where we found plenty of gorgeous young people smiling and socializing at the rooftop pool, enjoying the cool springtime breeze, drinking tall Mojitos as they grooved to Brazilian house music. Just perfect.

:: Antonio Alvendia

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27 Responses

  1. Hmmm, The cube is strange looking. But i guess its just like when I first saw people walking around with stretched ears (plugs). I said to myself… WTF! after a year or two it grew on me. Maybe the design aesthetics of the Cube is too far for me to accept right. I’m sure it will grow on me. Phenomenal photography, yo!

    Much love pare

  2. Frodo

    The Cube is nice but those shots of Miami are breath taking! Antonio, you should see if the Miami Chamber of Commerce will hire you to put together a brochure – not that Miami needs much publicity…

  3. M45 Infinite

    that first photo is awesome! i wonder if people are going to make VIP style cubes and old school looking cubes with 15″ wheels… i haven’t seen to many modified cubes yet.

  4. I’ve tried really hard to find something about this car that I like and I am falling short. I’ve seen a few around Ann Arbor and the suburbs of Detroit but I just find a level of “unresolved” to it. Obviously it’s going to draw comparisons to the xB and Kia Soul but I feel that even the Ford SYNus concept from 2005 was in many ways more resolved and better designed.

    I can appreciate the asymmetry on the rear window because it actually makes sense, you’re checking your blindspot for the fact that that rear pillar usually hinders your ability to see and by having this additional glass you gain more vision.That’s something I can appreciate even if it wasn’t the intent, do they do it on the left pillar for RHD cars?

    And I will disagree on the fact that people will call it girly. I think that the “drip-in-a-pond” inspired interior lamp is very reminiscent of just about any advertisement for woman’s skin care products. This car is a little too much Dove/Oil of Olay for me. I would lean more towards the Kia Soul in terms of overall style but performance/pricing would be factors too.

    I’m digging the photos though and I do like the reference to Che, from the head on it does look like a possible Guerrilla warfare vehicle, just needs some wheels/tires off of a John Deere gator to really fit the bill.

  5. Dewia

    I test drove one a few weeks back and it is a fun little car. I really like the design of the inside a lot and there arent a lot of photos out there showing the ripple effect going on inside so i am glad you took pictures of that! great work

  6. Bob Hucik

    Sup Antonio!! Love the pics man….the Miami cityscape pics at night are hella sick. To bad that ugly ass car had to ruin the rest of the pics :-)

  7. Kahlo

    Pat – I remember a lot of negative feedback about the Scion Xb and then some peeps got their hands on them and started hookin’ em up and BAM – the boxes were all over the highway. I think the Cube is going to be done up real dope by somebody and the combination of that and the price will bring dudes to the table.

  8. These pictures really do justice for the Cube!

    And the cupholders do remind me of Mickey Mouse. lol. I just love how the mini cars (xB, new Beetle, Cube) have a surplus of cup holders. It fits the younger fickle demo to the tee!

  9. Kahlo, I respect that and I anticipate seeing some done up nice. I still think side by side the xB has more character but I will wait to see otherwise.

  10. Rich

    Man Antonio…your photos will sell anything!! Very impressive composition!! Keep sharing your eye man!! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  11. La Carrera

    Man, this makes me want a Cube. What PCD are the wheels? 4×100? What kinds of suspension options are available for this thing?

  12. @Chris/Hechtspeed!
    Thanks for the link, that’s awesome! How did u find that anyway?

    I think it’s 4×100? it would make a lot of sense…

    YOU ARE THE MAN. i agree with you EXACTLY.

    @Lisa Marie Chen:
    so glad to see cute chicks like yourself commenting on the site! =) hehe don’t you own an xB? are you modifying yours?

    @Bob, @Rich, @Felixxx and others:
    Yeahhhhhh I wanna go back and shoot more photos in Miami!!! I can’t wait!!!

  13. Derek

    I love every inch of it. People today are so afraid of anything different. I can’t believe people who call this ugly probably like those UGLY 17 inch Hot Wheels looking rims on those Ghetto looking Chryslers and Escalades. Opionions are like A holes, everyone has one and they usally stink. I love the Cube!

  14. Kennedy


    Outstanding photography! You even magically make the Cube look attractive. Genius! OK, how can we get you to shoot our Scions my good friend???


  15. krikkit

    Really nice shots!

    Is it wrong to hate myself for liking the car? (Except the lights that make the cup holders look alien. Or holy. Like you truly are drinking Coke from the Grail.)

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