Want a New Nissan Cube? Time's Running Out


Nissan announced this week that it would be discontinuing the box-shaped compact hatchback Cube for 2015. The 2014 models that remain on dealer lots will be the last new Cubes to be sold in the U.S.

Related: Ten Cars That Won't See 2015

This isn't an unexpected move. We even predicted the Cube had a high probability of an early demise last year. "The Cube is a dog: It handles like a skateboard, surrenders to highway crosswinds and has the passing power of a 1990s econobox. The side-hinged cargo door is anathema to parallel parking, and the once-impressive high-20s combined EPA mileage has been leapfrogged by Nissan's cheaper, techier Versa. The Versa, in fact, outsold the Cube this year [2013] by a ratio of nearly 22-to-1."

By David Thomas | July 11, 2014 | Comments (11)

Ten Cars That Won't See 2015


Automakers give all sorts of reasons for canceling a model. Sometimes it comes from a deliberate one-and-done cycle, as Scion often employs. Other times a car too similar to its corporate siblings — compare the ultra-luxury Maybach brand to an optioned-out Mercedes-Benz S-Class — and allowed to age without a redesign can spell doom. And some cars just plain stink: Four of our 10 Worst Cars of the 2000s sputtered out with no direct replacement.

Whatever the cause, cancellations often coincide with lackluster sales. Consider former Volvo spokesman James Hope, whose eulogy for the now-defunct S40 and V50 was short and sweet. "The S40 and V50 are great cars," Hope said. "Our focus, however, needs to be on our [sales] volume vehicles."

More than a dozen models were discontinued in 2013. We polled our editors to see which cars we think will meet their end next year.

By Kelsey Mays | December 18, 2013 | Comments (50)

Smart ForTwo Tops List of Most Embarrassing Cars


Drive a Smart ForTwo and you have one of the most embarrassing cars in America, according to a new survey by CarInsurance.com.

The Foster City, Calif., company asked 1,500 drivers age 25 and older to pick the most embarrassing car from a gallery of 12 current or recent vehicles: the Chevrolet HHR, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Nissan Cube, Smart ForTwo and Volkswagen New Beetle hatchbacks; the Chevrolet SSR and Subaru Baja pickup trucks; the Honda Element, Hummer H2 and Pontiac Aztek SUVs; the Lincoln Town Car sedan; and the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible.

Respondents were asked to deem each car embarrassing or not and then ranked the three most embarrassing. The ForTwo pulled an ’84 Reagan — it won by a landslide. (Or it lost by a landslide, depending how you see it, in which case it pulled an ’84 Mondale.) Nearly half of the respondents said they’d be embarrassed to drive Smart’s tiny hatchback, and a third said it was the most embarrassing car. The survey allowed respondents to specify a reason, including write-in options. "It looks like I couldn’t afford a real car," CarInsurance.com says one respondent wrote.

By Kelsey Mays | August 5, 2013 | Comments (20)

Car Talk Names Winner in Ugliest Car Contest


Last month we invited you to join us in the democratic ridicule of finalists in the Ugliest Car Contest organized by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of NPR's "Car Talk" radio show. The votes have been tallied, and it's time to inaugurate the ultimate unattractive automobile currently in production: the Nissan Juke.

What about the Juke offended the most? Those bulbous, froglike headlights situated atop the hood. Not only did voters consider the headlights homely, but some noted the additional creep factor of feeling like they were being watched in the driver's seat. It seems some people just can't take a Juke.

In second place, things also didn't shape up well for the Nissan Cube, whose right angles were all wrong for voters. Finally, in third, the Lincoln MKT's aggressive grille was off-putting for voters who felt the crossover was gnashing its teeth at them.

It should be noted that the Fiat Multipla, which was winning handily as of Jan. 23, was disqualified when contest organizers realized it was no longer in production.

For the full rundown on the Car Talk Ugliest Car Contest, click here.

Car Talk: What’s the Ugliest Car?
Top 10 Ugliest Car Grilles
Top 10 Ugly Cars
By Matt Schmitz | February 1, 2013 | Comments (6)

Car Talk: What's the Ugliest Car?


Just as a person's beauty is only skin deep, a car's is in the eye of the pink-slip holder. Still, there's just no denying that some have a face only an owner could love. Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the hosts of NPR's "Car Talk" radio show, solicited input online to determine the ugliest automobile currently in production.

Based on the nominations received, the field was narrowed to 10: Chevrolet Spark, Fiat Multipla, Infiniti QX56, Kia Soul, Lincoln MKT, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Cube, Nissan Juke (photo above), Toyota Prius v and the Smart ForTwo. At last check, the Multipla was trouncing the uncomely competition with nearly 39% of the vote. Its nearest opponent is the Juke with nearly 26%; the balance of the nominees' vote tallies were in the single digits.

Is the Multipla being unfairly maligned in the face of an uglier opponent? Or perhaps you wish to contribute to the pile-on? Click here to cast your vote.

Car Talk: Top 20 Signs You Should Avoid a Garage
Car Talk: Top 10 Most Annoying Things Other Drivers Do

Top 10 Ugly Cars
By Matt Schmitz | January 23, 2013 | Comments (15)

Kia Soul: Last Box Standing?

It seemed like the automotive industry was all about thinking inside the box during the last few years, with squared-off entries from Honda, Scion, Nissan and Kia entering the market. Since the midsize Honda Element debuted in 2002, it's been followed by the compact Scion xB and subcompact Nissan Cube and Kia Soul to much initial fanfare and even commercials with lovable dancing rodents.

But is the box-on-wheels party over? It looks like consumers have cooled to the idea of driving such distinct cars. Model-year 2011 was the Element's last, and this past spring Toyota announced it's canceling the xB. Are the Cube and Soul next?

By Jennifer Geiger | July 18, 2012 | Comments (19)

Nissan Invitation Concept at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

Nissan Invitation Concept

  • Looks like: The child of a Honda Fit and Nissan Leaf  
  • Defining characteristics: Prominent trapezoidal grille with headlight cutouts  
  • Ridiculous features: Around View Monitor seems sort of unnecessary  
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Launching in Europe in 2013

Are you over Nissan's subcompact Cube? The Nissan Invitation Concept may be what's next in this class from the automaker, but don't get your hopes up just yet.

What you're seeing here is an ordinary-looking subcompact hatchback, though it's just a concept for the moment. The vehicle is coming to the European market next year, where it will complement Nissan's Micra subcompact and Juke compact. Besides the Cube, the Japanese carmaker technically doesn't have a small hatchback offering in the U.S. since the Nissan Versa is considered a compact. That means there's a possibility that the model may be coming here, too, but Nissan made no mention of a U.S. release.

By Colin Bird | March 8, 2012 | Comments (0)

Nissan Announces 2012 Cube Pricing

Like us, maybe you’ve heard rumors about the Nissan Cube’s demise. Fear not, the automaker’s funky box on wheels returns for its fourth model year. A new limited-edition package is the biggest news for Cube’s lineup, which also sees a modest price increase and a couple new features for 2012.

The 1.8 S Indigo Limited Edition package includes special Indigo seat trim, 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a navigation system with 5-inch touch-screen, RearView Monitor, upgraded speakers with Rockford Fosgate subwoofer and a USB port. The package retails for $1,900.

Other new-for-2012 features include Nissan’s Intelligent Key as standard equipment on SL models and an attached armrest that’s now standard on S and SL models. Expanded exterior color choices include Pearl White, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Cayenne Red and Bali Blue.

Prices increase slightly for 2012 and are as follows:

Cube 1.8 with manual transmission: $14,980
Cube 1.8 S with manual transmission: $16,420
Cube 1.8 S with CVT: $17,420
Cube 1.8 SL with CVT: $18,520

Model-year 2011 Cube prices started at $14,740 for the base model. All prices listed exclude destination fees. The 2012 Nissan Cube is on sale now.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 5, 2012 | Comments (0)

2012 Nissan Lineup: Ch-Ch-Changes

2012 Versa sedanFor the 2012 model year, Nissan will refresh the Maxima, add a Special Edition Package to the Rogue and increase the standard features on the Leaf. The automaker released the planned model-year changes for its lineup this week.

Nissan also plans to continue to sell the old Versa hatchback alongside the completely redesigned Versa sedan, which was first shown at the 2011 New York International Auto Show.

Continue reading below for more detailed information.

By Colin Bird | June 14, 2011 | Comments (9)

Breaking Down Nissan's Year End Sales Event

Breaking Down Nissan's Year End Sales Event

Nissan has traditionally given bigger discounts than its more frugal Japanese cousins — Toyota and Honda — and for December, that yuletide tradition continues.

Nissan is offering a wide array of hefty cash-back and low-financing options across its entire lineup, barring new entries like the Juke or the GT-R sports car. Relatively inexpensive models like the Versa have up to $2,000 cash back. The relatively new but slow-selling Cube also gets $500 cash back. The Altima Hybrid, which is sold in limited markets, has up to $4,000 cash back on it, depending on the region.

Unlike some brands, which are nearly done with the switch to the 2011 model year, nearly 40% of Nissan’s inventory is from the 2010 model year, so these 2010 deals should be somewhat easy to come by.

All highlighted models have 0% to 3.9% financing for 60 to 72 months, depending on the model. Most of these deals are good until Jan. 3.

If you’re looking for a lease deal, you may be somewhat disappointed. We could find only three models – the Altima, Rouge and Sentra – that have subvented leasing plans, and all three require largish money-down agreements.

For more detailed info, continue reading below.

By Colin Bird | December 15, 2010 | Comments (2)

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