2013 Nissan Cube Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 01, 2013
FAST FACTS
  • 5-passenger seating
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD)
  • Up to 58.1 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seat folded
  • S and SL trim levels
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 31 mpg on the highway

Introduction

The box is back for another year, as the 2013 Nissan Cube returns with its combination of polarizing style and commendable versatility. Labeled a small station wagon by the EPA, the quirky Cube offers seating for 5 occupants, spacious cargo area, and high crash-test scores.

Exterior Features

Befitting its entry-level status, the 2013 Nissan Cube S model features 15-inch steel wheels, but it also offers rear privacy glass, a rear window wiper, body-color power-adjustable outside mirrors, a compact boxy body with thin horizontal taillights, and a tailgate that swings open from the passenger side, allowing for easy access when parallel parked against a curb.

The Cube SL model includes the standard amenities and is upgraded with 16-inch alloy wheels and automatic headlights.

Interior Features

Inside, 2013 Nissan Cube S and SL models offer a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with integrated audio controls, cloth upholstery, front bucket seats with fold-down armrests and height adjustment for the driver, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat that reclines and slides, and Bluetooth connectivity. All trim levels also feature a 6-speaker sound system, power windows, power door locks with keyless entry, and cruise control. The Cube SL adds push-button start and automatic climate control, whereas the Cube S is equipped with basic air conditioning.

Optional Features

Nissan offers one factory option, the SL Preferred package, that outfits the 2013 Cube SL with fog lights, rearview camera, navigation system with a 5-inch touch-screen display and real-time traffic information, satellite radio, USB port, and an upgraded audio system including additional speakers.

A generous assortment of dealer accessories are also available for the 2013 Nissan Cube, highlights of which include a lower body kit, interior accent lighting, LED daytime running lights, and a GPS stolen-vehicle tracking system.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Nissan Cube is equipped with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 122 horsepower and 127 lb.-ft. of torque, all of which is directed to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT). A limited-slip feature is standard on all Cube models.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Nissan Cube are:

  • Cube with 6-speed manual transmission: 25/30/27 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Cube with CVT: 27/31/28 mpg

Safety

The 2013 Nissan Cube's standard safety features include 6 air bags, traction control, front active head restraints, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with front discs and rear drums, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist.

In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Cube received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for moderate frontal-offset crash protection; the Cube also received a "Top Safety Pick" designation from the Institute. As this preview is written, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not rated the crashworthiness of the 2013 Nissan Cube.
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