Did my affinity for America’s original form of music win me many dates, not really.
Then as I got into college, I still kept my proclivity for Jazz but began to get into classic rock. The dating situation started to improve but the idea of grunge rock or ever more pervasive and increasingly angry hip-hop was lost on me.
After college and ironically when I moved overseas, I came out of the country closet. I embraced my inner Cash and happily rocked out to Randy Travis, Willie and of course, Haggard.
With a musical resume like that, I am quite proud to say that I am the antithesis of hip.
The same lack of understanding I have for certain varieties of music can be applied to my perception of boxy cars. In general, they are Japanese Domestic market cars that happen to sell well at home. When Toyota introduced Scion as a brand and the xB, I thought the world had entered a parallel universe. I was absolutely certain that Toyota’s CEO would jump out at any time and say ‘Fooled Ya’! While I have been waiting for that day to come, Nissan has now entered what I feel strongly to be an April fools contest.
A bit of back-story on this to help understand my logic. When Toyota introduced Scion they thought they were going to sell like hot cakes to young hipsters – the very people that listen to all the music that I don’t. So they thought including a lot of equipment that normally costs extra like better stereos and power windows would seal the deal. You know, provide value or something like that. Funny thing is, it didn’t go according to plan. Turns out it’s the seniors that like value, not hipsters. So instead of being all over inner cities, Scions also ended up in Sun City.
With a story like that, you would think there wouldn’t be any followers. Well, Nissan tried the exact same plan. Take a Japanese domestic market car that sells well there and pass it off as a ‘hip’ car stateside. Now we have the Cube.
What you don’t know about my background is that I really like to try something before dismissing it. Bungee jumping. Did it. Sky diving. Did it. Marathon running. Still do it. But boxy cars, I had to try this one.
To that end, Nissan sent over a car that I swear I designed back in kindergarten, the Nissan Cube. It turned up on my doorstep and I just could not see any beauty at all in this design that lacked any imagination or style.
I began to climb in and that is where the strange funky trip began. It was there that I noticed odd textures. First and foremost a shag rug carpet randomly placed on the top of the dash. It looked more like a mold covered frozen pizza than decoration.
Beyond that I could not help but notice weird patterns. The headliner looks as if someone threw a pebble into standing water and ripples are now forming concentric circles making their way out to the edge of the car. This wavy theme continues to the floor mats. Everywhere you look throughout the interior are rounded shapes and none of them are symmetrical. Ditto for the outside. The rear windows don’t even match! If I didn’t know better I’d swear this car was designed in Crayola.
Most of our mothers have told us not to judge a book by its cover so I had to look past aesthetics and look at the Cube as what it is: Economical transport.
In that arena it does everything it is supposed to do very well. Meaning it drives like the Versa from whence it came. Given its fire breathing 122 hp, it gets up and goes at a respectable pace. A GT-R it is not but it will get out of its own way. That said, the rubber band of a transmission, the CVT is not really suited for this engine. Even at a paltry sum of horsepower, the engine does have some scoot. The transmission on the other end feels like it is hunting for a gear. A really odd feeling considering it doesn’t have any. If you really want one, go with a manual.