'Marmite' styling

  • Scheduled to arrive in October or November
  • You'll love or hate the 'Marmite' styling
  • Not just fashion and fun - it practical, too
Words By What Car? Staff

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'Marmite' styling
No one is going to buy the Cube for what it drives like, however: they'll be drawn by how it looks or not. Nissan admits it's a 'Marmite car' that will have a cult following in some quarters, but be regarded as hideous, hilarious or both in others.

The 'bulldog in sunglasses' (Nissan's description, not ours) styling of the outgoing car has been preserved on the new one. That means an asymmetric shape, with a tailgate that opens like a fridge door rather than upwards, and a window that wraps around the rear roof pillar and continues along one side of the car. Nissan reckons it gives better over-the-shoulder visibility when pulling away from the kerb or swapping lanes.

On the other side are two normal windows if you can count their photo-frame design as normal. At the front, wide headlights are linked by the grille, and the treatment is echoed at the rear, where the bumper-mounted light cluster runs the full width of the car, save for a nameplate in the centre. That could make things expensive if you back into a low wall

The Cube is less than four metres long, but thanks to its upright, boxy shape (it didn't get that name for nothing), high roofline and long wheelbase, it's a spacious five-seater. At the rear there's a sliding bench Nissan calls it a 'lounge sofa' mounted higher than the two front seats so that everyone gets a good view out. A large sunroof with a shade inspired by Japanese rice paper is available to make the cabin more airy.

If you're prone to sea-sickness, you'd best stay clear of the Cube: inside, wavy lines abound. Even the roof lining looks like ripples running outwards from the centre of a pond. The dashboard, door panels, seats and stitching on the quilted suede-effect trim continue the wave theme, while the cupholders and climate control switches have a water drop design. There's no respite with the asymmetrical instruments, either: they're in a sort of travel brochure Caribbean blue and white, supposedly to make it easier to distinguish the speedometer and rev counter.