A 1.6-litre petrol engine is the only option, and it will spin the front wheels if you're a bit heavy-footed when pulling away. However, the Cube is happy to trundle along in traffic at just a handful of revs, and once out on the open road it rarely requires more than one downchange to summon up a burst of acceleration.
Nissan Cube Hatchback ride & handling
The Cube's light steering makes it effortless to park, but it's disconcerting at speed. You also have to put up with a lot of body roll through bends, although there is plenty of grip. Poor surfaces send shudders through the cabin, and the ride becomes bouncy as the speed increases.
Nissan Cube Hatchback refinement
With such a bluff frontage and its large door mirrors, wind noise is always going to be an issue. There's also a fair amount of suspension thud over bumps, but at least engine noise is well suppressed. The Cube's mushy clutch action and clunky gearshift are not what we've come to expect from Nissan.