I Said Goodbye to My Nissan Cube So I Can Move Across the Country

Illustration for article titled I Said Goodbye to My Nissan Cube So I Can Move Across the Country

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm moving to Philadelphia. That's right: in less than three months, I'm going to pack up all my belongings and leave a city primarily known for violent crime in order to move to another city primarily known for violent crime, and also cheesesteaks.

This move won't be easy. I know this because some movers came by to give me a quote, and after looking at all my stuff they said: "This move won't be easy." So I believe them. But the hardest part, at least from an emotional standpoint, is already over: I sold my 2009 Nissan Cube.

That's right: my trusty Nissan Cube is gone. The Nissan Cube I inherited when my brother moved across the country in 2012. The Nissan Cube I've parked in front of my house since 2012, prompting at least two neighbors to call the police and report it for being an abandoned vehicle. The Nissan Cube I drove when all my other vehicles were in the shop. Gone, gone, gone. Sold to some woman in South Carolina, who's probably cruising around in it right now, thinking to herself: What the f*** is that SMELL?!


Fortunately, the Cube doesn't have to be gone from our memories. I say this because I made a nice little tribute video to it, which you can watch whenever you're feeling nostalgic. And it gets better: for those of you who might be interested in buying a Nissan Cube of your own, I've even decided to provide a little review below, in the highly useful Q&A format.

Here goes:

Q: Is the Nissan Cube the single worst car ever made?

A: No. That was the Saturn Relay.

Q: Tell me about the engine.

A: The Cube has an engine – of that we can be sure. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely certain what type of engine it has, or how large it is. All I know is it allows the Cube to accelerate at approximately the same rate as an industrial forklift.

Q: Is it loud?

A: No! The Cube's engine isn't loud at all. I say this because the Cube's engine noise is silenced by the whirring sound of its CVT automatic transmission. In fact, all noises are silenced by the Cube's whirring CVT automatic. If you were driving the Cube through Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the only way you'd know something is wrong is that the interior smell changed from "wet dog" to "nuclear explosion."


Q: Let's talk about the interior.

A: It smells.

Q: Aside from that. What were the pros and cons?

A: There are definitely a few cons. For instance: the rear seats don't fold flat, so you don't have a flat load floor in back. The ceiling is rippled, as if the interior dome light was a rock you threw into the beautiful, serene Headliner Pond. There's a piece of shag carpeting on the dashboard (the "Cube pubes") that was placed there – I swear this is true – for style. Really: it serves no functional purpose. In fact, there's a little warning label underneath the shag carpeting that reads: DO NOT PLACE ANYTHING ON THIS PRODUCT. So your only option, when it comes to the shag carpeting, is to stare at it.


Q: And the pros?

A: The interior is an excellent place to spend time if you like loud whirring noises.


Q: Now, on to the exterior styling. What are your thoughts?

A: I believe the Cube was styled by a talented, brilliant, highly qualified automotive designer, who was giving instructions over the phone to an adult chimpanzee.


Q: It's that bad?

A: No. I mean, yeah, sure, there's a strange-looking piece of contoured plastic on the driver's side rear window. And OK, fine, so the front bumper sticks out like a child's puffy lip after an allergic reaction to a bee sting. And yes, the wraparound rear window gives the Cube a certain je ne sais quoi, which is French for: "Even French people would never buy this piece of crap." But the Cube is certainly acceptable if you look at it from the perfect angle, such as the front left, about two feet off the ground, with your eyes closed.


Q: Would you ever recommend the Cube to a friend?

A: Yes! I recommended my Cube to many friends, back when I was trying to sell it.


Q: And now? What if you were having dinner with a friend, and he mentioned he was interested in a Nissan Cube?

A: I would escape through the service entrance and take up residence in another city under an assumed name.


So there you have it, folks: a thorough review of the Nissan Cube. No, I didn't quite get around to covering issues like handling, or steering, or safety, but you'll have to forgive me: during the 18 months I owned the Cube, I only drove it about 3,000 miles. Therefore I wouldn't really consider myself an expert on the Cube, but rather an expert on moving it from one side of the street to the other every few weeks so the neighbors didn't have it towed.

As for you Philadelphia Jalopnik readers: please send me a Tweet, or shoot me an e-mail, or leave me a comment, or figure out some way to get in touch with me, for God's sake. I don't really know anyone in Philly, but I'm excited to meet people in the area who are into cars. Even if they drive a Nissan Cube.


@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.

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Patrick George

It's possible the Cube was the most reliable car in the Jalop-fleet. Sorry to see it go.