There are two rules which make up the secret to a happy ship/marriage/newspaper.
Rule Number One: The captain/wife/editor is always right.
Rule Number Two: In all other cases, refer to Rule Number One.
So at the risk of sinking the ship/divorce/rumblings in the newsroom, I'm breaking both rules:
Our editor trashed it fairly comprehensively a couple of weeks ago. His kids liked it; that was about as close to praise as he could get.
I was a bit surprised at his level of vehemence.
First, he's normally a fairly calm guy.
Second, I had driven the car at the press preview in Miami a couple of months ago and rather enjoyed it.
True, it did score tied for sixth (out of seven - i.e. last) in its class at the recent AJAC Car of the Year Test Fest. The performance testing experts rated it down on braking distance, where a metre or two can cost significant points. Our fellow journalists liked the spacious interior but were not seemingly enamoured of the exterior styling.
Ironic perhaps then that the panel of styling specialists put it on the short list for the Best New Design award.
So I arranged for another test drive back home. Once again, I found it very pleasant.
Great visibility, decent driving position once you get used to the windshield being so far away and so vertical, good comfort, and huge room inside. The chap who organizes the printing of my annual car calendar is a big, burly ex-cop (and admittedly a multi-time Nissan owner) and he said he could have worn a cowboy hat inside this thing.
While the Cube is definitely cubic outside, inside about all you see is curves and ovals. The ripple effect of the ceiling is also pretty cool.
Mechanically, Cube is pretty much Versa, and I find both cars fine to drive. The quirks of the Continuously-Variable Transmission take some getting used to, but given that it delivers better performance on less fuel, what's not to like? In these tough economic times, seems to me you can make some adjustments in the name of better efficiency.
Lady Leadfoot even said she found it fun to drive, and particularly liked the way the rear window wraps around asymmetrically onto the right side glass.
So, an economy car that is functional, efficient, well-equipped and definitely not boring?
Bring it on.
You can't even get it in beige, although even I would caution against ordering the shag carpet dash cover...