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2012 Nissan Cube Trims

1.8

Avg. Price: $15,063

Yeah, it looks funny, and yeah, many rivals outperform and out-haul it, but Nissan’s 2012 Cube 1.8 offers a well-balanced mix of distinctiveness and practicality that appeals to those who want something a bit farther out. This 5-passenger compact wagon boasts 5 doors, a roomy front seat, sporty stick-shift performance, decent ride comfort and 58.1 cubic feet of total cargo space. It also comes with standard 15-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, reclining rear seats and full power accessories. Tilt-wheel steering and air conditioning, of course, come standard, as does simulated alloy dashboard trim. Entertainment, meanwhile, remains a single-CD player with a pair of speakers and auxiliary MP3 input.

Options in this funky fun-mobile include the Interior Design Package, with carpeted floor mats front and rear, a strangely appealing shag-top dashboard and splash guards all around.

The 2012 Cube 1.8 is again powered by a variable-valve-timed, 122-hp 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine that mates with a standard 6-speed manual transmission for 127 lb-ft of torque. Meantime, look for a somewhat lackluster 25 mpg city/30 highway from this wigged-out wagon.

Safety-wise, the award-winning Cube 1.8 carries 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. A remote antitheft alarm, meantime, also remains on the list of standard safety features.

1.8 S

Avg. Price: $14,776

As the midlevel trim in the box-shaped, distinctly funky 2012 Nissan Cube lineup, the Cube 1.8 S offers a corresponding increase in standard features. In addition to its 58.1 cubic feet of total cargo area, roomy front passenger space and distinctive looks, this boxy 5-place, 5-door compact wagon offers standard 15-inch steel wheels, premium cloth upholstery, reclining rear seats and full power accessories. A classy leather and simulated alloy tilting steering wheel mounting audio and cruise controls, along with simulated alloy dashboard trim accents also adorn this outer-limits design. Tech-wise, Bluetooth hands-free calling is standard, as is an MP3-capable single-CD player with 6 speakers and auxiliary iPod integration.

Options, meanwhile, include the S Sport Package with front and rear spoilers, 15-inch aluminum wheels, a distinctive grille, body side sills, stainless steel kickplates and upgraded exterior trim pieces and protective coatings. The available Interior Illumination Package flaunts some exotic cabin lighting, while the optional Aerodynamics Kit adds an under-body spoiler.

Introduced for this year’s CVT-toting Cube S trim is the Indigo Trim Package, sporting indigo cloth upholstery, push-button ignition, a navigation suite with 5-inch touchscreen, 6-speaker Rockford Fosgate premium audio, a rear-view camera, upgraded 15-inch alloy wheels and a USB port.

Again, the ubiquitous 1.8-liter variable-valve-timed inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine powers the 2012 Cube 1.8 S. Combined with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, the four-banger puts out 122 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque, while a touted continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available boasting the same power numbers. Mileage with the stick-shift, meanwhile, runs 25 mpg city/30 highway, while the CVT bumps these figures to 27/31.

Finally, noteworthy standard safety features aboard the midlevel Cube 1.8 S remain 4-wheel antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. A remote antitheft alarm also remains a standard security staple.

1.8 S Indigo Edition

For those who want a bit of dash with their unique compact wagon, Nissan introduces the 2012 Cube 1.8 S Indigo Edition. Flaunting 58.1 cubic feet of total cargo area, 5-passenger seating and 5 easy-in/easy-out doors, this bohemian beauty gets the Indigo Limited Edition Package as standard equipment. Starring 15-inch alloy wheels, the 1.8 S Indigo Edition also features a navigation suite with 5-inch touchscreen, a rear-view camera and a 6-speaker Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with a single-CD player, 8-inch subwoofer and USB connection.

The more prosaic standard features aboard, meantime, include premium cloth upholstery, reclining rear seats, full power accessories, a leather and simulated alloy steering wheel mounting redundant audio and cruise controls, Bluetooth hands-free calling, tilt-wheel steering and simulated alloy dashboard trim.

An adequately potent variable-valve-timed (VVT) 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant combines with the standard continuously variable-speed transmission (CVT) for 122 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. Mileage, meanwhile, is estimated at 27 mpg city/31 highway.

Safety-wise, look for such standards as 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Finally, a remote antitheft alarm provides for some added security.

1.8 SL

Avg. Price: $15,338

Looking like a discarded refrigerator box on wheels, the unique 2012 Nissan Cube 1.8 SL nevertheless represents the flagship trim in this compact wagon’s tri-level lineup. Boasting 5-passenger seating, 5 doors and 58.1 cubic feet of total cargo area, this weirdly appealing wagon also totes standard 16-inch alloy wheels, premium cloth upholstery, reclining rear seats, full power accessories and simulated alloy dashboard trim. Then there are such nifty touches as automatic climate control, tilt-wheel steering, keyless entry and ignition, and the leather and simulated alloy steering wheel that mounts redundant audio and cruise controls.

Bluetooth hands-free calling is standard once again, as is an MP3-capable single-CD player with 6 speakers and auxiliary iPod integration.

One of the more appealing options for Nissan’s quirky Cube 1.8 SL is the SL Preferred Package that boasts front fog/driving lights, a USB port, Nissan’s touted navigation system with 5-inch touchscreen and NavTraffic, as well as satellite radio service. Additionally, the touted Interior Designer Package sports a kind of cool shag-top dashboard, splash guards and carpeted floor mats, with the Interior Illumination Package flaunting a plethora of eclectic cabin lighting, and the Exterior Accent Package offering a bunch of added exterior chrome pieces. Upgraded 16-inch wheel styles are also available to this top-shelf trim in standalone form.

A variable-valve-timed (VVT) 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine powers the 2012 Cube 1.8 SL, and again combines with the highly regarded continuously variable-speed transmission (CVT) for 122 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. Mileage is once again estimated at 27 mpg city/31 highway.

Standard safety features aboard Nissan’s quirky Cube 1.8 SL remain 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. For added security, meantime, this funky little fun-mobile sports a remote antitheft alarm.