Curbside Outtake: 2008-2019 Nissan Cube Series 3 – If You’re Not Square

I’ve been wanting to share one of these for a long time, just because they’re a bit contrarian, which is something I can relate to. This may be a Nissan Note in disguise, but it is a lot more appealing, because it is different, deliberately, and for no other reason than Nissan could be, and still fulfils its practical brief.

The original Cube, from 1998 to 2002, was a much less charismatic vehicle closer to one of many shorter, taller compact minvans. The second generation vehicle adopted the familiar asymmetric appearance, centred around the rear side windows and the consequently differently hinged rear door, dependent on whether the car was left hand or right hand drive. Underneath, it was based on the Nissan Micra supermini.

This Cube is a third generation, from 2009 to 2018, and is a left hand drive car, hence the rear door is hinged. By now the car was based on the larger Nissan Tiida, with the wheelbase growing from 93 inches to almost 100 inches and an option of a 1.8 litre engine. Alongside the symmetry, the rest of the styling is also fairly, well, cartoon-ish. That is not a criticism, in this context.

But the most interesting feature of this car is the symmetric styling. This is a German market example, so left hand drive, left hinged rear door and right rear corner glazed. Right hand drive cars were the other way around. Being asymmetric is one thing; being variously asymmetric for different markets must have driven the manufacturing engineers at Nissan up the wall.

Still, an interesting alternative to a VW Caddy minivan or Citroen Berlingo Multispace