Normal, everyday motoring just seems more fun in Japan. Alongside all the kei car entertainment, there are brilliant oddities like the Nissan Cube. It’s closely related to the humdrum Micra, but with its, well, cube-like body and asymetrical styling, so much more interesting.
The first two generations were Japanese domestic market exclusives, but for the third generation Cube, Nissan kindly exported it elsewhere, including Europe. And how did UK buyers repay the manufacturer? By largely ignoring it.
By 2011, just two years after the introduction of the third-gen Cube, Nissan UK pulled the plug. Exchange rates at the time meant margins were tight on the car, and since it remained a low volume vehicle in terms of sales, its fate was sealed.
At the very least, the car was popular enough for there to still be a reasonable supply of UK cars today - great for anyone wanting to tap into the Cube’s quirkiness without having to opt for an imported second-gen car. Granted, Nissan toned down the looks a little for the third-generation Cube, rounding off the edges a tad, but this is still a car that’ll stand out nicely amid the sea of dull hatchbacks and crossovers dominating UK roads.
The peculiar nature continues inside where you’ll find a wavy dashboard, and in CVT-equipped models, bench-style front seating. The one we’ve plucked out of the classifieds, however, has a manual gearbox, something you couldn’t spec in the second-gen Cube - it was available with either a CVT or a four-speed automatic.
Hooked up to that five-speed manual is a nice and simple naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre inline-four, an engine still used by both Nissan and Renault today in various models. Here, it’s good for 108bhp and 113lb ft of torque, enough to haul the reasonably light Cube from 0-62mph in a perfectly acceptable 11 seconds or so.
Our pick is a 2010 Cube in Kaizen trim, which adds climate control and automatic windscreen wipers to the Cube’s already healthy standard equipment list. It has a fresh MOT, service history, and has covered around 118,000 miles.
The price is a mere £3395. You might be able to go faster for the money, but I’m not sure you’d get something that’ll turn so many heads, nor brighten your day as much as this weird little thing might. Don’t judge me - I’m into this car and want it quite badly.