Used Nissan Cube
The Nissan Cube is an unmitigated oddball. While its manufacturer has had some success selling it in other areas, such as North America, it never really took off in the UK after it was launched here in 2009.
As such after it was put on ice in 2011, anyone who wants to own this angular automobile is going to have to invest in a used example.
The Nissan Cube actually originated in 1998, at a time when it was apparent that retro styling combined with modern hardware was a big hit in certain markets.
The Cube has always been based on the Micra platform, although unlike this small and sensible sibling it is a far less common sight on UK roads.
Nissan went through two subsequent generations of the Cube after its original iteration had run its course and while there are some imported models in the UK, you'll be looking at the 2008 third gen if you want one officially offered by Nissan.
Bang for your buck
The Nissan Cube for sale is a car designed by committee, which in this case is literally accurate. A lot of mind mapping went on behind closed doors to come up with its shape and features.
On the outside it lives up to its moniker. It is stocky, blunt and seemingly angular, although on closer inspection it becomes apparent that Nissan has kept the edges nicely rounded so that it does not look too utilitarian or outdated.
The boot opens up with a side-mounted hinge, which is an unusual arrangement and means you can get easy access as long as you are not parked right up next to another car or a wall.
Because the Nissan Cube is basically a box on wheels, the interior is very roomy, with plenty of space for passengers and luggage in spite of its relatively small dimensions.
The rear bench seat is designed to look and feel more like a sofa, while the rest of the interior has been designed with curvy naturalness in mind. Although it's definitely an esoteric beast, that doesn't mean that it isn't also surprisingly practical.
What you'll pay
If you're happy to buy an imported Cube from earlier generations, then prices are surprisingly affordable given its rarity in the UK. You'll pay about £4000 for a 2002 or 2003 edition, which isn't overly expensive.
If you want one of Nissan's official imports then prices spike upwards, but only to £7000 or so, with the very last examples sold in the UK costing around £10,000.
What to check
Most people are advised to seek out one of the third gen Cubes that Nissan imported officially between 2009 and 2011. You should also ensure that all of the previous owners were based in the UK and that the service record is of course attributable to dear old Blighty.
Reliability is not really an issue, although some models were recalled as a result of a fuel leakage issue. Interiors, which are generally decked out in pale hues, might be easily compromised by kids, so don't forget to give used examples a thorough examination.
The bits and bobs that the Cube shares with other Nissan models are inexpensive, because of course they are commonly available. Conversely, if you need to replace the parts only intended for this model, you'll face quite a steep asking price.
Spark plugs are £5, with air filters setting you back £7. But the £900 rear window and £800 tail gate are a little less encouraging for the budget-conscious buyer.
How it drives
In the UK the approved used Nissan Cube is only available with a 1.6 litre petrol engine and while it's not a performance beast, it does give you a relaxing experience behind the wheel, by design.
Visibility is excellent, as is the driving position, so you'll feel happy when tootling about on urban roads. It's also quite easy to park as a result, while the big wheelbase means it feels stable and planted, unlike some high-roofed small cars.
The Nissan Cube is likely to turn more heads than an Italian sports car in the UK and it costs considerably less, so if you want some attention you should definitely think about getting one.