Comparison Review: Kia Soul Versus Nissan cube: First Place: Nissan cube

Posted on 08. Jan, 2010 by in Auto News

Driving enthusiasts, the choice between the soul and the cube is for … a Honda Fit decide. So this comparison between Kia and Nissan boxes on wheels takes different priorities. Which offers the relaxing refuge from the seriousness of the work, when commuting to and fro? Short answer: the cube.

As the soul, the cube is a riff on the basis of box popular in the U.S. by the original Scion xB. Unlike the Soul, the Nissan main lines are either parallel or perpendicular to the road. In other words, it is a field.

And yet, in contrast to the classical xB, it is not just a box. There are some subtle surfacing in the body sides. The window openings have rounded corners. More Outside the Box: The cube is asymmetrical. There is a small window on the right side C-pillar, and the columns to this screen darkens, but no corresponding window on the left side, where the column is the body color. This asymmetry is also functional. From the driver's seat could not be seen, like a window on the left side anyway. And without windows, it can be a storage compartment in the left C-pillar.

Yes, I hate a lot of people outside of the cube. Or you can find a car that looks like an escapee Toontown both silly and pointless. But this silliness is the point. Some people want a car that does not even seriously, and showing a clear disregard for convention. If you plan to mainstream car design apart, why are not so far, demanding people? The Soul's design is not sophisticated. The cube is is.

The souls styling is optimized for 18-inch wheels. The Cube the exterior is far less wheel-centric, so that their 16s are plenty big. This is all about the field. The tested cube Krom was a model, ie, a unique front grille with Ford-like faux chrome strips and unique wheels. I'd pass on this bit, because it does not add much to the look of the car, and the side skirts make little sense, since the whole mission.

With some notable exceptions, Nissan was not as adventurous with the interior work. The most notable exception: the headliners poured well over his head, forming a series of concentric waves around the dome light. Think Japanese rock garden. A sunroof broke the pattern that could be offered why not. The instrument panel includes a similar manner some very zen circles and curves, and forms a shaft, when viewed from above. This wave pattern is with the floor mats. Very reassuring.

But why the cube interior is available in light gray or (in the car I drove) off-white? The VW Beetle, Chrysler PT Cruiser, and (to a lesser extent) Kia Soul offer all bright colors in the car. Nissan offers colorful vent surrounds pre-installed as a dealer accessory, but these hardly compensate for the overwhelming drabness of the rest of the interior.

The instruments include a feeble attempt capricious. With blue and white graphics that obviously painted on But why Nissan inexplicable infatuation has to have orange LED displays to infect the cube? Not only does the orange board computer between the tachometer and speedometer clash with the blue and white graphics, but Orange is not just embedded a calming color. Consult a Zen master for better alternatives. Maybe a cool blue?

The driver can choose between 20 different colors for the ambient lighting in the footwells and cup holders. This function would be convincing if you could change the color of all the dashboard indicators to something other than orange. As it is, is not the carpet with the curtains when you opt for even more orange. $ 100 alarm goes off when you open a locked door: Could an electronic function of the cube to do without. Or to breathe in the car. It's not entertaining.

The problem with striving to be whimsical is that some jokes are bound to fall flat. Case in point: ". Dash topper" of the cube optional (and removable) What is a dash topper, you ask? Well, it's a small circle of shag carpet is velcroed to the top center of the dashboard. No doubt, the intention was that inside the cube more like inside the family room to give you a taste of home when you leave work. The original concept could be used for the entire upper surface of the instrument panel with shag carpet, 1970s custom van have called style. The airbag engineers had nixed such concept. Cut a little here and a little there, and you get the little circle in the middle. Also as part of the cube, the car seems toupee (as I came to call it) pointless.

Once past the car color and toupee, the interior gets better. When packing the cube, Nissan made a lot of different options as Kia. The cube of the windshield is much more upright than the soul and its instrument panel is designed to take as little space as possible visual. The downside: if you have long arms, you have to lean forward to operate the radio. Or use the redundant controls on the steering wheel. Also provides the upright windshield huge front windows. Generally a good thing, but not renewing sun visor cover only the front half of the window. So bright sunlight expect in your eyes, if it's Westward Ho in the late afternoon.

The advantage: From the driver's seat, the cube interior feels much more expensive than the soul. Cockpit no effect whatsoever. You feel like you have a small space navigation. Wide seats, similar to the Quest minivan, are softer than most these days. Lateral support? What would be the point? Heated seats: Much more missed in her absence. Wait for the automatic climate control, to his work, turn to do the Rockford Fosgate audio, then sit back and enjoy the comforts of home on the way home.

That brings the name. The purpose of such a stupid car is forget about the life of the necessities, mainly work. Say "cube", and the first thing most people think, the place will they spend their time at work. Few want in a cube when they leave work. The name comes from Japan. Means "cube" this lack of use over there?

Of the cube space extends to the sliding and reclining rear seat, which is mounted high enough off the ground to support adults with thigh. My kids loved how well she could see. Credit the low, unraked waistline.

There is not much space between the rear seat and left-hinged tailgate. Enough for food, but for four luggage probably will not happen. As in the soul, makes the front passenger seat does not fold. A pity would, as this feature is especially useful for long objects, where the non-invasive IP and upright windshield. Unlike in the soul, there are no hidden storage compartment under the load floor. Whereas a deep well, it also means that, when the rear seat is folded, the loading floor is not far flat. Also, the rear seats are removed or turned far forward. No magic here.

On the data sheets, the soul has a performance advantage. Out in the real world, the cube 1.8-liter four-cylinder greatly exceeds the Soul 2.0, although both cars weigh about 2,800 pounds. The Cube's secret weapon: a CVT. The CVT is not convey without drawbacks-one ear often have the impression that the clutch slips. The relationship between vehicle speed and engine sounds decidedly non-linear. And the engine sounds overly buzzy-"buzz box" came to mind and stuck there until the record was (almost) endearing. But credit where credit is due allows the CVT, the 1.8, the cube increase to 40 mph much more effort than it has a right. There is no inertia on the line or drag at higher speeds. An attractive six-speed automatic, a similar performance with a natural feel-good, but no competitor offers such transmission revealed. The souls to upshift quickly, slow-to-downshift four-speed automatic is decidedly inferior.

Also remember that you do not drive a conventional car. In the cube, it seems odd corresponding simply prod the pedal and let the drive train will plant up to date. Too bad you can not just push a button, like in an elevator. MPG in typical suburban driving came to 25.8.

Handling … how are you going to handle a family room on wheels? Body movements are controlled pretty well, and the door handles remain well off the road in hard cornering. Agile … not really. And even more fluid and natural feeling than the soul, though vague, overboosted steering that feels directionless on center. Intent to run the Tail of the Dragon? You are shopping in the wrong class of vehicle.

In view of the cube mission ride quality is more important than handling. While the cube ride quality is far from luxury class and can get a little busy sometimes feel it is much smoother and more forgiving road imperfections as the soul. You have a much better chance to relax during that commute into the cube Nissan Cube.

In Cube price (just over 20 big when it is loaded with the krom bits) you expect some shortcomings. And the cube has it. Nissan needs to change the IP lights, kill the (motor) buzz, intensification of on-center steering, extend the visor and warm the seats. But even with these shortcomings of the dice outpoints the competition combined a failed exterior with an expansive interior and relaxing driving experience. Those who "get it" should get it. The rest of us … well there are many other conventional cars for us.

Michael Karesh operates True Delta, a provider of pricing and reliability data