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The 2012 Nissan Cube is getting a little more expensive, though not by a significant margin. The company chose to raise the base price $260 to $15,760, which includes a $780 destination charge.
The real news is that the decision to cut back from four to three versions of the box on wheels has been confirmed. Their top-of-the-line 1.8 S Krom Edition isn’t available anymore, leaving potential buyers to choose from the formerly mid-range 1.8 SL, the 1.8 S mid-range or the 1.8 S base model, priced $19,300, $17,200 and $15,760 respectively.
The Indigo Limited Edition is also available and costs $1,900 to add to the base model, making it slightly more expensive than the mid range car. That near $2 grand package gives you indigo seats, navigation, a rear view moniter, Rockford Fosgate audio, Nissan Intelligent Key and 15-inch aluminum alloys.
You can expect the same 1.8-liter inline four under the hood, making 122 hp and mated to either a continuously variable transmission or a 6-speed manual.
There are five new colors to choose from, though the only real change over last year is “Bali Blue” replacing “Sapphire Black Pearl.” Whatever they choose to call the shades of paint, we won’t be totally shocked if the cube sees further cuts after this year.
The strangely shaped car sold a sorry 198 units last October, well after we would have expected tsunami-related recovery to take place. It was also discontinued in Europe about a year ago. In fact, the vehicle hasn’t done well anywhere but Japan.
Despite recently weak sales, Nissan is adamant that the Cube “has found its place in the market” and will keep it in its lineup even though they haven’t mentioned a word about a next-generation model.
When the Cube was first introduced in 2009, it sold 21,000 units while 2010 followed up with 23,000 units. For 2011 though, Nissan has sold just a mere 13,850 units through October. Only 198 Cubes were sold in the month of October.
Brian Carolin, head of Nissan North America’s sales, claimed that the Cube’s demand rose when gas prices went up and that Nissan was having a tough time keeping up with demand. And even though one could argue that the Cube’s year-to-date sales is weak due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, a parts shortage earlier this year doesn’t explain its horrible October sales.
GALLERY: Nissan Cube
Nissan has had a successful year with the Nissan Juke, Cube, Leaf and Infiniti M37/56 on the list of 2011 top safety picks. Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2011 Nissan Juke a “Top Safety Pick” rating. The Juke earned this award by earning a “good” rating in front, rear and side impact protection, coupled with electronic stability control as well as good roof strength.
“Nissan’s commitment to safety and innovation is reflected in the Nissan Juke receiving the Top Safety Pick from IIHS,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. “The Nissan Juke has a unique combination of motorsports-inspired design and unexpected levels of technology and safety features– all with a starting MSRP under $19,000.”
All 2011 Juke models come equipped with the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags as well as seat belt and occupant classification sensors. There are also roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection. There are also seat mounted driver and front passendger side-impact supplemental air bags and front-seat Active Head Restraints. Other standard equipment includes LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
All the cool kids are getting tattoos – just look at the Cube, Juke and Frontier. The latest car to jump on the body art bandwagon is the 2012 Ford Focus, giving owners a quick and affordable way to personalize their car.
With over 200 vinyl wrap tattoos available, ranging from geometric patterns and racing stripes to whimsical splashes and swirls, you can choose what tattoo best suits your individuality at www.fordcustomgraphics.com.
“Millennials have a very personalized, artistic side to their lifestyle, and their vehicle is a very important part of that,” said KC Dallia, Focus brand manager. “With its striking front end, sleek profile, dramatic rising beltline and athletic stance, the Focus provides the perfect canvas for customization.”
And Ford has done their homework. According to research, about four in 10 Millennials have at least one tattoo, with Generation-Xers bringing up the rear at 32 percent. So, it’s fairly safe to say that the next logical step in the world of tattooing would extend to your car.
For those interested in getting a tattoo for their 2012 Focus, you can stick one on for $120 to $470, and unlike that arm band tat, this one can be easily removed in a couple of years when you tire of it. The tattoos are made with 3M Scotchprint Personalized Vehicle Graphic Film as well as a clear graphic protection layer. And don’t worry about sticking them on, because they come professionally installed at Ford dealerships and come with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty.
As if the Nissan booth at the Tokyo Auto Salon wasn’t action packed enough with its NISMO offerings, Autech Factory Custom was present with its “Rider” series of vehicle enhancements.
Offsetting the high-horsepower and high-dollar NISMO offers, the Autech cars are more about personalization than power and are aimed at entry-level buyers.
On display in the Autech section are the Serena Rider, Note Rider and Cube Rider. All three vehicles come dressed in pristine white with styling accessories, chrome accents and various in car electronics goods. There’s no denying that these boxy MPVs play a major role in the Japanese tuning car culture.
GALLERY: Nissan Autech Factory Cars
Mazda participating but won't have a display
Nissan has confirmed that it will not be attending the 2009 SEMA Show this Fall. What that means is, we aren’t likely to see any drift Cubes, or DUB Cubes or crazy widebody GT-R-powered Cubes.
Which isn’t really a bad thing… although that last one sounds interesting.
Nissan had already announced that it would only attend one major auto show on each continent and the company has now said that it views SEMA as a major show. That being said, we aren’t likely to see a corporate Nissan displays until the LA Auto Show in 2010.
Nissan may be missing out on a huge marketing opportunity here as cars like the Cube are the perfect fit for an event like SEMA. Still, there are certain to be plenty of private companies with Cubes… and as long as GT-Rs draw a crowd you can be sure SEMA will be full of them.
Then again, those private shops may be few and far between as budgets decrease and SEMA floor space only seems to go up in price – even in a recession.
SEMA may just have to start throwing out some deals this year, however, as not only Nissan, but also Mazda has announced that it won’t be looking for a spot on the show floor. Instead, Mazda will donate a few cars for shops to modify and display in their own booths.
[Photo Credit: NissanSilvia.org]