2010 Nissan Cube 1.8 S Krom Edition Road Test Review

Alexandra Straub - CAP staff
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If the Nissan Cube hasn't turned enough heads as of yet, that's going to change with the introduction of Krom, a limited edition version of the Japanese auto manufacturer's take on the box-on-wheels theme. It now comes with more bling on its bumper, along with other places, making it even more of a spectacle on the road.

Because styling is such a personal preference, I found that there was quite a divide in opinions from my passengers. Some people loved its look and some people did not. To gain a more youthful perspective, my husband and I took some young men ages 15-18 out for a ride in the Krom. I asked them if they would want to be seen driving around in it and, without a doubt, they each said yes. One even said, "I could probably get a date in this car, too. For Friday night, but not Saturday." I almost fell out of my seat laughing. I'm not entirely sure what that meant, but it was darn funny.

I remain undecided as to how I feel about the Cube's styling. Granted, the Krom Edition is a lot more aggressive looking (or as aggressive looking as a Cube could possibly be) in comparison to the regular Cube, which makes me gravitate to it much more. I don't mind its unique architecture, distinct chrome grille, or even the exclusive 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels paired with P195/55VR16 all-season tires. In fact, those features all work quite nicely together. Throw in a rear roof spoiler, distinctive front and rear bumper fascias, unique body side sills and rear tinted windows, and it's a mean looking Cube!

Where I feel the Krom falls short on bling and style is in the cabin. To be honest, I was expecting a little more. The exterior is quite dynamic so I would assume that would be carried through to the inside. The black plastic interior, even with the Titanium trim accents, didn't evoke much excitement out of me. Yes, there are some great features to be found including unique seat trim with woven black and grey cloth, sporty aluminum trimmed pedals, a 20-colour interior illumination system, a 4.3" audio screen with backup camera and a Rockford-Fosgate subwoofer, but it still needs more spice or perhaps more contrasting materials.

On a more positive note, I did enjoy driving the Krom around town. It was a pretty comfortable car to drive from point A to B in. Its front independent strut and rear torsion beam suspension had a sporty feel that matched its looks. Also, when I was behind the wheel, the generous head and legroom the Cube offered was great, especially for my 6'3" husband. Visibility is notable and with the addition of the rearview camera, it made parking a breeze.

Fuel economy was another bonus that came with the Cube. It uses an estimated 7.3L/100km in the city and 6.3L/100km on the highway. This can be attributed to the ultra-efficient 1.8L, 16-valve, DOHC 4-cylinder engine that produces 122 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. The engine is then mated with Nissan's Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). As optimal as the CVT is, I feel that when it's working in conjunction with the 4-cylinder engine it lacks the pep that I would want. Then again, this is usually the case for most smaller displacement engines with automatic transmissions so I'm not trying to come down on it too hard. Match Nissan's Xtronic CVT with the V6 engine in the Altima or Maxima and it's a completely different story. That's pep central without a doubt.

The Krom has been designed to not only look sleek but feel safe, as well. No matter what trim of Cube you're opting for, such features like 4-wheel ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) are all standard. A traction control system can also be found and felt when business is not as per usual, keeping the precious cargo inside the Cube safe.

Price-wise, the Krom Edition has an MSRP of $23,098 (excluding $1,385 for freight and PDI charges). It's a chunk of change more than the base Cube with prices out at $17,398, but it has a lot more standard features and, well, looks cooler.

Overall, the 2010 Nissan Cube Krom Edition isn't a bad city car. It definitely has a strong road presence, for better or worse, but still manages to get the job done. Its ride quality is noteworthy and has room galore inside. Now the only thing left to find out is, what would make it acceptable as a Saturday night date car?!

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Nissan, 2010, cube Krom, $20,000 - $29,999, Subcompact,

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