• Feb 21st 2008 at 4:22PM
  • 8
PHOTO: Scott Jacobs / INSIDE LINE

It had to happen, given the fundamental laws of nature governing rivalries: Inside Line has done a playful side-by-side comparison of the Nissan Cube and the Scion xB. JDM-spec Cube did not fare exactly well against the US-market Scion (which it won't compete directly against, anyway). The Nissan's 1.4L four is perfectly adequate for the crowded streets of Tokyo but is taxed on American roads, as the Cube takes 13.8 seconds to go from 0 to 60. Based on Inside Line's impressions, a quarter mile run down the drag strip might well be measurable in the amount of beard growth you experience along the way. To be fair, one could easily argue that the quarter-mile time of a runabout like Nissan Cube is about as relevant to its target audience as the off-roading capabilities of the Chevy Corvette are to its prospective buyers. Still, when compared directly to the Cube, Inside Line finds the Scion better-suited to handle the average American's daily driving needs without relying on wide-open throttle as often as possible. That last bit manifests itself at the pump as Inside Line only squeezed around 22 mpg out of Nissan's microcar.

Aesthetically, Inside Line notes that the Cube's funky, asymmetric style makes the larger Scion xB look normal by comparison. Inside, the itsy bitsy Nissan provides flexibility in terms of passenger and cargo-carrying capacity, and it has some neat, thoughtful features like a coat rack in the rear storage compartment. Still, Inside Line feels that an eventual US-market Cube (there could be an announcement made next month in New York) would have to grow in size and power to better fit in, much like the '08 xB is larger than its predecessor. Sure, not everyone likes the fact that the 2nd-gen xB got bigger (us included), but when the Cube arrives, it'll have a clean slate since Americans won't have a prior model to compare it against. Assuming Nissan delivers a US-spec Cube that doesn't lose the the current car's quirky Japanese charm and delivers good fuel economy, the xB's gonna have a real fight on its hands in a couple of years. Read Inside Line's comparo in full here.


[Source: Inside Line]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mikez you have hit on the problem. We Americans love acceleration. In order to get any momentum going you have rev the heck out of a small engine which kills the mileage. In Japan with much slower speeds this is less of an issue.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I took a trip down a few weeks back and finally understand why you guys are so bitchy about over 10 sec. acceleration: YOUR ON-RAMPS ARE RIDICULOUSLY SHORT, especially in the Northern States.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Cube and the xB are both butt-ugly cars that I wouldn't be caught dead in. And they sport the impressive aerodynamics a small building.

      I don't know where you live, calebe, but in my area, everyone rushes to get to red lights, stops quickly, and then takes off like a jackrabbit when it turns green. Some of them have to be flooring it with the underpowered engines they have. Others just drive huge SUVs with gigantic engines. Either way, power seems to be the name of the game.
      • 7 Years Ago
      American's are schizophrenic about power. They want the biggest most powerful engine and want zero to 60 in 5 seconds but 98% of them never use that power. drive behind them and they get to sixty in 45 seconds. They crawl away from stop lights. Maybe its because they are to busy throwing cheeseburgers into the back seat for their 300 pound 5th grader. I'm gunna be just like u when i grow up daddy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder if it's just me, but I always noticed that cars that seem 'underpowered' get worse gas mileage than cars that seem to have an appropriate amount of power.

      Perhaps, underpowered cars, esp on American high speed roads, promote driving styles that are not efficient.
      • 7 Years Ago
      lol, american high speed roads.
      What do you think other countries use?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Calebe has a point.
      Maybe we American's drive like snails is because we have $3 gas and huge guzzlers for engines. We could all be having more fun and driving faster in cars like the Fiat 500, with 1.3 liter gas or diesel engines.

      But, think about the Auto Press, these are guys that would rather be driving Porsche's. In their wacko minds ALL CARS should accelerate like the cars THEY love, the Corvette and the Porsche. You've got to wonder how these guys drive in "normal traffic"? Are they the wacko's racing to the red lights? In other words, you don't take your acceleration needs from horsepower Crazies.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Calebe, I agree 100%!!! I am sorry if the article implies I believe anything different.