Thinking about a Gen3...
  • Hi All,

    First things first - I'm not a cube owner... but I thought this forum might be a good place to start!

    I've just begun the hunt for a car for my other half to be used on her daily commute (8 miles each way, infrequent trips to the shops etc., etc.). It needs to accommodate our toddler and hopefully another on the way(!). Earlier today we looked at a Gen3 Cube (LDN-spec, manual on a '59 plate). We both really like it a lot, the interior is genius (I'm 6-foot+ and had bags of headroom), it's enjoyable to drive, ride, driving position and visibility are brilliant. And it's a looker (natch). I've spent more than a fair amount of time reading reviews etc., but I'd really appreciate anyone living with a Gen3 letting me know any insider info, such as:

    • What's it like to live with?
    • How expensive are these things to service? Do you go to Nissan for servicing? (I'm based in Derby, East mids, so I don't know if there're local specialists in my area)
    • Manual or auto?
    • Is the Kaizen spec the way to go? my wife loves the LDN's brown/cream interior though, so I guess that's the spec we're looking at ;)
    • Are consumables for the Cube (tyres, exhausts etc.) pretty standard, or does it take unusually-sized tyres that cost a fortune? What's tyre wear like - does it eat through fronts for example?
    • Any downsides to consider before buying one of these? We'd be looking to hold onto one of these until it falls to pieces, so it'd be a long-term proposition for us.
    • Since these are such distinctive cars, do they attract the wrong sort of attention, ie. getting keyed etc.?
    • Is the availability of spare parts a problem now Nissan has discontinued the Cube in the UK?
    • Is there much commonality between the Cube and the Note - are a lot of parts shared between the two?
    • Anything else I should consider?

    Best wishes, Si (hopeful future Cube co-owner)

    I thought I'd better footnote this by saying I'm not very mechanically-minded, just after something that's safe, reliable and pretty stress-free to own!
  • Where about's in derby are you based? There are 3 owners on here based in derby who I'm sure wouldn't mind giving you the low down on ownership. I'm one f them and we bought ours at the start of the year having reached the same point in our lives you've hit! ( we thought they'd frown if I put the new born in the boot of our mx5!) not got far enough to service it yet but as they are almost all out of warranty now you can get it serviced anywhere. Parts are shared between other models so although the cars are vaguely rare mechanical boy's shouldn't cost the earth and be easily sourceable. Your right about space though they have loads for a car that's the same length as a Clio/ micra. Did the sainsburys run yesterday with the buggy (baby jogger so not a tiny folded MacLaren) and the 2 kids and had space in the boot for all the shopping without any trouble.

    Major bonus is the entry system. We find it a real bonus that when juggling a 2 year old and a 6 month old we don't have to then find a key to unlock it to get them in!
  • I'm selling a '60' LDN for the bargain basement price of £5250 if you are interested?

    More info in the link below.

    http://forum.cubeownersclub.co.uk/discussion/5948/for-salegen3-nissan-cube-slightly-modified-based-in-solihull-west-midlands-5500ovno#Item_22

    Just to answer a few of your questions.


    • What's it like to live with?
    It's a quirky car, a marmite car, you either love it or hate it, you don't buy one because you think they are ok. I personally love the attention! And when you see another example on the road, most owners are friendly and exchange waves or headlight flashes. It has loads of interior room, so ideal for using as a family car. Comfortable and great visibility as you kind of sit upright.

    • How expensive are these things to service? Do you go to Nissan for servicing? (I'm based in Derby, East mids, so I don't know if there're local specialists in my area)
    There's nothing special about them in terms of servicing, so during its warranty years, I'd just use the dealer. Nissan are reasonable for servicing prices for a dealer, but a local backstreet garage can service one blindfolded, I can do it myself even, if I had the equipment and tools its that easy!

    • Manual or auto?
    Manual all the way for me personally, Auto is too thirsty, but if you really want an Auto....

    • Is the Kaizen spec the way to go? my wife loves the LDN's brown/cream interior though, so I guess that's the spec we're looking at
    LDN has the BEST interior, and I'm a little biased, so go LDN! The leather steering alone wheel should seal the deal!

    • Are consumables for the Cube (tyres, exhausts etc.) pretty standard, or does it take unusually-sized tyres that cost a fortune? What's tyre wear like - does it eat through fronts for example?
    Really cheap to run and insure, it's only a 1.6, not a sports car, so drive it smoothly, and there's nothing out the ordinary in terms of wear and tear. My experience with Nissans is, the engine will outlast the body in most scenarios.

    • Any downsides to consider before buying one of these? We'd be looking to hold onto one of these until it falls to pieces, so it'd be a long-term proposition for us.
    They come quite highly spec, so lots of electrics to potentially go wrong, but they are still too new for anything to fail. The only noticeable problem is the keyless start failing on a few cars which most have been fixed under warranty at Nissan.

    • Since these are such distinctive cars, do they attract the wrong sort of attention, ie. getting keyed etc.?
    I've not experienced bad attention, it's not a boy racer type car, so nothing to worry about in my opinion.

    • Is the availability of spare parts a problem now Nissan has discontinued the Cube in the UK?
    Can't answer this one, as I've not had to buy any parts, but general parts are shared with other cars, body parts are expensive probably?

    • Is there much commonality between the Cube and the Note - are a lot of parts shared between the two?
    Engine and switchgear yes, suspension maybe? Not 100% sure.

    • Anything else I should consider?
    NO! Lol
    Just kidding, the Kia Soul is the only car I'd consider as a rival, never sat in or driven one, so can't comment.
  • Thanks Terry - that's really useful. I'm in Borrowash, east of Derby. 

    I noticed a couple of white cubes driving around recently (one on Pride Park, one in Long Eaton towards Chilwell), which got me interested in them (I wanted to know what they were for a start!).

    I think my best port of call is talking to the Nissan parts dept and getting some insurance quotes etc. - it's all good fun :o)
  • Thanks JoJo - our posts crossed - that's great feedback. Thanks for the link, will bear in mind, just in the 'doing my homework' phase at the moment! Best of luck with the sale!

    My only real concern with the Cube is, as you say, the durability of the electrics and the keyless start, especially as these cars are starting to go out of warranty.
  • Well there are at least 3 white ones in derby plus a silver and a gun metal. Oh and I'm sure the red one will occasionally be seen down here as he's based Mansfield way. Generally they end up looking distinctive though as owners tend to personalise! Today I added the Tokyo skyline to the sides of ours so you won't miss me when out and about.
  • With reference to your concern about the keyless start and electrics, I drive a 2002 cube, the earlier model than you are looking at, this has keyless entry and start and I've never had a problem with these functions in the 18 months I've owned the car, so if they had it right in 2002 then you shouldn't have any problems with a 2009 car.
  • Thanks Terry - That's good to know! Maybe it's because we're considering one that I'm noticing them more!
    I'm getting the sense that there are a lot of customised Cubes out there :o)

    The thing I'm not familiar with at all are mods. I'm unsure as to what they do to the way the car behaves, (ie. lowered springs, air filters etc.) how they affect the car, insurance, etc., etc… 

    Personally I've always been wary of extras, (I wouldn't know what I'm doing for a start :o/ and (call me boring) always liked the regular stance), but it's all personal preference, I guess.

    @ George - that's reassuring to know, thanks!
  • The stock car can be a little 'rolly' as you'd expect with something in this format but a little lowering (most gen 3's are only lowered 30mm) make them less susceptible to body roll but still fine round town with speed humps etc. in actual fact the only car I've scraped the bottom of since lowering the cube is the stock height octavia we have! Nothing wrong with keeping it stock though as with these cars it's enough of a statement owning one! If you want an I rushed look over one at some point when you haven't got a dealer breathing down your neck drop me a line and you can take a look over ours and pull all the levers and twist all the dials you want!
  • Thanks Terry - much appreciated! My other half's got to make up her mind what make/model she wants, if she decides on a Cube, I hope you don't mind me getting in touch? Thanks again, Si
  • Not at all. Shouldn't be a tough decision for her once she's sat in one though!
  • Well, it's been a while... but we've finally got ourselves a Cube!

    Thanks again all for the advice, we've got a '60' plate white Kaizen. It's my other half's but I enjoy taking it for a spin also. Obviously it's not got the LDN interior, but we're very pleased with it :o)

    @Terry - I'm sure we'll see you around on our travels!
  • That good news enjoy the toy . And all the looks .Welcome to the club
  • @Toaster - Thanks! It's nice to be a part of it!
  • I'll be keeping my eyes open for you.... you'll need to make a distinguishing feature of the car although I think my wife may have spotted your car out in the supermarket car park the other day as it was one we didn't know!
  • That's probably us... for now we're keeping it looking stock - it gets looked at as it is! Before we had it, it had a goldfish graphic on the side...