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If you get a chance, check out the new Mar 2009 Automobile Magazine where they review more on the USDM Cube. Unfortunately they confirmed several things that many of you have pointed out for the USDM version - but hoping that Nissan would change their mind:

1) No front bench seat for US because of the 2 choices for US transmission controls (both are floor mounted)
2) No 4-wheel drive
3) No delicate shoji-styled sunroof - because "...most likely the typical American will rip it from its moorings..."
4) Many other options are up in the air now for the USDM version: clips, hooks, nets, rubber bands, colors, materials and body parts.

Chief product planner Tosuke Iwasa knows that the accessories are a big deal (to the US), but wants to "keep variations low for inventory control."

Well, there you go.
 

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Folks who waited for the CUBE wanted the same exact thing like the JDM version except for the rear glass area. Personally, I think Tosuke Iwasa is a shmuck for minimizing this model to just a few options & underestimating US expectations. Nobody really wanted any revisions except for a 5 speed(isn't there the Versa?) and more beef under the hood, but at the same time this might be the reason we don't get the AWD & bench seats configurations(JDM). It might be expensive to upgrade the AWD system along with the US spec(larger) engine.Also, it might be expensive to offer two seat configurations for just the US market in orderl to accommodate an automatic(bench seat) and manual(bucket seats) transmissions. As far as a sunroof, there might be some validity in breaking the screen, but I think planners were afraid that the cost was too expensive.
Perhaps, Iwasa will keep his eyes closed next time the car is due for a change and bring us a more relevant model to the JDM spec.
 

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On the plus side we have a 6 speed manual or a CVT auto that leads it's class!
We get 122hp.
28/30 mpg CVT
24/29 mpg 6SPM
two kinds of fog/driving lights ( regular and LED super brights called hyper lights)
Want a sunroof? Get a can opener. or wait a year, the JDM glass top may make it to these shores.
And don't forget, that right hand rear window wrap is for North America.
 
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