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Why Are Nissans Always the Red-Headed Step-Child in Reviews?

3415 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  coolguy
I just read the May 2009 Motor Trend with a comparison test between the Cube, the Scion, and the Kia. Of course the Cube came in third.

It seems it is always this way with Nissans. When we were shopping for Minivans a couple years ago, all the reviews said how great the Hondas and Toyotas were, yet an actual test drive and scan of the features put the Nissan Quest on top for us so that's what we ended up getting. Same thing when looking into the Cube. When I compared what you get for the price to the Honda Fit and others, there was just no comparison.

So I don't get it. Maybe Honda and Toyota pays more money for ads to the big car magazines or something. Because it seems to me Nissans just give better bang for the buck not to mention their designs just seem much more innovative. And the design of Nissans goes beyond just that they take more chances and don't look generic like everything else. The designs of Nissans seem to really follow a form follows function philosophy, which is what I really admire about them.

Your thoughts?
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that review was weird. they put the Soul ahead of the cube based on its styling, and they made the xB the winner based on the fact that its a "known quantity"...i wonder if they know that the cube has been in production since 98
Jono said:
Maybe Honda and Toyota pays more money for ads to the big car magazines or something.
Bingo! It's sure as hell not because Toyota makes a better product. Honda would be decent, if priced at Kia's level.
Ya know, most of the reviews are like movie reviews; there is no accounting for taste. THis is my 4th Nissan and I have never had trouble with any of them. I watch movies I like and drive cars I enjoy. THe "Heck" with cheesy reviewers 8)
I did not used to be a big Nissan fan but now I own 2 of them. I can tell you when I bought my Titan it was the king of gas fuled trucks. I have had some problems with it though.

For me the Cube was all about the style, I did dnot even need to test drive it. Actually except for the day I picked mine up, I had not driven one. Ratings are funny, style and preference should never be a factor, statistics and raw data should be the inclusion.

I cant wait to see more reviews
Well, even the numbers can lie. Sometimes car are developed just to be the best "on paper".

For example, the Civic claims to have X horsepower... yet when you drive one, they feel like the slowest car on the road. So you push down on the gas pedal more, and the MPG ratio drops dramatically!!! "But Car & Driver said it had 160 horses & 38 MPG in the review... I must be getting that, right?"
Here is what Consumer Reports has to say. I would link you to the page but you need a login and password.

Consumer Reports said:
Highs: Space efficiency, access, fuel economy, transmission, turning circle.
Lows: Braking, acceleration, agility, noise, fit and finish, headlights, swing-out tailgate.

Overall Score 64 out of possible 100, Highest rated 86

Road Test
The Cube is a funky-looking small wagon similar in theme and price to the Scion xB and Kia Soul. With a high roof and wheels pushed to the far corners, it is essentially a rolling box that maximizes interior space. A low price, good fuel economy, and exceptional practicality are the Cube's salient virtues. But with its lackluster handling, acceleration, braking, and some petty annoyances, the Cube trails the xB and Soul overall.
Ride comfort & noise: At low speeds the ride is quite pleasant and road bumps are unobtrusive, but once you pick up the pace body motions become unsettled. The highway ride is fairly smooth, but the engine moans loudly while revving, and wind noise at highway speeds is relentless.
Handling: The Cube's small footprint and tight turning circle contribute to commendable maneuverability in tight situations. But in routine driving, the car feels clumsy and reluctant to change directions. Body lean sets in early while cornering, and the steering is a bit vague. Though it leans a good deal when pushed to its limits, the Cube remained secure. Thanks to a well-tuned stability-control system, this car posted a quick speed through our avoidance maneuver.

Powertrain: The 122-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine provides just adequate acceleration but a very good 28 mpg overall in mixed driving on regular fuel. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) works well and is smooth. A six-speed manual transmission is also available.

Braking: Stopping distances were quite long and more in line with what one expects from a big, heavy SUV.

Headlights: The low beams are barely adequate: They provided good intensity and width but not much reach, and they have a sharp upper cutoff. High beams project much farther forward but leave the foreground too dim.

Driving position: The high, upright driving position offers generous head and shoulder room, and the seat-height adjuster lets short drivers reach everything easily. Foot space is a little snug, and the left-door armrest intrudes on knee space. The steering wheel tilts but does not telescope. The large windows should afford an ideal view out, but wide roof pillars create blind zones at all four corners. Very large outside mirrors aid the view aft.
Seat comfort and access: The front seats are nicely padded and surprisingly large, but they are a little shy of lateral support for the back and thighs. The rear seat is capacious enough for a pair of professional basketball players, and the low windowsills make it easier for children to see out. Two adults fit with ease, but three abreast will be cramped. Access is exceptional. You don't so much climb in as walk in. This car might be aimed at people in their 20s, but people in their 60s might appreciate that more.

Controls and gauges: The backlit gauges are easy to see. The climate system works well, but its controls are low and labeling is indistinct. Some radio and minor controls are awkward to reach.

Interior fit and finish: The decor is basic and austere, spruced up with a concentric-circle motif on the headliner and elsewhere, perhaps suggesting that you're sitting inside a loudspeaker cabinet. Interior plastics mostly fit together well but are hard to the touch, and our car developed some rattles. A disc of shag carpet adheres to the dash top. It has no apparent function except to make annoying reflections in the windshield.

Cabin storage and cargo room: Storage compartments and bins are modest, but there's no shortage of cup holders: 12 altogether if you include the bottle holders in the doors. Cargo space is fairly commodious with the rear seatbacks folded, but they don't fold completely flat, compromising practicality. A large well just forward of the rear hatch is handy for holding items such as grocery bags. The hatch is hinged on the left, and you need a reasonable amount of space behind the vehicle to swing it open.

Safety belts: There are lap-and-shoulder belts for all five seating positions. The front belts have pretensioners and force limiters.
Air bags: Front and side air bags help protect the driver and front-seat passenger. The front passenger air bag is deactivated if the system detects a child-sized person in the front passenger seat. Head-protecting curtain air bags protect front and rear outboard passengers in a side impact.

Head restraints: All four head restraints adjust for height but are tall enough to afford protection even when lowered. The front ones are active restraints, which help reduce the chance of whiplash in a rear impact. The center-rear position lacks a head restraint.

Crash-avoidance systems: Antilock brakes and electronic stability control are standard.

Driving with kids: It can be very difficult to secure a child seat using the belts alone. The two lower LATCH anchors and three top-tether anchors help.

We do not have data to predict reliability, this model is new.
Tested model: 2009 1.8 S wagon, 1.8-liter Four, CVT
Major options: Interior designer package.

This road test applies to the current model year of this vehicle.
My mom bought a pearl white 95 nissan maxima in 1994. That maxima.. stayed with us until 2 years ago. Had very little problems... no rusting until the very end when we sold it for 6k.

id say it did alright. I love nissan.. and i especially love pearl white nissans
6k for a '95?! Did it have showroom miles or something? That is quite a sale there!
none said:
6k for a '95?! Did it have showroom miles or something? That is quite a sale there!
no first car was a '92 maxima purchased in 2002 for $2k. it was a pretty decent car for that price ;)
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