Nissan Cube vs. Honda Element
The Nissan Cube and the Honda Element are two compact SUVs noted for their squared-off shapes and spacious interiors. One a whimsical explorer and one a down-to-earth voyager, it’s clear that each of these versatile SUVs gallop to the beat of their own drums.
Though neither the Cube nor the Element are slated for updated versions for 2015 (the Cube’s most recent model being the 2014 and the Element’s an older 2011), Philadelphia, Lansdale, and Doylestown area drivers will be interested in their impressive features that extend far beyond angular exteriors. Which one of these vehicles comes equipped with the full package that’s right for you? Let’s get down to it.
The Nissan Cube is renowned for its unique and quirky just-popped-out-of-the-ice-tray exterior. With the Cube, Nissan once again broke the mold with a vehicle that goes above and beyond in terms of personalization. On the road, it’s stands apart from the rest of the pack. (A sunglass-wearing lounging bulldog inspired it!) Buyers can customize their own Cube’s quirks inside and out down to the light-up accent colors around the footwells, cup holders, and trunk.
The Honda Element offers four body styles to choose from: two front-wheel drive trims, the LX and the EX, and their four-wheel drive counterparts. The Element’s exterior features a van-like exaggerated roof height, wide nose, and huge hatchback.
Engine and Fuel Performance
The Cube is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 122 horsepower and a standard six-speed manual transmission that provides enough power for urban and country Cube cruising. Though the Honda Element’s four-cylinder drivetrain produces a bit more power at 166 horses, the Nissan Cube conquers when it comes to fuel economy. The Element’s 20 city and 25 highway mpg capability is no match for the Cube’s EPA-estimated 27 city and 31 highway mpg.
Cracking open these spunky four seaters reveals the Nissan Cube’s quirky design style and the Honda Element’s impressive utility. The Cube features rounded seats and curved controls that create a swooping sensation throughout the cabin. The ceiling’s center-rippled effect mimics the on-the-water motion of a stone’s fleeting descent.
All design aspects aside (including an available shag rug for the dash), the Nissan Cube offers driver and passengers ample space for its size. And the Cube’s distinctive wraparound rear window provides impeccable visibility so drivers can maneuvers Tetris-like parking situations with ease. Releasing the Cube’s back chamber with side hinge (aka trunk) offers 58 cubic feet of cargo room
The Honda Element’s interior also uses space wisely, with abundant room for both travelers and cargo. Though the Element offers generous spread-out room, seating isn’t as supported as the Cube’s premium cushioning. Made with water-resistant fabric, the front seats of the Element were made to resist nature’s elements for an easy-to-clean interior.
But the rear doors of the Honda Element have an unfortunate sort of quirk: They only open once the front doors are opened first, which can be a bit of a challenge when parked in tight spaces. But once opened, the 74.6 cubic feet of space available with rear seats folded is quite commendable.
In comparison to the Element, the Nissan Cube has an upscale interior, but do keep in mind their differences in age. The Element comes modestly equipped with a four-speaker sound system, cruise control, air conditioning, and remote entry. The Cube comes with more advanced Nissan vehicle technology, such as Bluetooth connectivity, lit steering wheel–mounted controls to modify audio and cruise settings, in addition to a six-speaker stereo. Control layouts on each of the SUVs are well thought out and simple to access.
Both the Nissan Cube and the Honda Element are compact SUVs that boast impressive safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. From electronic stability and traction control to Brake Assist and a suite of advanced airbags, it’s apparent that these square-shaped rides don’t cut corners when it comes to safety.
While the Nissan Cube and the Honda Element both have their strengths, drivers in Philadelphia, Lansdale, and Doylestown looking for an SUV that stands out in appearance and performance will appreciate the Cube’s creative take on the compact concept, from a highly customizable outer shell to an exceptional use of interior space and high fuel-efficiency numbers.
Schedule a test drive of the 2014 Nissan Cube at your local Nissan dealer, Montgomeryville Nissan, and add you personality to the Cube’s today!