Nissan Cube

I am sure OMG is the first reaction you have for this car but lets face it, its a Jap way of thinking, so get over it.

Analysis : We all have played with LEGO blocks as kids, so first we make a rectangle, add a dimension and it becomes a cuboid; Now all you need to add are the set of wheels and we arrive at a thing called the ‘Nissan Cube’

Yes, this is a car under production and take a fun fact : Its based on the very much “in” news Nissan MICRA.

Nissan first envisaged this structure in the late 90’s and since then has had a cult following

The Idea: Its based on a very Japanese “small-compact-i don’t care how it looks-practical” car concept, and is kind of fun to look at ( Compare it to looking at Jim Carey, and you’ll appreciate the effort)

Looks:- The guys at Nissan seem to love the Rubik’s Cube so much that they have designed a car which looks like one

Very very symmetric, there is not much to think about, its a shape and not a design. A newer addition to this 3rd generation model (Yes there have been two successful gens of this shape) are the more curved head and tail lamp clusters and the very interesting rims, which more look like flying discs.

Engine and Transmission : 4-cylinder developing 122hp / 127 ft-lbs which is transferred through a CVT transmission. Its a light car weighing just 1270 kg so 122 horses make it a zippy drive which u’ll love to roll inside city limits

Interiors: Take the word practical and find its cube. Very apt to the theme, and importantly does the work, some electronics are shared with the Micra but the package is more neat. Very roomy as well.

Going GRREN : Yes it also has an Electric variant which is soon to be upgraded. The new one should be more a “Nissan LEAF meets a MICRA meets a BOX” car.

Appeal : Proves that there are things and people who believe in simplicity and love symmetric shapes. ( The Cube could have been the official car of the movie trilogy Matrix)

Bottomline : You are very practical to the extent that you teach your dog to meow to scare the rats off. Then the CUBE was built keeping you in mind. Go buy it ; else just admire it the way you do Jim Carey and still don’t watch his movies the first weekend of release.

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Nissan Micra

When the buzz around a car overwhelms the car itself, we often tend to address the car as success

And this has very much happened with the new kid in town – The new gen Nissan Micra

Well Nissan is something, which usually relates to Pick ups and some super compact muscle like the 370 Z but this Jap company also has had serious impact in the hatch segment over the years

The Micra was first developed in the 1980’s but lets focus on the newest gen which has hit the roads here in India

The car: – Its easy to recall the Micra as the cute looking hatch from the East which was somewhat like a cross between the VW Beetle and the Daewoo Matiz, a good car indeed.

But then something happened. The recession and the rise of Koreans forced Nissan to rethink the Micra and the all new 2010 model was launched

Looks:- This one looks more mature than its ancestors. Nissan has been very intelligent to use a shade of Orange to promote this car, as it looks bulky and kind of sweet in that color. Try it in Blue and you’ll get  the point

But still the car is proportional , and thank god we got to see something less sharp and more curves. All new hatches these days look like some version of a transformer machines.

Interiors:- It only looks chubby, which it certainly is not. Insides are more comparable to  Suzuki A-star territory and not that of Swift which everyone is speculating. I wish the plastics were better but then you also get push-start button, and for a moment it resembles one in the legendary Nissan GTR. But STOP, compare no more, its a baby hatch.

Seating is comfortable and other aspects very similar to all other hatches. Nothing revolutionary, so please have decent space and comfort expectations and not the ones we have from an Ambassador

Engines:- 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol generating – 76PS @ 6000rpm ; 104Nm of torque @ 4000rpm. Its adequate and nothing more, so please dont try to bully a Honda Civic when it passes you by on the highway. Stick to the competition (read Maruti, Tata, Hyundai etc )

The better part of the heart is the refinement. Nissan has done a great job to make the ride smooth and press the pedal , and it responds very well. (If the engine had a facebook page, i would “Like” it)

The V Platform : This very weird sounding term is not the railway station platform from Harry Potter fiction, but is the new design and engineering platform Nissan-Renault has developed. So expect more cars (including sedans and Renaults) sharing a lot with the Micra . But for the time being,this is the only V in town

Pricing:-  Inline with the segment. Rs 3.50 – 5.2 lacs (but you dont get alloy wheels in any variant)

Bottomline : Nice car, worth buying but dont mix priorities. Its a very good alternative to Ford Figo, Hyundai i10, and the numerous Maruti-Suzuki’s, but NOT the VW Polo or the Fiat Punto.

PS- Buy one in Black or Orange only (else you’ll look as out of place as a Tata in yellow)

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Nissan 370Z

You see the car, and you want to get in the seat and start drifting

Yes, its the same (Tokyo Drift machine) , just much more powerful and refined

Get keys and start filming for the Fast and the Furious 5

The Nissan 370Z is an apt upgrade to the ever so popular 350Z

Looks:-  Few know about this, but Carlos Ghosn pushed the Nissan team as much as he did for the GTR

And guess what we get??  A beautiful yet muscular car carrying forward the Z tradition

It looks every bit of the Z family and yet you know, its new…The new head and tail lamp clusters prove the point very much.

Heart:- A beast.. V6 churning out (wait for it….) a massive 332 bhp, 32kgm of torque at 5K

I had an opportunity to hear one of these grunts, and trust me, it reminds you of the Schumacher inside you

Gearbox: Seven speed automatic , 6 speed manual will be offered in the near future and yes, it does have a paddle shift on offer

Pricing:- Most of the markets are getting CBU’s , so is the case here in India, which results a steep curve (>50 lakh, ex showroom), and it hurts the most here .. especially when you realize that elsewhere it stands in the segment of the Mercedes C class, Audi A4 and the BMW 3 series……

Verdict:- Remember how the Nissan GTR pushed the Porche guys to come up with the new 911GT3!!!

Well, it seems , Nissan pulled off a superb strategy,  cos the older 911 customer, now have the 370Z as the option more than the new Porche itself….

Bottomline : Mission accomplished for Nissan and a great new Z for us……

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