Hip to be Square


Here's just one more example of personalization running rampant: The 2009 Nissan Cube is a "mini living room on wheels," according to Bruce Campbell, vice president of design for Nissan Design America, and is offered in four versions (cube 1.8, cube 1.8 S, cube 1.8 SL, and cube 1.8 Krōm).

While the Cube is no stranger to the marketplace, this will be the first global version when it goes on sale May 5. It started in Japan where it was intended to be an extension of living space for young people, because let's face it — most of us have probably dealt with an apartment that was practically the size of a minivan at some point in our lives.

"There's a lot of irony and a lot of wit to it," Campbell says of the new model. "It's about being able to bring your outside life into the interior." And that it does, as Nissan has announced that the Cube will be available with more than 40 individual accessories, ranging from an Interior Illumination Kit consisting of a changeable 20-color palette of accent lighting to "Front Door Bungees," — colorful elastic straps that slip into cutouts on the door armrests to secure items such as maps and photos. Shag dash topper instrument panel inserts are another option. The centerpiece though, is the "social space" interior that offers lounge-like comfort, including a "floating meter pod" driver's area and a "lounge sofa" style sliding and reclining rear bench seat.

A number of these accessories have been grouped into special packages, such as the Interior Designer Package, the Interior Illumination Package, and the Ginormous Package, via the new "Reserve Your cube" program, to begin later in the month.

As Campbell put it, the cube "catches your eye with the exterior but your heart with the interior." 

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