• New Indigo Limited Edition package available on Cube 1.8 S
  • Cube SL models get standard intelligent key and push-button ignition
  • Five new colors offered for 2012

The distinctive styling of the asymmetrical Nissan Cube makes it easy to recognize. Boxy, yet rounded off at the edges and corners, the Cube looks not quite like any other vehicle. For the 2012 model year that look remains, as does the choice of three trim levels - 1.8, 1.8 S and 1.8 SL. Changes include a new Indigo Limited Edition package for the 1.8 S, a standard intelligent key and push-button starter on the SL, and five new exterior colors.

One new paint shade, Bali Blue, is available only on the Indigo edition. Pearl white is new, too, and is the other choice with a package that adds styling, convenience and entertainment features to the 1.8 S. Six-spoke alloy wheels upgrade the look outside. Inside, indigo-colored seat trim may have inspired the name, but improvements are largely focused on technology. Touch-screen-navigation, a rear-view monitor and an upgraded six-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system with an 8-inch subwoofer are all included. Nissan's intelligent key and push-button start are part of the Indigo package, too.

The intelligent key is standard on the 2012 Cube 1.8 SL as well. Further, both SL and S models now include a front passenger-side armrest attached to the seat.

Unchanged is the standard 6-speed manual transmission in the 1.8 and 1.8 S and the CVT automatic, optional on the S and standard on the SL. The Indigo Limited Edition is available only with the CVT.

Prices for all Cube models increase for 2012. The base model is up $690 but remains just below $15,000 to start. Cube S and SL models jump $770 each; a manual S is now $16,420 - the CVT option adds $1000 - and the SL is $18,520. The new Cube 1.8 S Indigo is priced at $19,320.

Boxy as it may be, the Cube and other tough-to-categorize models like the Scion xB and Kia Soul represent thinking outside the compact car box. These models continue to provide an alternative to the sedans and hatchbacks more common to the small and affordable compact segment.

What it means to you: Styling of the distinctive Cube is unchanged for the 2012 model year, but new colors are available, as is the Indigo edition with tech upgrades like navigation.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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