The Nissan Cube is a mini multi-purpose 5-door hatchback vehicle marketed in Japan beginning 1998. The first generation Cube, the Z10, was built using the Nissan B platform of Nissan and Renault, which it shared with the Nissan Micra and Note. This car came with a front 1.3 L engine, and a front-wheel or four-wheel drive option. The Cube was marketed openly in Japan during its first generation, but private exports worldwide were also made. Public access in the markets for the United States, Canada and Europe only became available in 2009.
The second generation Z11 was produced between 2002 and 2008. This version had an improved interior and drastic exterior updates. Before being replaced with the third generation, Nissan unveiled an electric version called Denki in 2008 at the New York International Auto Show. Nissan Denki is powered by lithium-ion batteries.
The Z12 third generation saw production in 2009. This version debuted at the 2008 Los Angeles International Show and went to market worldwide. The Z12 was a curvier Cube, and showcased an extended bumper and a wrap-around rear window. The radical Z12 design was aimed to create a more social atmosphere. In 2010, the Cube received various awards, including Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US.