2009 Nissan Cube SL – Four Seasons Update – May 2010

Long-Term 2009 Nissan Cube Update: Spring 2010 Array Miles to date: 0

Months in Fleet: Five
Mileage to Date: 10,326 miles

April was a big month for our Four Seasons Nissan Cube. It took two trips to the Chicago area and broke the 10,000-mile mark in the process. Early in the month, assistant editor David Zenlea snagged the keys to the Cube and headed to the Windy City to help his parents pack up their newly sold house and, at the same time, help himself to some of the items his parents didn’t want to move. “I was in town to help my parents pack for the move, and thus came back with a ton of free stuff. They had planned on giving me a leather love seat they did not want to move, but initially declined when they saw the diminutive car I’d pulled up in. Since I really, really needed a couch, I decided to try fitting the love seat in anyway, and to my great surprise, it fit – barely. The good news is that the extra weight in back largely cured the car’s tendency to drift in its lane. I might recommend finding a couch to shove in back before going on any long trips.”

And, after spending more than eight hours at the Cube’s helm, Zenlea had several positive things to say about the Caribbean blue Nissan. “The Cube’s fuel range is quite impressive. Most subcompacts and compacts I’ve taken on this drive need a fill-up the moment I reach my destination, but the Cube still had a quarter of a tank. Like many, I initially scoffed at the shag rug on dash, but must admit I found myself patting it affectionately. It’s like having a cute little mutt on your dash. The super soft seats are very comfortable over long distances, provided you don’t have a couch digging into the seat back the entire time.” His only complaint was the Cube’s deadly front glass. “The nearly upright windshield is just a killing field for mosquitoes at highway speeds. I found myself squirting wiper fluid every ten minutes on some stretches to clear their mortal remains from my line of sight.”

Less than two weeks later, senior Web editor Phil Floraday took the Cube back to Chicago for a day. He also noted the Cube’s excellent fuel economy and was impressed by its roomy the rear compartment. “There’s a great amount of room behind the rear seat. The two of us each had a carry-on-sized roller bag for our night in Chicago and they hardly came up to the lip at the bottom of the rear door. You could legitimately put four adults and all the required gear for a long weekend, or even a week’s trip in the back without having it stacked to the ceiling. If all small cars offered this versatility, people wouldn’t think they needed a full-size sedan or SUV for the occasional vacation with friends or family.”

After accumulating 3000 miles in one month, the Cube went in for a well-earned routine service visit at the local Nissan dealer. For under $40.00, it got fresh oil and a new filter, a brake and brake fluid inspection, and its chassis hinges lubed.

2009 Nissan Cube SL

Base price (with dest.): $17,510
As Tested: $19,490

Body style: 5-door hatchback
Accomodation: 5 passenger
Construction: Unibody construction, bolt-on front fenders

Engine: 16-valve DOHC in-line 4-cylinder
Displacement: 1.8 liters (xx cu in)
Power: 122 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque: 127 lb-ft @ 4800
Transmission type: CVT
Drive: Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy: 28/30/29 (city/hwy/combined)

Steering: Vehicle speed-sensitive electric power-assisted
Lock-to-lock: 3.25
Turning circle: 33.4 ft
Suspension, front: Independent strut with coil springs and stabilizer bar
Suspension, rear: Torsion beam with integrated stabilizer bar
Brakes f/r: Front power-assisted vented disc; rear drum brakes; ABS
Wheels: 16.6-inch aluminum alloy
Tires: Toyo A20 all-season
Tire size: 195/55R16

Headroom f/r: 42.6/40.2 in
Legroom f/r: 42.4/35.5 in
Shoulder room f/r: 52.2/52.4 in
Wheelbase: 99.6 in
Track: 58.1/58.3 in
L x W x H: 156.7 x 66.7 x 65.0 in
Cargo capacity: 11.4/58.1 cu ft (rear/with seats folded)
Weight: 2849 lb
Weight dist. f/r: xx/xx%
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gal
Est. fuel range: 383 miles
Fuel grade: 87 octane

1.8L 4-cylinder engine
Xtronic CVT transmission
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
Traction control system (TCS)
Electronic brake force distribution (EBD)
4-wheel Antilock Braking (ABS)
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
AM/FM/CD audio system with 6-speakers
MP3 CD-ROM playback capability
Auxiliary jack
Speed sensitive volume
Keyless entry with integrated key
Power windows, locks
Cruise control with steering wheel controls

SL Preferred package, $1600
Interior Designer package, $230
Splash guards, $150
XM Satellite radio
Bluetooth hands-free system

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