2009 Nissan Cube

Base FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4 man trans

2009 nissan cube Reviews and News

0902 01 Pl+2009 Nissan Cube+side View
0902 03 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+front Three Quarter View
After a long wait, America is finally getting the Nissan Cube. The first version launched in Japan in 1998 and stayed around until 2002. It lacked the unique design of the second-generation Cube that was sold from 2002 through 2008. We had a Japan-spec version of that car in the office last year and loved the funky styling, small size, and tight turning circle. The latest Cube keeps most of the cute styling of the last version but loses some of the odd features such as the column-shift automatic transmission and an electrically powered rear axle that gave the Cube four-wheel drive at low speeds.
EXTERIOR DESIGN
0811 08 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+front Three Quarter View
The Nissan Cube is the new king of the box-on-wheels segment, at least with regards to exterior styling. The latest Scion xB lost quite a bit of character compared to the previous version and the Cube fills this void with impressive overall looks and some lovely details. The optional X-design wheels are a trademark feature of the square Nissan, as is the asymmetrical rear door design. The right-rear corner of the Cube has an additional window, which both looks cool and aids rear vision. Nissan claims a bulldog wearing sunglasses inspired the overall styling. Running around Ann Arbor, the Nissan got lots of looks and many people were eager to know its story.
INTERIOR DESIGN
0811 04 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+rear View
The interior continues the funky exterior design. Nissan claims to have followed a lounge theme, giving occupants a relaxed driving/riding experience. The seats are comfortable and inspired by a sofa. The rear seat can slide six inches forward and back to allow owners to juggle cargo and passengers needs. Luggage space is a bit on the tight side with the rear seat in the upright position but the seat does fold for more room. Still, it would be nice if that rear seat either tumbled or was removable for even more cargo space. Headroom is massive. Even an NBA star wearing a ten-gallon hat would fit. There are some great details inside as well. The headliner and door speakers are rippled to resemble a water drop and there are cutouts in the doors for using bungee cords to attach items such as MP3 players or mobile phones. There are also hooks that are reconfigurable using the receptacles placed around the car. Comfort and convenience items such as iPod integration, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, premium audio, steering wheel controls, rear parking sensors, and cruise control are available on certain Cube models.
0811 03 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+rear Three Quarter View
POWERTRAIN
The Cube is available with one engine and two transmissions. The 1.8-liter inline four develops 122 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque and is also used in the Nissan Versa. Standard is a 6-speed manual transmission and a CVT automatic is available as an option. Fuel economy numbers have not been released but Nissan expects an EPA rating of around 30 mpg on the highway. All Cube models are front-wheel drive.
CHASSIS
0902 04 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+aerial View
The Cube rides on Nissan's new B platform that also underpins cars like the newest Renault Clio and Modus. It uses a simple, strut-type front suspension and a torsion beam at the rear. We applaud Nissan for making stability control standard. Fifteen-inch steel wheels with covers are standard and sixteen-inch aluminum wheels are available. All models have the same damper and spring tuning.
DRIVING
This car is not just about styling - it actually goes down the road really well, although it's unlikely to appeal to hard-core driving enthusiasts. The somewhat quirky CVT transmission and the comically light electric power steering both come off as a negative at first but you quickly realize that they both perfectly fit the personality of this boxy Nissan. The chassis has a soft, though well damped feel that makes it very impressive over bad Michigan roads. The Cube feels well tuned and, to be honest, very French. It's no wonder the B platform is used by the Renault as well. The Cube is very relaxing and very comfortable to drive.
0902 01 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+side View
Its size, light controls, and insanely tight turning circle also make it an excellent city car. It's easy to park and offers great visibility. The 122-hp four-cylinder is energetic enough and the optional CVT does a good job keeping the engine nicely in its power band when accelerating. The Cube is easily the best-driving entry in the box-on-wheels segment.
CONCLUSION
We like the Cube. It has a blend of styling, price (starting just over $14,000), and driving pleasure that should fit many people's needs. It's far from sporty but has wonderful charm nonetheless. If you're looking for a funky, inexpensive car that is decent to drive, the Cube may be your perfect box.
0902 02 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+rear Three Quarter View
2009 Nissan Cube
Base price: $14,685
As tested: $19,095 (SL CVT)
Powertrain: 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4
Horsepower: 122 hp @ 5200 RPM
Torque: 127 lb-ft @ 4800 RPM
Transmission: CVT automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Measurements
L x W x H: 156.7 x 66.7 x 65.0 in
Wheelbase: 99.6 in
Legroom F/R: 42.4/35.5 in
Headroom F/R: 42.6/40.2 in
Cargo capacity (2nd row upright/2nd row folded): 11.4/58.1 cu ft
Curb weight: 2884 lbs (manufacturer, SL CVT)
EPA fuel economy: N/A
0903 02 Pl+2009 Nissan Cube+side View
0903 02 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+side View
"I'm a little surprised that you want this car in America," said Nissan's bemused senior vice president and chief creative officer, Shiro Nakamura. The worldly Nakamura made an international splash when he arrived from Isuzu in 1999, with vehicles like the artful Murano, the revived 350Z, and the FX45. But as anyone who has been to Japan (or seen Nissan's Pivo 2 concept) knows, there are hometown conveyances that just don't translate off the islands. "When we made the first Cube, we had no intention of selling it outside of Japan. We thought it was probably too different, too unique for American people. But we wanted to test it."
Nissan designers brought the tall, narrow, second-generation Cube to California, where it caused a scene everywhere they drove it. Journalists sought out the funky box for a spin and spread the word. "That's when we realized we should bring the next-generation Cube to America," said Nakamura.
We had our own full-blown 2008 Cube experience last year, having a laugh at its sloppy steering, terminal bread-truck body roll, and kind of wheezy 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Still, there was undeniable Toon Town charm in the Cube's cubeness, its asymmetrical wraparound rear window, and the friendly, cozy interior. It was much smaller than the more staid Honda Element and more comfortable than the Scion xB. We joined the clamor for a U.S. Cube and presented ourselves in Japan for an early drive weeks after the 2009 Cube was unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show last November. Never mind that our very own U.S.-spec Cube would be arriving this spring with a bigger, 1.8-liter engine and upgraded underpinnings for our more demanding roads.
0903 09 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+rear Three Quarter View
We can report that the new Cube still pegs the needle on the geek-chic meter, thanks to the loving ministrations of a multinational design team comprised of Vietnamese-American Art Center alum John Sahs, Cuban-American Alfonso Albaisa (Pratt Institute grad and vice president of Nissan Design Europe), and a number of too-cool-for-school Japanese designers, including Hirotada Kuwahara (designer of the last Cube) and interior designer Tadamasa Hayakawa.
Sahs and the mop-haired Kuwahara (wearing a shaggy sheepskin vest and red plaid New Balance sneakers) gave us the walkaround of the new Cube.
"The concept for the Japanese home market Cube was 'My Room,' or favorite space," explained Sahs, who's been at Nissan for eight years. It was right that we dove directly inside the Cube, as it was designed from the inside out, not unlike Japanese architecture. "We wanted that same feeling for the foreign market," Sahs said. "The next level of 'My Room' is 'My Lounge.' Here's the 'Love Wavy Sofa,' and parts of the radio mimic the stereo in your room."
0903 08 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+love Wavy Sofa
Our Love Wavy Sofa - a.k.a. the front bench seat - was upholstered in a thick brown suede-ish material, with a keyhole slot in the middle that could accommodate a cup and a phone. The U.S. version won't be getting the cushy bench because the controls for our two transmissions - the new CVT from the Altima and the Maxima and an optional six-speed manual - are both floor-mounted. We won't get the four-wheel-drive model. We also won't get the charming but delicate light-diffusing, translucent shoji-style screen that covers the large skylight above the front seats, most likely because the typical American will rip it from its moorings the first time he or she gives it a jerk. There are so many other little optional clips, hooks, nets, rubber bands, colors, materials, and body parts, it's hard to say what will make it across the pond come spring. Chief product planner Yosuke Iwasa knows that accessories are a big deal, but wants to "keep variations low for inventory control."
0903 10 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+ripple Effect
The new interior is significantly more refined and bigger than the last Cube's. Said Sahs, "Hayakawa-san had the idea to shape the interior so it looks from above like what we call the Jacuzzi curve. The two-tone interior developed for the U.S. shows that concept better." (Imagine a large oval nipped in at the waist.) "Then the circles on the headliner are like a drop of water. They ripple out and carry through to the speakers and inside the cupholders." Sounds silly, but there is something organically peaceful about those crop circles everywhere. Or maybe that design wacky-talk is just infectious.
The instruments are supersharp, with white light around the tach and blue around the speedo, and in a pod separate from the curved dash, adding to the airy feeling. Stadium-style rear seats hold three, adjust fore and aft, and recline. Air bags, belt pretensioners, and active head restraints protect front passengers. Headrests and shoulder harnesses protect those in the back, along with side curtain air bags. The rear seats flop down, increasing cargo space, but even when up, there's still room behind for a small human.
0903 01 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+cockpit
The last Cube didn't feel all that tiny, but using the Versa to underpin the 2009 model and moving the wheels right out to the four corners added stretch in every direction - a few inches of wheelbase, a smidgen of elbow room, a tiny bit of headroom. (The Versa also provides the 122-hp, 1.8-liter in-line four that will power the U.S.-spec Cube, a big bump over the 107 hp in the Japanese Cube.) Still, snap a photo next to a six-footer, and the Cube looks like the little box it really is - actually it's more than a foot shorter than the compact Versa.
0903 17 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+english Bulldog
But it's a box with loads of presence, and you can't help but be reminded of that when you see it in Japanese television ads with a little bulldog wearing sunglasses. It's the dog that John Sahs and the design team envisioned as they sketched the new Cube: "The bulldog is a great way to connect with people. Our first real ID with the Cube face was the bulldog with sunglasses. The Cube's stance is the image of the bulldog: squat, confident, and relaxed."
Says his boss, Shiro Nakamura, "It's a very nice dog. We love it."
All of the designer nuttiness was the perfect preamble to actually driving the Cube with the Japanese automotive press corps in Yokohama, home of Nissan's new headquarters. In the mid-nineteenth century, Yokohama was the first Japanese port opened to the outside world. Restored century-old brick warehouses share space with Japan's largest Chinatown and acres of shining new buildings rising from reclaimed land. A note from Wikitravel.org: "Yokohama is not a very automobile-friendly place."
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Playing right into the Cube's My Lounge theme.
With Nissan's crack PR team in the persons of Shotaro Ogawa and Yasuko Inoue acting as translators, tour guides, and traffic stoppers for photography, we could concentrate on the Cube's stiffer chassis, improved suspension (struts in front and torsion-beam rear with upgraded dampers and stiffer antiroll bars), and its tighter 30.2-foot turning circle. For about a minute.
Hopeless. Traffic was so bad, we were left to creep mindlessly along, enjoying an occasional hundred-yard burst of acceleration, and to wonder how to get our very own Love Wavy Sofa shipped home to Michigan for the Automobile Magazine conference room. It will be a nice place to lounge around while waiting for spring and our very own Cube to arrive.
Shiro Nakamura
SVP, Chief Creative Officer
0903 03 Z+2009 Nissan Cube+shiro Nakamura
"People tend to feel more comfortable moving slowly. It's more relaxing. Not too much tension. There are two kinds of cars in Japan. One is the GT-R - really fast. The other is the Cube, the slowest-looking car in the world. It almost looks stopped when you're driving it."
"A normal car is symmetrical, but the driver isn't in the center. He's at the right- or left-hand side of the car. So why would we need everything to be symmetrical? If you drive on the left, you don't need the left rear window."
"When you look at the rear of a car, unconsciously you can feel an animal. It moves. That's the basic difference between a car and a refrigerator. You've fallen in love with a car, right? You never fell in love with a refrigerator."
"Lower and wider is the formula for creating a nice-looking car. We have here narrower, taller, shorter. It's a new sense of value - creating space in a tiny area. In this, the Cube is rooted in the Japanese tiny island culture."
"This is a very peaceful car. No rush. Having this car for the U.S. people right now is good timing. It is a very difficult time for the U.S. Some people are fed up with big and powerful macho cars. I think we need this kind of car."
2009 Nissan Cube Front View Motion
The Nissan Cube is the Hello Kitty of cars. Its designers, however, prefer to think of it as a bulldog with sunglasses. Whatever its animal-kingdom reference, the Nissan Cube is without a doubt the weirdest, most Japanese car sold in the United States. Some will say that the tiny, box-shaped Cube follows in the footsteps of the original Scion xB, but this Nissan takes the otherworldly, Tokyo-bizarro thing to another level.
2009 Nissan Cube Right Rear Side View

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Certified Pre-Owned 2009 Nissan Cube Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$9,575

Used 2009 Nissan Cube Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$13,990

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2009 Nissan Cube
2009 Nissan Cube
Base FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4
24 MPG City | 29 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
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2009 Nissan Cube
2009 Nissan Cube
Base FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4
$13,990
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2009 Nissan Cube
2009 Nissan Cube
Base FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4
122hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower

2009 Nissan Cube Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
1.8L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
24 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
29 MPG
Horsepower:
122 hp @ 5200rpm
Torque:
127 ft lb of torque @ 4800rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control (optional)
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
60,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Roadside
36,000 miles / 36 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:34:51
Component
TIRES:PRESSURE MONITORING AND REGULATING SYSTEMS
Summary
NISSAN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2008-2010 VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, IOWA, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, MASSACHUSETTS, MAINE, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, WASHINGTON D.C., WEST VIRGINIA AND WISCONSIN. THE MATERIAL IN THE NUT USED TO SECURE THE SENSOR-TRANSMITTER OF THE TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM (TPMS) MAY CORRODE AND POTENTIALLY CRACK IN AREAS WITH HEAVY CONCENTRATIONS OF ROAD SALT. IF THIS OCCURS, THE NUT MAY COME OUT OF THE SENSOR-TRANSMITTER AND THE TPMS LAMP WILL ILLUMINATE.
Consequences
IF THE TPMS LAMP IS DISREGARDED AND THE VEHICLE CONTINUES TO BE DRIVEN IN THIS CONDITION, THE TIRE WILL QUICKLY LOSE AIR PRESSURE AT A CONSISTENT RATE RESULTING IN A FLAT TIRE INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy
THE DEALER WILL REPLACE THE TPMS NUT WITH A NEW, MORE ROBUST NUT. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE NOVEMBER 9, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261 AND INFINITI AT 1-800-662-6200.
Potential Units Affected
143,223
Notes
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC.


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:00
Component
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:STORAGE
Summary
NISSAN IS RECALLING MODEL YEAR 2009-2010 NISSAN CUBE VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JANUARY 30, 2009 THROUGH JULY 30, 2010. THESE VEHICLES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 301, "FUEL SYSTEM INTEGRITY." WHEN THE VEHICLE WAS ROTATED FOLLOWING A REAR MOVING BARRIER CRASH TEST AS REQUIRED, THE AMOUNT OF FUEL LEAKAGE EXCEEDED THE ALLOWABLE LIMITS.
Consequences
FUEL LEAKAGE, IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE, COULD RESULT IN A FIRE.
Remedy
DEALERS WILL DEVELOP A SPECIAL PROTECTOR AND ATTACH IT TO THE GASOLINE RECIRCULATION TUBE AT THE LOCATION OF THE FILLER NECK CONNECTOR. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261.
Potential Units Affected
46,000
Notes
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC.


IIHS Best Pick
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
4
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
4
NHTSA Rating Front Side
5
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
5
NHTSA Rating Rollover
4
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Applicable

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