2009 Nissan Cube Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Nissan Cube Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Cube Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 122 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Nissan Cube

  • Adventuresome styling, a plush ride, peppy performance and plenty of space within a tiny footprint are admirable highlights of the 2009 Nissan Cube. However, a certain Honda may be a more sensible "Fit."

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Peppy performance, lots of interior room considering its size, can be parked almost anywhere, generous standard features list.

  • Cons

    Lazy handling, seats-up cargo capacity not as big as a few rivals, disappointing interior materials, intrusive wind noise.

  • What's New for 2009

    The aptly named 2009 Nissan Cube makes its U.S. debut, giving consumers another urban-friendly, space-efficient subcompact to consider.

Full 2009 Nissan Cube Review

What's New for 2009

The aptly named 2009 Nissan Cube makes its U.S. debut, giving consumers another urban-friendly, space-efficient subcompact to consider.

Introduction

A box is the most space-efficient vehicular architecture, and perhaps nothing since the first Scion xB expresses that school of design more effectively than the 2009 Nissan Cube. Popular in Japan for decades, tiny-but-tall cars like the Cube offer an impressive amount of passenger and cargo space relative to their modest exterior footprint. The Cube is the latest to invade the United States.

With its styling compared to everything from an aquarium to a washing machine, the Nissan Cube shares much of its underpinnings with its Versa sibling. That sharing of DNA means the Cube's handling is rather lazy due to its soft, long-travel suspension. But it also means that the Cube has a comfortable ride, a peppy 122-horsepower engine and an available CVT (continuously variable transmission) that's the best example of this gearless transmission technology fitted to an economy car.

As you might expect from the Cube's space-efficient design, passenger space is plentiful. The tall roof and multi-adjustable backseat (it slides fore and aft and reclines) create more than enough headroom and legroom for two tall adults in back. Nissan has also taken care to fill this box with plenty of features, with optional luxuries such as keyless entry/ignition, Bluetooth connectivity and iPod integration all available. Even the bargain-priced base version comes with air-conditioning, full power accessories, a CD player and a full complement of safety features including stability control and side curtain airbags.

Given its non-athletic handling and comfy ride, the 2009 Nissan Cube is probably not a good choice for small hatchback shoppers looking for some added driving excitement. They'd be better served by Honda's fully redesigned Fit, which also offers a more cavernous and versatile interior. If you're into style, Kia's upcoming 2010 Soul is another funky and inexpensive hatchback worth considering. But overall Nissan has done well here -- those looking for a comfortable, surprisingly well-equipped economy hatchback with a healthy dose of cheeky styling may want to think inside the box.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The compact 2009 Nissan Cube is a four-door hatchback that's offered in base, S, SL and Krom trim levels. Even the base Cube comes well stocked, with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a 60/40-split folding-and-sliding rear seat, full power accessories and a four-speaker stereo with CD player. The S adds color-keyed sideview mirrors, cruise control, upgraded upholstery, dual-visor vanity mirrors, two more speakers and a rear cargo cover. The SL adds 16-inch alloy wheels, the CVT, automatic climate control, a pair of tweeters, iPod integration, MP3 playback capability and automatic on/off headlights. The Krom adds unique body styling enhancements (including a chrome three-bar grille that rivals the Ford Flex for best razor-inspired grille design), polished 16-inch wheels, two-tone upholstery, special interior accent lighting, Bluetooth, iPod integration, an upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio system and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

Options include a Preferred Package for the SL that includes rear park assist, keyless ignition/entry, Bluetooth, the Rockford Fosgate audio system, satellite radio and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. There's also a Ginormous Package for the SL (make your own joke), which includes an exterior aero kit, the interior accent lighting kit, illuminated sill plates and other interior and exterior mods. Some of these items can be added separately. There are also dealer-installed customization features, including multicolor interior trim pieces, a choice of 20 mood lighting colors and even an available shag carpet dash-topper.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2009 Nissan Cube comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 122 hp and 127 pound-feet of torque. The base Cube and Cube S come standard with a six-speed manual. Optional on the S and standard on the SL and Krom is a CVT.

Acceleration is better than most rivals, with the CVT-equipped Cube's 0-60-mph performance taking 9.7 seconds. (Anything under 10 seconds is respectable in this segment.) Official fuel economy numbers weren't available at the time of this writing, but the mechanically identical Versa checks in at 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined for CVT-equipped models. Cubes with the six-speed should come in about 1 mpg less.

Safety

The 2009 Nissan Cube comes standard with front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags as well as stability control and antilock brakes.

Interior Design and Special Features

To go along with its head-turning cubist exterior, the Cube's basic cabin design has soft curves and shapes that are a bit different from the typical hard-edged style employed by most rivals. A "dropped pebble in a pond" effect on the headliner and speaker grilles adds some visual interest, as does the optional color illumination package. Add the toupee-like shag carpet dash-topper, hit the lights and you'll think you've timed-warped back to 1977.

Simple control layouts mark the Nissan Cube's cabin. The standard climate control is the old-school-but-proven three-knob style (the optional automatic system is more complicated), the no-frills stereo has large preset buttons and the cruise control has easy-to-thumb buttons on the wheel. The overstuffed front seats are comfortable during hour-long commutes, but support fades on longer drives. Unfortunately, the brownish gray plastics used to construct the interior are below average for this class.

In back, there's plenty of room for two adults -- the tall roof and multi-adjustable backseat (it slides fore and aft and reclines) allows ample headroom and legroom for 6-footers in back. As with most subcompacts, though, trying to add a fifth person is ill-advised. Unlike Honda's more commodious Fit, the Cube hatchback's split rear seat doesn't fold even with the cargo floor, but lowering it reveals more than 50 cubic feet of space.

Driving Impressions

In the cut-and-thrust of city traffic or when merging and passing, the 2009 Nissan Cube is rarely caught flat-footed. Much of the credit goes to its superb CVT that makes the most of the engine's available power, rather than sucking the life out of it like most other CVTs that are paired with four-cylinder engines.

Though the Cube is pleasant enough around town and on the highway (save for some wind ruffle at higher speeds), a few rapid turns reveal its chief downfall mediocre handling. Running through quick transitions, the too-light steering is slow and the soft, long-travel suspension tuning that provides the plush ride also allows more body roll than we'd like, making the Cube feel like a dancer who's a beat or two behind the music.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



You need a warranty!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Cube 1.8 Krom 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I bought this car in may 2013 and after having it in the shop twice for the transmission they replaced it in August. My issue happened on the interstate after a few hours of driving which is why it took the dealer so long to diagnose. Its February 2014 and same issue on a road trip with the car. was in the shop for almost a week and no luck.




Hate this car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Cube 1.8 S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I have had this car for 14 month and have had the transmission replaced,new catalytic converter,air filter,fuel pump,wheel bearings,engine control module and as of Nov. 21,2012 the rear muffler and gasket has broke off and due to the fact that it will cost 400.00 to repair i am unable to have the repairs done at this point. been in touch with dealer,bbb,nissian of north america, no one is able to help with with this.




Transmission problem

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Cube 1.8 SL 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I purchased my 2009 Cube in July of 2009. I now have 10,500 miles on it. Recently, on a trip to view the Fall colors, I noticed a surging feeling when going over 50 mph. It was like every 10 seconds, the RPM's would rev between the 2 and 3 on the dial. Called the dealer and took it in for service. Diagnosis, a solenoid was not working properly. I have to have a brand new transmission put in the car. Yes it is under warranty, but still, this concerns me. So to everyone considering the Cube, do your research. It is a fun car to drive, you won't see yourself coming and going,it is good on gas, a piece of cake to park.. but this transmission issue had taken the glimmer off of it for me.




My car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Cube 1.8 Base 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

I'm very please with my 2009 cube. I have had it 2 months and still very happy. Its very roomy for me and my family. I have gotten so mannnnnnnny compliments on this car! excellent on gas , easy to keep clean. so if there's anyone wondering what this vehicle is like. I will glad to tell you. It is GREAT!




Toaster... who cares! i'll take

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Cube 1.8 S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I have laughed at all "toaster" cars since they came out. The low mileage and price were the only thing that even made me sit in it. But one trip around the block sold me. Smooth ride, responsive steering and acceleration. I laughed at the dash carpet and tossed it in the trunk, but the eye-pleasing interior is sweet and the most comfortable ever! My comment before buying was "Well I don't have to look at the outside and the inside is awesome." So far... 26.8 mpg city only. CVT tranny is great. If I have a lighter touch on acceleration I get quicker response... flooring it isn't the best idea. The toaster has won me over... I love it!




Real time

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Cube 1.8 S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I love it. 31K miles and still love it! It does move in windy conditions at high speeds or is pushed by trucks on interstate. One push on the gas and I am passed that though. Gas is always 28-29 mpg highway or city. I am big and my son is 6'7" and we both have plenty of spare room front or back. I am totally satisfied.



Talk About The 2009 Cube

2009 Nissan Cube Discussions See all Started By

maryaw
maryaw
07-28-2013
I drive a 2009 Cube SL, bought used in 2010. What do I love about my cube?...


j1huynh
j1huynh
10-19-2009
So my gf and I went to test drive the 2009 cube and ended up buying a 2010 nissan rogue.. go figure.....


maryaw
maryaw
11-30-2012
We had a good experience at a Nissan Deler - drove a 2010 Cube (this was in 2010). We liked it but couldn't go the price. Salesman showed us a 2009 with only 9K miles on it for significantly less. ...



Read more about the 2009 Nissan Cube

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 24
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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