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2009 Nissan Cube Overview

The ripple of a single raindrop, a bulldog wearing sunglasses, moon and earth - according to Nissan, all of these inspired the all-new 2009 Cube. It’s certainly a unique way of marketing a vehicle. Then again, the Cube is fairly unique.

Sure, the tall, boxy, compact Cube will remind you of the Scion xB and perhaps the Honda Fit as well, but the Cube has plenty to make it stand out. Start with the wraparound rear window that will absolutely draw attention on the street. Then check out the concentric-circle, ripple-inspired design for the rear window panel, speakers, cupholders, and the ceiling, and the non-conformist in you will smile.

The Cube comes in four trim levels – the base 1.8 ($13,990 MSRP), midlevel 1.8 S ($14,690), top-line 1.8 SL ($16,790), and the limited-edition Krom ($19,370). All four share a 1.8-liter, DOHC four-cylinder engine capable of 122 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque borrowed from Nissan’s Versa, which gets 27 city/33 highway mpg. The Base 1.8 and 1.8 S Cube come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Nissan’s automatic Continuously Variable Transmission is standard for the 1.8 SL and Krom and optional for the S - some nice technology for an economy car.

That powertrain provides plenty of pep for the Cube, which can go 0-60 in 9.7 seconds and does well accelerating in and out of city traffic, merging and passing. The handling aspect of the Cube’s performance, however, doesn’t live up to the vehicle’s acceleration. The soft suspension does offer a comfy ride, but combined with its average steering feel, it produces often-lethargic handling.

The box-like design hits its utilitarian note with the Cube’s more than 50 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are lowered, which is especially accessible through the side-opening rear hatch. The tall box also offers plenty of headroom for all passengers. Squeezing three adults into the backseat for a long trip is probably not the best idea, but since those rear seats recline and slide and come with a pull-down armrest, two will be very comfortable in the back.

Nissan stocked the base Cube with features and then really piled it on with the other trims. The base comes standard with air-conditioning, a six-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary jack, power windows and locks, a 60/40 split rear seat, 15-inch steel wheels, six airbags, a Traction Control System, Vehicle Dynamic Control, Antilock Braking, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

The S trim's additions include cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls, body-color side mirrors, cloth upholstery, interior chrome door handles, a cargo cover, and two speakers. The SL adds 16-inch aluminum wheels, iPod integration, MP3 playback ability, automatic climate control and the CVT. The Krom adds multiple integrated body enhancements (front fascia and grille, body side sills, rear fascia, and rear roof spoiler), interior accent lighting, two-tone seat cloth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Rockford Fosgate subwoofer and amplifier.


After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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Nissan Cube Questions

Towing Behind A Motor Home

Is the cube with the CVT trans suitable for towing behind a motor home?

My Car Doesn't Accelerate When Pedal Is Pressed After A Complete Stop

My car is a 2009 Nissan cube. I stopped at a red light and then pressed on the pedal to go and my car wouldn't move and then was creeping through the light. After the pedal was floored for several se...

Why Is My Car Not Starting?

My car is not starting when I don't use it for about a week or so. So I constantly have to drive it every other day so I wouldn't have to jump start my battery. Yet when I got my battery tested they s...

Why Does My License Plate Keep Falling Off?

How do I secure my plate on the back of my car. The bolts/ screws have fallen off. And there is no way for me to attach it.

'09 Nissan Cube Does It Have Tow Wires?

I am going to tow the cube behind a MH on a tow dolly. My question is, does the cube have a wire that (similar tow the wire I would plug into the trailer) that would light the brake lights when I ...