2009 Nissan Cube SL 1.8 from North America
Great car for around the city
I’ve never understood why the Cube is marketed primarily to young people. It’s tailor made for seniors. It’s easy to enter/exit because of its height, has excellent visibility, big outside mirrors, is easy to park, and fun to drive. I assume that if Nissan marketed it to seniors, young people wouldn’t want them! Still, it seems well suited to both age groups.
As seniors, my wife and I like the funky look, but as with other odd looking cars such as the Smart Car, the Cube will be nothing special before long. However the attributes we want in a car, both now and in the years to come won’t change, which is why we bought a Cube.
The Cube isn’t ideal for highway driving but that’s OK, my highway car is now called an airplane. Other quibbles? Well, I get a little electrical shock whenever I exit the car and touch the door to close it. I have the normal Cube floor mats and wear ordinary rubber soled shoes, so don’t know why this occurs. I would also like to be able to connect my seat belt without having to first raise the arm rest. A final improvement I’d like to see is for the clock (black text/orange background in centre of dash) to light up whenever the car’s engine is turned on, rather than only after the car’s headlights have activated.
There are many things about the Cube that have impressed me but I won’t go into them as they’ve already been well covered by others. If you are looking for a great city runabout that meets the requirements I set out in my first paragraph, then the Cube makes an excellent choice. Dollar for dollar and pound for pound, I’m very impressed with this car and am happy to have bought it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th March, 2010
17th Jan 2011, 22:07
This is a follow-up to my original post. It has now been 13 months and only 3,100 additional miles since I bought my Cube and made my initial post.
The car has met my expectations, and the early positive impressions remain valid. I learned since buying the Cube (via Youtube) how to set my outside mirrors for maximum benefit, and I decided to have backup sensors, costing $500, installed. This helps a great deal with reducing the risk of a tragic accident and is also a great assist when parallel parking. Therefore, while not cheap, I consider this feature, which I understand, was not available for the 2009 Cube, to be worth the cost.
Two issues from my original post have been resolved. The electric shock upon exiting has been solved by holding my hand on the door frame as I swing out and prior to placing my feet on the ground. For the difficulty in reading the time on the car’s digital clock, I bought a $15 watch and mounted the face with two way tape to the dash just to the left of the hazard button.
Beyond oil changes and routine inspections, I’ve had three trips to the dealer. Two were the result of Nissan recalls, and the third occurred recently when during routine maintenance I learned that the battery wouldn’t fully charge. Following diagnostic testing, the battery was deemed to need replacement, and I was required to pay 50% of the cost of the new battery. I understand the rational for being reimbursed on a pro rated amount for the bad battery, but if Nissan had built this car with better parts, I wouldn’t have incurred the financial cost or inconvenience to pass time at the dealer. The battery replacement also meant that several settings had to be re-programmed. Getting my original door lock/unlock settings back proved to be frustratingly difficult.
In summary, I remain pleased with this car. It’s a superb city car, and if that is primarily the kind of driving you expect to be doing, then the Cube is well worth a look. What it’s longer term reputation will be is a story yet to be told.
19th Jan 2011, 21:12
I think the Nissan Cube is the ugliest car to come out since the Pontiac Aztek. It looks so odd, and boxy, that SpongeBob Squarepants would be right at home in it.
20th Jan 2011, 10:19
Take a look at the new Nissan Juke... now that's scary!
20th Jan 2011, 18:29
Yeah, the Juke could pass for the lovechild of the Aztek and Caliber.
23rd Mar 2011, 02:06
I like the look of the Cube, and the Juke, but not the Aztek. And I think of Dr. Seuss, not Sponge-Bob ;). Anyways, I bought a higher mileage Cube, and basically its been mostly problems. My review should show up at some point. I do still love the car. But I wouldn't recommend it to someone who was on the fence.
23rd Mar 2011, 17:33
Nissan has too many quirky cars in its lineup, and a few that overlap. The Cube is too eccentric to be a mainstream seller. It's the type of car a company owner would drive with their logo on the side, just to get noticed. I think the Juke is too goofy looking, but looks are subjective.
Nissan should merge the Sentra with the Versa, or drop one of them. You don't get much more with a Sentra than with a 1.8 litre Versa. They should bring over the Micra as their smallest offering. It has a lot more appeal than a 1.6 litre Versa sedan as their least expensive, cheapest offering.