2009 Nissan Cube SL 1.8 from North America


Great car for around the city

General Comments:

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.

2009 Nissan Cube S 1.8 liter from North America


Awesome car! Fun and practical


Nothing has gone wrong with this car. However, it's less than one year old.

General Comments:

We love our Cube! Still have a 2004 Scion xB and needed another car. Was disappointed with the new xB models getting worse gas mileage than the original, and could not wait for the Cube to arrive in the U.S. One test drive and I was hooked. The best word to describe it is "peppy". Just push the gas and next thing you know you're doing 80. With CVT, you don't feel the shifting between gears -- the only indication is the tachometer moving.

The Cube has nearly the exact size, features, & MPG of the original xB, but with a bigger, faster engine, more seat comfort, less noise, and more features. I loved my xB until I drove the Cube. It handles more like a larger sedan. The rear seats can actually move up & back and also recline -- very important for rear seat passengers on long trips. The rear door opens to the side, instead of up -- more convenient and (I anticipate) more reliable.

Like the xB, the Cube is basically a short, tall station wagon. It is very easy to get in & out of, has lots of headroom, plenty of space for 4 adults. It has limited rear storage with the seats up, but they can fold down to create an enormous amount of space if you have no rear passengers.

The car is fine for long trips too. We took it from San Antonio, TX to Colorado and back. It did just fine over the hills of West TX and New Mexico doing 70+.

I would buy another one today if I could afford two car payments.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2010

8th Mar 2012, 09:57


We sold it back to the same dealer after about 30 months of use, and just shy of 30,000 miles. Originally the car was purchased for $16,500, and financed for about 18K with all the extra financing stuff.

When we sold it back, Nissan gave us $12,900 (a thousand in Nissan Bucks) and put it on their lot for $15,999.

This was by far the cheapest car I've ever owned, thanks to the desirability of these cars. It was fun to drive, got a lot of attention, both good and bad, but was never boring.

A few comments on the longer-term issues with the car: We did have trouble with the blower motor for the AC/Heat. When it went out the first time, about a year ago, the dash had to be taken apart and the motor replaced -- an entire day's work and a week to plan in the middle of January in North Dakota. Not cool. When they reinstalled the dash, suddenly we had a lot of squeaks and noises, which was also less than cool.

In addition, on snow, ice, and in the mud up here, we had a lot of trouble with the weak tires the car came with. We never replaced them and got a ding on the trade in, but the fact is the car slides around a lot. It catches a lot of wind and slips on very minimal amounts of snow.

Finally, I would say this car was a great purchase financially, but also for our kids. We had another while we had the car, and two kids, two adults and suitcases was a challenge, but very doable even in the seemingly small space the Cube offers.

At the end of the day, if my wife didn't need a car with a more conservative appearance (for her job), we would have driven it into the ground. A fun car, but most fun for a driver in a big city with mild winters. This car would be The Bomb in Miami, Houston, Atlanta, San Diego -- places with weather closer to that of Japan's. Not Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Really enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!


31st May 2013, 23:10

Definitely not the car's issue that it didn't have proper winter tires for the snow driving conditions. Great review otherwise.