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First Drive: 2009 Nissan Cube

Square as hip.

by on Jul.08, 2009

After a long wait while the Japanese automaker redesigned the boxy crossover for the American market, the 2009 Nissan Cube is finally rolling into local showrooms.

After a long wait while the Japanese automaker redesigned the boxy crossover for the American market, the 2009 Nissan Cube is finally rolling into local showrooms.

“For something with such rounded edges, how can they call it a Cube?” asked a good friend, recently.  It’s one of those little questions I found myself pondering as I got the chance to drive Nissan’s new offering – and the latest entry into the expanding category of what might be called “box-mobiles.”

The 2009 Nissan Cube joins the list with the second-generation Scion xB and the current viral hit, Kia’s new Soul.  The three of them start out as little more than boxes on wheels – when did square become hip? – about the most functional, flexible shape you can come up with.  Then the makers round a corner here, exaggerate a beltline there, add a few hip, and sometimes goofy features, like Soul’s pulsing disco lights, and for the final touch, deliver the whole package at a surprisingly affordable price.

Crash Resistant!

Not for Squares!

The 2009 Nissan Cube falls into the middle when it comes to cost, $14,710 for a base car, compared with $13,995 for the Soul and $16,420 for the xB.  Our test car nudged the sticker price up another $8,000, money paid for such niceties as an upgraded audio system, lighted sill plates and one of the strangest accessories we’ve ever seen, a round piece of shag carpeting that looked a lot like a chia pet – or worse, some fungus – growing out of the top of the instrument panel.

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