The Nissan Cube is a distinctive sub-compact automobile that is popular for its spacious interior, inviting seating options, and high-end cabin amenities.
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So far, the Cube has experienced both successful and unsuccessful years throughout its model years.
However, we explored the best and worst years based on complaints from owners, reliability ratings from critics, and more. Join us as we explore each year below.
The Best and Worst Years for Nissan Cube Are:
Getting a used Nissan Cube that offers one of the best driving experiences to owners requires choosing from the model years 2012, 2013, and 2014, as these years have fewer complaints so far.
The model years with the most complaints, however, include 2009, 2010, and 2011.
What Nissan Cube Years Are the Most Reliable?
Some Nissan Cube model years have better reliability and overall ratings than the other years. Owners also reported fewer complaints in these years, we explored them below.
Before we dive in, being another Nissan model, would you like to know how long Nissan Altimas last based on facts?
1. 2012 Nissan Cube
The 2012 Cube is popular among owners for its many pros. They include
- A comfortable ride
- A spacious cabin
- Easy parking
- A long list of standard amenities, and uncommon customization options
- Its affordability, and
- Its high roof and wheels, among others
It is also one of the model years with minimal complaints from owners. So far, Carcomplaints recorded an overall of 31 complaints, despite being one of the later model years.
This is fewer compared to the same model years in certain car brands. It has no recalls.
According to car experts, the 2012 Cube’s reliability ratings vary. Some critics awarded certain model years with the most reliability score around average. An example is J.D. Power’s 3 out of 5 stars.
RepairPal also gave it an above-average reliability score of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
However, critics like Cars.com based on its consumer review reported a higher reliability and overall score of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Overall, U.S. News also awarded a score of 8.0 out of 10.
For safety, the cube got an overall score of four out of 5 stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA).
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also awarded the 2012 Cube a top rating of Good in all test areas and got a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.
From the figures above, some ratings are around average and others are well above average. However, they all proved the 2012 Nissan Cube is one of the most reliable years for the model.
2. 2013 Nissan Cube
The 2013 Cube offers many features for owners’ interest.
- A comfortable ride
- Plenty of passenger space
- A generous list of standard features
- Easy parking
- Good outward visibility in all directions
- An affordable price
- Good fuel economy, and more
It is one of the most reliable model years owing to its minimal complaints from owners and good reliability ratings from most car critics.
Car Complaints recorded only 8 complaints from owners for this model year, the lowest of the years on this list. There is also one recall, which addressed the engine start/stop button that may stick.
According to car experts, the Nissan Cube has reliability scores, around average, above average, and good. It got a score of 4 out of 5 stars from RepairPal, while J.D. Power gave it 3 out of 5 stars.
The safety rating for this model year is also good, with IIHS awarding it the top rating of Good, while NHTSA awarded it 4 out of 5 stars.
3. 2014 Nissan Cube
Similar to the features in the previous model years, the 2014 Cube offers
- A comfortable ride
- A spacious cabin
- A ton of features at a very low price
- Easy parking
- A long list of standard features
- Uncommon customization possibilities, and more
It is another Nissan Cube model year with the least complaints from owners, according to Car Complaints, which recorded 10 complaints and 1 recall. The recall addresses the same issue as the 2013 model year, a start/stop button that may stick.
Though some critics awarded this model year with above-average reliability scores, some awarded it with excellent scores. J.D. Power awarded the 2014 Cube a Reliability score of 3 out of 5 stars. RepairPal awarded it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The 2014 Cube has an overall safety score of 9.8 out of 10, meaning the top rating of Good from IIHS. The NHTSA also gave it a safety rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
What Nissan Cube Years Should You Avoid?
We included the Nissan Cube years with the most complaints and lower reliability ratings from car critics on this list. Check them below.
1. 2009 Nissan Cube
2009 Cube has the most complaints from owners of all the model years. According to Car Complaints, this model year has an overall of 177 complaints from owners and 2 recalls.
Complaints include problems with the transmission according to some owners, causing the transmission to fail, not go into gear, hesitate, and slip.
There are also reports of issues with the air conditioning system, where the AC malfunctions and blows warm air, makes odd noises or just does not work at all.
However, according to some owners, the issues include a malfunctioning engine that causes the engine to surge, keeping the “Service Engine Soon” light on, affecting the engine and cooling system, and more.
Some otherwise reported issues with the drivetrain, where the alignment is off.
Several owners also complained of problems with the Cube’s electrical system, including
- Faults with the power windows
- Door locks, and
- Dashboard lights
Some, however, complained about brake problems that cause
- Premature wear
- Grinding noises, and
- Vibrating brake pedals, among others
Some owners also mentioned problems with the fuel system owing to issues with the fuel gauge and fuel pump.
Steering problems in the 2009 Cube include the ESCL not working, and the steering column lock malfunctioning, among others.
However, to broaden your knowledge of issues with Nissan models, you can check our articles on the best and worst Nissan Armada years.
The reliability rating for the 2009 Cube varies from critic to critic, while some gave it low ratings, others awarded it better. It has a reliability score of 2.5 out of 5 stars, which is one of the lowest of the model years.
RepairPal, however, awarded it an above-average score of 3.5 out of 5.
However, Cars.com Consumer Review offered a better rating based on owners’ reports. The 2009 Cube has a reliability rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars, while 81% of the owners recommended it based on 44 reviews.
For safety, the IIHS also gave this model year the highest safety rating of Good.
However, based on the number of complaints from owners and low-reliability ratings from specific car experts, we recommend buyers steer clear of the 2009 Cube.
2. 2010 Nissan Cube
The model year with the highest number of complaints after the 2009 model year is 2010. Car Complaints recorded 122 complaints from owners and 1 recall.
Issues are identical to the ones owners reported in their 2009 Cube. They include steering problems that cause the steering lock assembly to malfunction and won’t allow the electronic steering column lock to work properly.
Reported transmission issues include CVT transmission failure. There were also electrical issues that wouldn’t allow the engine to turn over or start, nor enable the horn to work.
Reports of engine issues, however, include situations where the engine surges and makes grinding noise, and the keyless ignition’s inability to work properly.
- AC/Heater problems
- Brake problems
- Interior accessories issues
- Window/windshield problems, and
- Issues with the drivetrain, among others
The 2009 Cube has a reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5 from J.D. Power, while RepairPal awarded it 3.5 out of 5.
Cars.com Consumer Reviews, however, gave it a Reliability score of 4.7 out of 5 stars, while 91% of owners recommended it based on 56 reviews. IIHS also awarded it the top safety score of Good in all categories.
However, though the reliability and safety ratings of the 2010 Nissan Cube are high, we recommend owners look into the more recent model years we listed under the reliable list.
So far, these years have had fewer complaints and better ratings from car experts.
If you would like to know, similar to this article is the best and worst Nissan Murano years.
3. 2011 Nissan Cube
The 2011 Nissan Cube has an overall complaint of 47 from owners according to Car Complaints.
Issues include transmission problems that cause excess noise during drives and transmission failure.
There are also issues with the interior accessories as owners reported the headrest causes an unsafe and uncomfortable head position, while the seats are not comfortable enough.
Reports of electrical issues include the car starting and stalling.
Just as with other model years on this list, other issues include issues with the
- Seat belt/airbags issues
- Issues with brakes
- Steering problems
- Issues with suspension, and more
However, the reliability rating of the 2011 Cube varies from car critic to car critic, while some awarded this model year a low score, others have given it higher ratings. However, note that the factors to determine these scores vary for each critic.
According to J.D. Power, the 2011 Cube has the lowest reliability score of 2 out of 5 of the years on this list. This denotes “Poor”.
RepairPal, however, scored it a much better rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which is well above average. According to IIHS, the 2011 Cube has a safety score of Good overall, while NHTSA awarded it 4 out of 5 stars.
Though the 2011 Nissan Cube has fewer complaints from owners compared to other model years on this list, the diverse reliability rating of low and good is discouraging.
Based on these ratings, we do not recommend the 2011 model year.
What Are Some Typical Problems With the Nissan Cube Models?
Certain issues are more common in some Nissan Cube model years than others. We listed them below.
- Transmission problems
- Air conditioning problems
- Electrical problems
- Brake problems
- Suspension problems
- Fuel system problems
For more information on these problems, check our article on the problems with Nissan cars.
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.