The oddly designed Nissan Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet will be discontinued starting model year 2015. Both the Cube and the CrossCabriolet are epitome of Nissan's yearning to challenge the auto market with diverging designs.
Nissan decided to discontinue the Cube -- which was rolled out in the United States in 2009 – after posting a 31-percent drop in sales in the in the first six months of 2014 to just 2,294 units.
When the 2008-2009 recession led to slumping sales in traditional US auto segments, Nissan believed that presented an opportunity to appeal to young buyers by introducing a boxy subcompact that despite its lower power, promises 30 mpg in highway fuel economy.
Peak annual sales for the Cube were posted in 2010 at 22,968 units. The Cube, however, failed to gain solid ground, especially after Nissan started introducing in 2012 redesigned traditional models that boast of higher fuel economy like the Versa, Sentra, Altima and Rogue.
Nissan rolled out the Murano CrossCabriolet in 2011, and was criticized for its unusual design. Its high customer satisfaction rating was overwhelmed by criticism that the vehicle was a bathtub on wheels.
Nissan, however, defended the design as a testament to the brand's willingness to build new segments and appeal to consumers seeking novel styling. The 2014 Murano CrossCabriolet carries a starting price of $42,855 including shipping – arouind $13,465 higher than the base non-convertible Murano.
Nissan created the all-new Murano CrossCabriolet to hurdle these obstacles, simply by fusing elegant design with state-of-the-art engineering. When designing the new CrossCabriolet, Nissan made sure that it retains the traditional Murano silhouette when the top is up and a sophisticated luxurious look when the top is down.
Transforming the Murano from Crossover into CrossCabriolet and from four doors to two doors entailed more than just getting rid of the roof. Nissan had to eliminate the B-pillars and reinforce the structure from the A-pillar rearward. Nissan also created new front doors that are 7.9 inches longer than those of the four-door Murano.
Even when the top is in a closed position, the Murano CrossCabriolet offers a wide-open interior environment thanks to the rear glass skylight feature of the cloth convertible top. The new Murano CrossCabriolet also comes with Dual Pop-up Roll Bars as standard. Furthermore, the coefficient of drag value of the Murano CrossCabriolet (0.39 Cd) is close to that of the Murano Crossover (0.37 Cd).
Admirably, the Murano CrossCabriolet features a convertible top that folds in a very compact size when stowed, allowing the vehicle to offer more space for the interior and the cargo, as compared to traditional convertible stowage design. The hydraulically operated mechanism of the soft top includes an automatic power latch/unlatch system, with operation done via switches on the center console and driver's door handle.
Once the top is down, the stowed size is similar to that of a typical two-seat roadster, giving the CrossCabriolet a trunk capacity of 7.6 cubic feet when the top is down, or 12.3 cubic feet when the top is closed.