A Look at the Nissan Juke: Quirky, Fun, and Certainly Different
The Nissan Juke, introduced in 2010, began production for the United States market in 2011. Since the beginning, it has gained a reputation as an either love-it-or-hate-it design. Criticism of its styling features begin as soon as it was unveiled, but many consumers fell in love with its untraditional body lines.
At the end of the day, the sales numbers speak for themselves, and with nearly 11,000 orders in the first month, Nissan has considered it a success.
The interior is designed to comfortably seat five, and is a bit smaller than many people expect upon initially seeing it in photos. A wide range of electronic options are available to appeal to its target market, including a digital display that provides a plethora of information to the driver, and options including a backup camera, audio with Bluetooth connectivity, and satellite navigation. The glove box is designed to house an iPod or other portable MP3 player.
Another optional feature is Nissan’s proprietary I-CON system, which is a computer controlled interface to manage heating, air conditioning, and driving settings (including economy, sport, or balanced modes).
With 188 horsepower from a 1.6 liter turbo charged four cylinder, the Nissan Juke isn’t going to provide impressive acceleration for a vehicle of its size, but it’s plenty to do the job. It can still feel peppy at times due to the quick spooling turbo. That power is put to the ground through either a six speed manual transmission, or an available CTV transmission. Negative reviews of reliability across Nissan’s entire line of CTV transmission options has made the manual a more popular choice than it might normally be.
To summarize performance with numbers, the zero to sixty acceleration time with the CVT is 8 seconds flat. With the CVT working to keep the engine in the optimal power band at all times, the acceleration is a bit faster than it would be otherwise. The top speed is around 137 miles per hour, which is more than would be expected for something that isn’t intended to be a track car in the slighest.
For the more performance oriented buyer, there’s a NISMO (Nissan Motor Sports) version, which has a more peppy engine and a suspension set up for optimal handling. Bigger wheels with sticker tires help improve road grip, and some minor body trim details help hint that there’s something more sporty about this version. The NISMO also has available (as an additional option) a Rockford Fosgate audio setup that produces substantially better sound, along with a heated seat package for those cold winter mornings.
The Juke isn’t perfect for hauling passengers around, as many owners complain of cramped rear leg room. Likewise, a general lack of interior space doesn’t lend well to hauling cargo around. However, the Juke is aimed more at youthful minded consumers who want a fun car and are more focused on the many things to love about the Juke – especially when it comes to its fun styling.
Overall, this is just a fun car to drive that certainly doesn’t follow a cookie cutter pattern. You never have to worry about your car being mistaken for anything else. There’s a bit of cabin noise at speed, and the ride can be a bit bumpy, but those are mainly complaints that come up when intentionally trying to find something to nitpick. Overall, it’s easy to drive, and won’t leave you uncomfortable at the end of your journey.
If you’re looking for a quirky design and aren’t already used to the capabilities of a more traditional SUV, the Nissan Juke might just be the car for you.