At the beginning, the Nissan Juke just looked plain weird. Then, in person, the Nissan Juke made it clear that automotive styling is about more than front fascias. Finally, the Juke revealed driving manners that far exceeded expectations.
Nissan’s hot hatch of a crossover is more fun to drive than a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (RVR to Canadians), less expensive than a Mini Countryman, and more popular than both.
U.S. sales began in October of last year. In the eleven months since, Nissan has found 32,788 Juke buyers. That total is 20,100 better than what Mitsubishi has managed with the Outlander Sport over the same period. Where the Outlander Sport is vital to Mitsubishi, representing 20% of the company’s U.S. sales in August, the Juke is a bit player at Nissan. Only 4% of Nissans sold in August were Jukes.
In January 2011, a few months after the Juke and Outlander Sport went on sale, Mini finally released the Countryman. Mini reported 10,071 Countryman sales in the first eight months of 2011. In August, one-fifth of all Mini sales stemmed from the Countryman line. August, however, was the Countryman’s worst month since its first month on sale. Use July as a better example. In its seven month on sale, the Countryman accounted for 27% of all Mini sales, out-selling the Clubman and Convertible by 641 and 784 units, respectively.
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U.S. pricing for the Nissan Juke ranges from $19,570 for the basic but well-equipped Juke S to $25,200 for the Juke SL with Nissan’s fancy torque vectoring all-wheel drive. The Mini Countryman starts at $22,450. With all-wheel drive and a turbo, the Cooper S Countryman is a $27,750 automobile. Mitsubishi offers a slightly lower base price than the Juke, but at $18,495 the Outlander Sport doesn’t include a high-performance engine like the Juke’s 1.6L turbo. The $22,995 SE AWD makes do with the same 148-hp 2.0L as the basic Outlander Sport.
If these three vehicles form a competitive set – and buyers of these vehicles would have you believe they do – then it’s fair to say that the Nissan Juke’s market share in the small, funky, crossoverish tall hatch segment is 53.4%. That’s since January 2011, when the Mini first reached clients. The Mitsubishi is only 907 sales ahead of the Countryman since the Countryman went on sale. That means their slices of the pie are nearly equal: 24.3% for the Outlander Sport in 2011; 22.3% for the Mini Countryman.
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