The Good 12 v4.0 Part 9 – Nissan Juke

NISSAN JUKE

Fun to drive, funky to look at, and functional to live with, the 2011 Nissan Juke is by no means everyone’s cup of tea. The Juke is downright dazzling from some angles, and the acquired taste that is its front end will immediately send some potential buyers into a tizzy while making others dizzy. Truly memorable vehicles are the ones not everyone had a penchant for, the sort of vehicle so unperfect for certain people that it’s completely perfect for others. 

GoodCarBadCar.net’s already been clear on the Nissan Juke’s driving manners: they’re terrific. But the nimble Juke isn’t just a sporty alternative to the Rogue and other small SUVs and crossovers, it’s a high-value answer to an often surprisingly expensive equation. Priced from $18,960, the Juke is a quick and light-on-its-feet substitute for the increasingly boring flock of staid and pervasive small car-based cute-utes clogging North American highways. 

To the Nissan Juke’s credit, it’s small, really a whole lot smaller than you expect it’ll be. This comes with demerits, the obvious one being a somewhat claustrophobic rear seat. Fortunately, the Juke’s corners are easily sighted, its quick steering helps position it smartly on twisty roads, and you won’t feel like you’re forced into driving a school bus just because you desire an elevated seating position. Many will find that, despite idiosyncrasies, the Juke is the closest thing to a phantasmagoric automotive experience.

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Engines: 188 horsepower; 177 lb-ft of torque from a 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder

Base USD/CAD Price: $18,960 / $19,998

City Fuel Economy: 24-27 miles per gallon

Torque Vectoring: Nissan’s fantabulous torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system continuously monitors vehicle speed, the speed of the wheels, lateral g forces, yaw rate, your selected gear, and the steering angle in order to perfectly distribute torque to the front or rear axle, and even the appropriate corner. 50% of the Juke’s available torque can be sent to one individual rear corner.

Sales Stats: It’s early days, but in the first recorded month of Nissan Juke sales, Nissan Canada found 83 buyers and Nissan USA an astounding 2103. The Juke is intended to be a niche player beneath the Nissan Rogue, a sidebar to the Nissan Sentra. If October 2010 was anything to go by, the Juke could have more mass market appeal than previously thought.

  1. I am a huge fan. However, I don't think it's a true family vehicle – unless your kids don't have tall genes.

  2. I've owned now for 2 months and have almost 3k miles on it. I love it! It handles great and is a blast to drive, there are only a few downsides. It could use more room in both the back seat and storage areas, an armrest would be nice also as well as extra storage upfront for the driver. The upsides are (for me at least) the upright drivers position, the performance of the turbo, the fantastic looks and the electronics for the driver. The CVT has 3 modes to choose from, Eco, Normal, Sport. Each one changes how the CVT,steering,A/C,and engine respond. When set to "sport" this car really comes to life, at around 1700 rpm the torque comes in and the the turbo starts adding to the fun. Definitely well worth the price of admission.

  3. My best so far was 34mpg for a 80 mile trip. Daily driving was around 26-27 before it got so cold. Now I'm getting around 22-23. This car does seem a bit cold blooded in the mornings, takes awhile before it finally goes into high gear. My old car (04 Scion Xb) never got the advertised mpg except on one long road trip.

  4. I also own one and love it. I haven't driven as much as Sean (only have about 800 miles on mine), but have similar "complaints"- driver storage area, arm rest, etc. I've definitely noticed that it drives a bit rough when cold — and my gas cap door froze shut, something that never happened on my Civic. But all in all, I'm thrilled with it.

  5. The more I read about the Juke, the more I am glade I purchased one. I bought the fully loaded, CVT FWD, at a total price of just over $32,000 it was worth it. Compair to others, in the same price range, you either getting one that isn't good on fuel, or it becomes a basic model with no bells or whistles. The Juke is worth the pennies you spend, and in today's tough times, every penny counts. Hats off to you Nissan, you out did yourself with the Juke.

  6. I have had mine since November 2010, bought it the day it came out. I have never had this much fun in a vehicle, can't wipe that grin off my face. Everyone that have seen my vehicle have all complemented it, they loved it.

  7. I love this car! it is so distinct with its electric blue color that everyone knows its me! it's fast, fun and handles like no other, throw in the 4 wheel drive and watch out baby! Got mine 1 year 4 months ago and love it as much now as then!

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