2011 Nissan Juke SV Road Test Review

Arv Voss - CAP staff
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Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Published on September 23, 2011

Nissan has just introduced a new and uniquely designed sport crossover vehicle, inspired by the Nissan Qazana concept car that was shown at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. The hugely popular Qazana drew upon a number of lifestyle activities including motorcycling and rally racing. This new vehicle is the 2011 Nissan Juke – a four-door, five passenger, sporty crossover.

The Juke name comes from the sports term "to juke" or to catch one's opponent off-guard, enhancing one's personal competitive advantage. Juke definitely does that with a vengeance – it is bold and athletic in its appearance, while combining the best qualities of a sporty sedan and an SUV, blending them in an innovative design form that delivers efficiency and driving fun in an affordable package.

The 2011 Juke displays a basically conventional styling approach until you look at the front end – there, the conventionality ends. Its raised directional signals rest atop the fenders in a fashion reminiscent of the defunct Pontiac Aztek, and what initially appears to be grossly oversized fog lamps that are placed low in front, flanking the traditional Nissan trapezoidal grille, are actually the headlights. The actual fog lamps are recessed deeply into the leading lower diffuser, almost hidden from view.

The Juke's profile gives off an almost coupe-like image with its blacked-out "B" pillar and rearward sloping roofline. The Juke's rear door handles are integrated into the leading edge of the "C" pillar – also blacked out. Wheel wells are emphatically pronounced by large fender-like bulges that blend gracefully into the front and rear fascias respectively. The rear hatch with its upper spoiler lip rakes aft to a blunt extrusion and short overhang is flanked by "boomerang" style taillamps influenced by the Nissan 370Z.

The interior provides a high shift point in the centre console, placed within what resembles a motorcycle tank. Seating is both comfortable and supportive with the second row split into a 60/40 configuration that folds flat to provide a large cargo floor, adding to Juke's versatility and functionality.

In the powertrain department, there is one choice – an all-new 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged aluminum-alloy engine that cranks out 188 horses at 5,600 rpm
while generating 177 pound-feet of torque in a range from 2,000 to 5,200 rpm. The engine connects to either a six-speed manual gearbox – available only in FWD models, or to Nissan's advanced Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with S-mode. The engine is positioned forward in a transverse orientation, driving either the front wheels or all four wheels via Nissan's torque-vectoring AWD system.

The Juke rides on all-season rubber, mounted on double spoke aluminum alloy wheels. Braking chores are handled by power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist.

The Juke will be available in two trim levels: SV and top-of-the-line SL. There are essentially six models of Juke available: the SV FWD manual, SV FWD CVT, SV AWD CVT, SL FWD manual, SL FWD CVT, and SL AWD CVT. Pricing begins at $19,998 for the SV model with manual in FWD. The SL starts at $26,648, and a fully loaded SL  AWD with CVT and the leather and navigation package will run north of $29,000.

During the national press introduction in Vancouver, B.C., I was able to spend time behind the wheel of the Juke in SV trim; both in a FWD, manual gearbox and CVT version with AWD. Pricing ran from $19,998 to $23,098. Juke SL models will offer leather and a navigation system package with pricing to be finalized. The CVT/AWD was finished outside in an attractive bright metallic Blue, while my 6-speed/FWD test car was sprayed Sapphire Black, with Blue metallic particles. The interiors were both done in Black.

The 2011 Nissan Juke actually provides a breath of fresh air in both its styling, which tends to grow on you after awhile, and in performance. The 1.6-litre motor delivers plenty of punch for a four-banger, and the Xtronic CVT transmission is among the best of the CVTs out there. Playing with the manual shift mode of the CVT produced crisp gear change effects up or down. The six-speed manual transmission on the other hand delivered a much higher fun factor, but produced what seemed to be a whine - noticeable with the windows down.

The Juke is predicted primarily to appeal to males from age 18-34 (25 to 29 being the sweet spot) with a personal income of $45,000 plus, but on the test drive, it appeared that more females were attracted to it, and actually expressed a desire to own one.    

In any case, the Juke is sure to attract a wide range of consumers of either gender who enjoy spirited driving characteristics in well-equipped, value-laden packages. The all-new Interactive HMI (Human Machine Interface) is sure to tickle the fancy of "techies" with its Advanced Integrated Control (I-CON) that provides a unique connection to the vehicle. The I-CON offers 2 modes: Climate (an automatic AC controller); and D-Mode (a drive mode selector with three different throttle, transmission and steering settings – Normal, Sport and Eco). The system delivers a unique level of control factors along with feedback. Select the Sport mode and the performance level is noticeably increased, adding to the Juke's already fun driving factors.


©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Nissan, 2011, Juke, $10,000 - $19,999, $20,000 - $29,999, Subcompact,

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