Browse your favorite websites through

2013 annd 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo Review and Road Test

Views: 186,586

Let's get one thing sorted. The picture above is not, I repeat not, the wasabi-snorting-485-horsepower-3.7-second-to-60 Juke that Nissan has been teasing. Instead, this is the Nismo treated Juke we saw at the Chicago Auto Show in February. If you're disappointed, or if the unusual confluence of shapes that is the Juke has made you throw up a little in your mouth, don't watch.

Calling the Juke's styling "not everyone's cup of tea" (as one person I met put it) or even "polarizing" hardly begins to describe what's going on here. My week with Nissan's smallest crossover in America was filled with awkward stares, gaping mouths and looks of revulsion. But that's not the whole story. For every 10 people that wanted to run the Juke out-of-town like villagers wielding pitchforks, there were two or three that thought it was fantastic looking. No, cross that, they wanted to bear the Juke's children. That's how far they went. This makes the Juke the most polarizing car design I have seen. Yes, I'm including the unholy Aztec and Rendezvous. However you feel about the Juke's design, you have to admit it took some brass balls to design it, produce it, and then keep selling it.

Because the base Juke wears a starting MSRP of $18,990, my expectations were low. If you keep your expectations at a similarly realistic level, you'll be pleasantly surprised. For $22,990 the Nismo version adds heavily bolstered Alcantara sport seats, a leather and Alcantara wrapped steering wheel, center arm rest, red tachometer, plenty of Nismo badges and red-stitching galore. Unfortunately, the standard hard plastic dashboard and the world's least attractive headliner remain. Seriously, this has to be the same material the trunk liner in a Versa is crafted from, how much would it have cost for something out of the Altima? On the flip side, you have to keep reminding yourself that 27-large is as expensive as any Juke gets and the Nismo tops out at $26,460 with navigation, the CVT and AWD. That's well below the average new car transaction price in America.

The Alcantara thrones are some of the most attractive (and best bolstered) seats you can find for under $30,000, but they still ride on the same 6-way manual driver's and 4-way passenger's seat frames as the regular Juke. This means the range of motion is limited and lumbar support is non-existent. Still, one must have perspective and you'll find the same situation in most cars this price. I was disappointed to find that the Juke's steering wheel doesn't telescope making it hard for me to find an idea driving position.

Before the Juke arrived I had spent a week in the 2013 BMW X6M (our reviews are obviously out of order). Having the Nismo and an X6M back to back may sound like a real let down, but there's another side. Obviously the Juke doesn't handle or accelerate like an M, but there is something of the personality that struck me. No, I'm not just talking about the X6 being similarly polarizing in the style department, I'm talking on the road personality. They are similarly "eager."  In this way, the Juke reminded me of a small dog that thinks it's a big dog. It even has a chihuahua's eyes. Is that good or bad? Good seeing as the Juke costs about 1/4th the price. I managed a 7.45 second 0-60 dash in the 6-speed manual model, let's just say the X6M didn't get there in 1/4th the time.

It gets a bit more complicated. You see, the Juke is two kinds of animal. If you get the 6-speed manual transmission you get plenty of torque steer, slick shifts and a more engaging ride. (And for some reason torque steer makes me smile when it's on a small-scale like this.) If you get the AWD Nismo, you're stuck with Nissan's CVT. I'm no CVT hater but even I have to admit the CVT dulls the Juke's personality. On the flip side, the torque vectoring AWD system makes the CVT/AWD Nismo the faster car on the track by a reasonable margin. If you have an oddly shaped place in your heart for Nissan's over-styled crossover, you have a difficult decision on your hands. Either way the Juke is destined to be one of the rarer vehicles on American roads and I get the impression that's just how lovers and haters of the Juke like it.
Related Videos
2012 Nissan Juke SV - Car Tech 06:51
2012 Nissan Juke SV - Car Tech
12 Jul 2012
Nissan Juke-R vs GT-R track test - Auto Express 04:41
Test Nissan Juke 2011 03:31
Test Nissan Juke 2011
12 Sep 2011
Nissan Juke Customer reviews - What Car? 04:06
Nissan Juke Customer reviews - What Car?
26 Mar 2010
Fifth Gear Nissan Juke R 05:41
Fifth Gear Nissan Juke R
17 Mar 2013
2014 Nissan Juke Turbo - Review 03:27
2014 Nissan Juke Turbo - Review
13 Jan 2014
Nissan Juke-R Test Drive - Fifth Gear 06:02
Nissan Juke-R Test Drive - Fifth Gear
17 Sep 2013
The Juke Nismo RS has Shock Value 05:31
The Juke Nismo RS has Shock Value
13 Jul 2014
Nissan Juke 2013 Review 07:43
Nissan Juke 2013 Review
09 Oct 2013
Nissan Juke 2015 Review 11:15
Nissan Juke 2015 Review
12 Apr 2014
耍帥不受限!Nissan JUKE 1.6T 15:27
耍帥不受限!Nissan JUKE 1.6T
30 Jul 2013
Nissan Juke SUV 2014 review - Carbuyer 06:46
Nissan Juke SUV 2014 review - Carbuyer
15 Jul 2014
2014 Nissan Rogue 0-60 MPH First Drive Review 12:59
2013 Nissan Juke Nismo Review 05:43
2013 Nissan Juke Nismo Review
14 Aug 2013
Veloster Turbo vs Juke Nismo vs Civic Si 08:50
9 причин купить Nissan Juke 03:29
9 причин купить Nissan Juke
08 Feb 2013
Nissan Juke Nismo review - Auto Express 03:40
Nissan Juke Nismo review - Auto Express
25 Jan 2013
2013 Nissan Juke AWD: 4 Guys In A Car review 05:25
2012 Nissan Juke - Walk Around 10:54
2012 Nissan Juke - Walk Around
03 May 2012
2013 Nissan Juke debuts in Thailand 04:46
2013 Nissan Juke debuts in Thailand
26 Nov 2013
Nissan Juke Nismo roadtest (English Subtitled) 05:01
Nissan Juke SUV (2011-2014) review - CarBuyer 03:14
2013 Ford Focus ST 0-60 MPH Drive & Review 13:42
2013 Nissan Juke Nismo 11:53
2013 Nissan Juke Nismo
09 Jul 2013
Car Tech - 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo 08:12
Car Tech - 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo
06 Dec 2013
Nissan Juke Review - Auto Express 03:14
Nissan Juke Review - Auto Express
20 Jul 2010
New Nissan Juke road test and review 2013 05:18