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Nissan Juke

Quirky to look at but fun to drive.

The Juke’s styling might be unusual, but the car has been a runaway success for Nissan, proving that not all small, affordable cars need to look the same. The idea for the Juke is to blend the benefits of a crossover (ride height, all-wheel-drive capability) with the fun aspects of a sports car (responsive engine, engaging handling). The interior is surprisingly commodious for such a compact vehicle, with seating for five and rear seats that fold flat to improve cargo capacity. The turbocharged, direct-injected 1.6-liter in-line four-cylinder engine provides punchy acceleration but still returns decent fuel economy. It can be mated to a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission in front-wheel-drive Jukes, whereas the all-wheel-drive model comes exclusively with the CVT. The Juke is no sports car, but it is far more interesting than the economy cars on which it is based. Minimal body roll and accurate steering make the Juke fun to throw around corners, and its brakes are similarly able to cope with enthusiastic driving. All-wheel-drive models use an independent rear suspension and a torque-vectoring rear differential, which distributes torque between the two rear wheels to improve cornering performance. The Juke is a unique compact crossover that is practical and enjoyable to drive — but its quirky styling is not for everyone.

COMPETITORS

Kia Soul

Mini Countryman

Scion xB

Scion xD

new for 2013

A backup camera becomes standard with the navigation package on Juke SV models, and a new Rockford Fosgate sound system is added to SL models and to SV models with the navigation package. There are three new colors: atomic gold, brilliant silver, pearl white.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are stability and traction control, ABS with brake assist, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 25–27

HWY 30–32

PRO

Responsive turbo engine

Surprisingly fun to drive

Cool interior design

CON

Polarizing styling

Some torque steer

Poor rearward visibility

Base Price Range: $21,500–$27,500 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: S, SV, SL

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger

ENGINE: 1.6L turbo I-4, 188 hp, 177 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, continuously variable

PASSENGER VOLUME: 85.4–86.7 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: (rear seats up/down) 10.5/35.9 cu ft

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