Nissan's wacky little Juke crossover moves into 2016 with some new tech and a few existing features that are now standard.
Additions to the basic package include a backup camera, intelligent keyless entry with push-button start, Bluetooth and heated seats, while new to the list of options is Siri Eyes Free for Apple iPhone users.
Juke's basic makeup is the same, though. All models use a 1.6L four-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque in standard models, while a pair of high-performance NISMO models get a more potent version of that motor. An AWD model gets one good for 211 hp and 184 lb-ft, and a front-drive variant gets 215 hp and 210 lb-ft.
Front-drive models use a six-speed manual transmission, while AWD models come exclusively with a continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission. While purists might scoff at the lack of a manual with the all-wheel drivetrain, it might be a worthwhile tradeoff for the AWD system's torque vectoring function, which can shuffle power between the left and right rear wheels in turns to improve cornering agility. It works well and makes the Juke a riot to drive enthusiastically.
Juke was one of the first subcompact crossovers to come to market, and it remains, all at once, the strangest and one of the most compelling, at least for buyers who appreciate engaging driving dynamics. What the Juke lacks is a truly practical interior: compared to other small crossovers, the back seat is very tight and cargo space is limited by the rakish rear end styling.
The SV FWD model comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, NissanConnect mobile app, Bluetooth, backup camera, trip computer, air conditioning, cruise control, intelligent keyless entry, six-way manual driver's seat and four-way front passenger seat, heated front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and a six-speaker stereo with five-inch touchscreen display and USB and auxiliary inputs.
SV AWD trim doesn't add much in the way of convenience features, but it does get a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension in place of the base model's torsion beam setup.
SL models gain fog lights, sunroof, navigation, 360-degree camera system, automatic climate control, leather seats and transmission shift lever and a Rockford Fosgate stereo with subwoofer.
A NISMO model sticks with the base engine but adds steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, 18-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, sport tuned suspension, NISMO body kit and trim, sport front seats with red stitching and a leather and Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel.
NISMO RS models get their respective uprated engines, while the FWD model trades four-wheel traction for a limited slip front differential. These models also get larger front brakes with red painted calipers, sport-tuned steering and a further uprated suspension.
Juke fuel consumption estimates are 8.5/7.2 L/100 km (city/highway) for a FWD/CVT model, and 8.8/7.5 with AWD. NISMO RS models are rated 8.9/7.5 L/100 km (FWD) and 9.4/8.1 (AWD).
Prices range from $20,698 to $31,998.