With its compact dimensions, standard turbocharged power, and distinctive looks, Nissan's Juke is a truly left-field take on the subcompact crossover segment. You really won't find anything on the road quite like it.
Launched in 2011, the Juke arrived on the market well before the latest batch of pint-sized off-roaders like the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. Six years later, the Juke continues on without much by way of change.
New this year is a limited-edition Black Pearl Edition, which is built on the SV AWD trim level. The Black Pearl features both black bodywork and black-finish wheels, and it's accented with white mirror caps, white rear spoiler, and white door handle caps. Inside, the centre console, door trims, and vent rings are painted in white; the seats feature white stitching for added contrast. Only 250 of the Black Pearl Edition models will be brought to Canada. Miss out? Fear not - all of the exterior customization can be achieved through Nissan Colour Studio accessories.
Other changes for 2017 include the discontinuation of the high-performance NISMO RS version; you'll still be able to buy a standard Juke NISMO, but only in all-wheel drive and with the CVT.
All Jukes come standard with a 188-horsepower, 177 lb-ft of torque 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. This puts the Juke at the very top of its class, only behind the Mini Cooper Countryman Works - a model that costs twice as much as the little Nissan. The Juke comes standard with front-wheel drive, and a choice of a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission.
Stepping up to the all-wheel drive version changes the Juke dramatically. The CVT transmission is mandatory, but the system features torque vectoring for amusing handling and loads of grip. In addition, the crossover also gets fully independent rear suspension (FWD models feature a semi-independent torsion beam), plus the I-CON drive mode selector on SL and NISMO trims.
The Juke is quite efficient, with front-drive versions consuming 7.2 L/100 km city and 8.6 highway; AWD versions are rated at 7.8 city and 9.0 highway.
Buyers considering the Juke should note that it is on the smaller side of the small crossover segment. Rear space is tight, as is cargo room due to the unusually shaped hatchback. 60/40 split folding seats are standard.
With a starting price of just over $20,000 the Juke SV is well-equipped with several unexpected features including a proximity key with push-button start, 17-inch alloy wheels, tire-pressure monitoring, air conditioning, floor mats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a retractable cargo cover, and a display audio system with reverse camera, USB port, Nissan Connect apps, and Bluetooth.
The Juke SL AWD gets fog lights, a power moonroof, navigation, satellite radio, 360-degree parking camera with moving object detection, I-CON selectable drive modes, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and a leather shift knob.
The Juke NISMO AWD gets unique sport body kit and grille, a huge 100-mm exhaust finisher, body-colour fender mouldings, 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in summer tires, sport-tuned suspension, and steering, paddles for manual shifting, LED daytime running lights, red mirror caps, microsuede-upholstered sport bucket seats, NISMO sport steering wheel and shift knob, red interior stitching, black headliner, microsuede instrument cluster hood, and special NISMO badging.
Pricing for the Juke SV FWD start sat $20,698, with the NISMO AWD version selling for $28,978.
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