It seems like it's been a long time since I've been excited about a new car model. I don't mean those svelte semi-hypercars with MSRPs that hover near a hundred grand, like the Nissan GT-R or the Corvette ZR1. They're unattainable for most workaday slobs like myself.
No, I mean the kind of excitement that makes me grab a calculator and pencil to scrutinize the budget to decide whether or not I need $80 a month in cable bills or the obligatory $4 cup of java each morning--the kind of excitement that causes one to stalk the new car dealership late at night just to sneak a look at that new bit of kit you can't stop thinking about.
I'm talking about the Nissan Juke here. If the Cube was America's sip of the Japanese kooky car market, then the Juke is a full on swig of what it means to be JDM. Much like the Cube, from the first glance you either love it and appreciate what it stands for- or you downright hate everything about it.
Being an age that teeters between generations X and Y, I feel like this car was made for guys my age. I have grown up in an interesting time, one where gasoline was $.99 a gallon when I first started driving, and I've seen it as high as $4. I've owned mid-80s V-8 gas guzzlers with four-barrel carbs and EFI four-bangers with a turbo and less than 2 liters of displacement.
I've learned a few things in the well over a dozen cars I've owned. There is a replacement for displacement...it's called boost. Bigger isn't always better. All-wheel drive is better than two-wheel drive.
The best cars don't do one thing best, they do all things well.
I keep coming back to the power/utility/price/fun quotient with the Juke. Not having driven one, I can only imagine that the numbers on paper make for a fun ride. Nothing earth-shattering, but quick to 60 mph and fuel-efficient is a good recipe for a daily commuter.
Just ask my Infiniti G20.