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Weekend Wheels: 2011 Nissan Juke--What Do You Want To Know?

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2011 Nissan Juke SV AWD CVT, New York CIty, January 2011

2011 Nissan Juke SV AWD CVT, New York CIty, January 2011

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We like small cars, not only because they're fuel efficient but because they're usually more fun and engaging to drive than larger ones.

But this being winter in the Northeast, we also need an all-wheel-drive vehicle on weekends, when we head up into the mountains. And that severely limits the number of small cars we can consider.

So we were delighted to get an all-wheel-drive 2011 Nissan Juke five-door hatchback to test this weekend. Here's your chance: What questions do you have about Nissan's little AWD entry?

The 2011 Juke is build on the platform of the subcompact Versa, but with entirely different--and pretty edgy--styling. You either love or hate the very large round lights in the front, above which are streamlined lenses that sit proud of the hood line and recall the sculpted blade headlights of the 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car.

2011 Nissan Juke

2011 Nissan Juke

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The window sticker calls our Juke "The Bold Urban Sport Cross," and its official title is the 2011 Juke SV AWD CVT. To translate the alphabet soup: "SV" is the trim level, "AWD" means all-wheel-drive, and "CVT" refers to the continuously variable transmission.

Like most small cars, the Juke offers only a four-cylinder engine--in this case, a 188-horsepower 1.6-liter direct-injected and turbocharged number. Suspension is independent front and rear, and it rides on 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. EPA ratings are 25 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, pretty good for a

With a base price for this model of $22,260 for this model, three options plus destination pushed it up to $24,260.

The carpeted floor mats and cargo mat ran $170, the (utterly unnecessary) illuminated kick plates cost $280, and the navigation package--including XM live traffic, an upgraded six-speaker stereo system plus Rckford Fosgate 8-inch subwoofer and amp, and a USP port--added $800 more. Destination was $750.

One of the few comparable cars we can think of in the all-wheel-drive subcompact class is the 2011 Suzuki SX4, although that vehicle is now fairly old--and was never particularly refined to begin with.

There's snow forecast for our trip tomorrow, so we'll see how well the little AWD Juke handles the mountains.

Meanwhile, what do YOU want to know about the 2011 Nissan Juke? Leave us your thought in the Comments below.

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Comments (8)
  1. How does the AWD work? Does it vary the power to each wheel when needed? Is it constant 50/50 power, front to back, or FWD by default?
     
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  2. You can select AWD-V which varies the power to each wheel when need, AWD when you want equal power to each wheel, and FWD when you don't need AWD. I'm in WV and we've had plenty of snow since I bought mine on 12/20 and it's gotten me through on some pretty bad roads.
     
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  3. Let me tell you what I want to know about the Nissan Juke: what was Nissan's Carlos Ghosn thinking when he approved this project? Probably Nissan's silliest model since the "too girly for the girliest of girls" (Top Gear) Micra convertible. Sales figures in my country seem to reflect this: it peaked in October 2010 at 212 units and ended the year at a paltry 49 units in December. Nissan should stop wasting energy on dogs like this and focus on getting it's Leaf in the hands of consumers in any serious numbers.
     
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  4. I test drove one of these little runts yesterday in a FWD manny-trans. It's now in the top 3 of my list of cars to consider buying in the next 3 months (which includes a 2009 WRX, a GTI, and a used Civic Si if I can find one). It is not nearly as ghastly in person, it's plenty big inside for a couple's city car, and its turbo engine is way cool - like a tiny banshee when needed.
    I'd LOVE to know whether that AWD was worth it and/or if you lost any drive feel or gas mileage in sport mode? The manual only comes in FWD (and AWD really isn't necessary in central Texas), but I've heard GREAT things about the CVT. Is the gas mileage as good as Nissan claims?
     
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  5. I own a juke and love it. But Im interested in the gas mileage you get. I'm getting around 20 around town and not too happy about that. My only complaint right now but it's a substantial one. I only have 850 miles on it so far and hoping this improves. Other elements that may interfere is the weather and that i drove very short distances, but think 20 (and one week it was close to 18) is not what is promised. If you read any forums on jukes you will see others with similar complaints.
     
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  6. I'd like to know how it rides. Firm is fine with me, but harsh is something different. I've read several reviews of this car and the testers' remarks about the ride range from good to bad.
     
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  7. Randy - The Juke's AWD has 3 modes. FWD (off) is 50/50 torque split in front with no vectoring. AWD splits torque 25/25/25/25, also no vectoring. AWD-V is 50/50 front drive biased but will transfer torque to the rear based on how hard you are cornering or slippage. It can be vectored at any ratio between 50/0 to 0/50 across the rear wheels. The system is controlled by the center differential, yaw rate and steering input sensors, and electronically controlled wet clutch packs on the rear differential. If you are worried about response time, don't be!
    Chris O - Maybe you should stop wasting our time on your dog of an opinion. There are more important things for us to consider than the handful of cars that are sold in your country or what genitals you think their owners should have.
    austinHD - I'm getting 22MPG around town. It's not quite as good as the EPA rating, but it's as good as a Honda Civic, which is regarded as a highly sensible car. Plus, I've got 80 more HP, more cargo room, and AWD. I'm not sure why everyone seems so upset. Anyway, it's the dead of winter here and I bet I'll get a bit better in the spring.
    Cathy - The ride is not at all harsh. It's not like a hard riding sport tuned suspension at all due to the longer suspension travel provided by the generous ground clearance. I'm sure if it was 2" lower it would jar your teeth out but it doesn't. The only caveat is the transfer of road noise will be slightly increased from a normally tuned suspension.
     
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  8. I simply love this car.
    We have owned it for over a week now and I gotta tell ya there is nothing like it on the road today,1st off it is a blast to drive. we have the sl awd. Great on fuel. handles great. Had it in some hard wind no problem. its got aux port. usb port can play mp3 as well as wma. lightest awd system aviliable. well made looks tough and feels quality made, great steering wheel with music as well as phone controls. I dont see any of the ugly complaints as being real at all it looks great. If there is one car that hauls down the road this is the one. Plenty of power everywhere, eco mode normal and sport mode too. what else could anyone want its got it all. leather looks and feels great as do the seats too very comfortable.Have had 2 6 ftrs in the back seat not one complaint the driving cockpit is no less than top notch. Color back up camera. you cannot go wrong with this car a total blast to drive eagle tires Im not a fanboy of nissan but they without a doubt have a large vary large winner in this Juke.
     
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