2011 Nissan Juke Photo

2011 Nissan Juke - Review


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

The 2011 Nissan Juke small crossover is a one-of-a-kind vehicle. Its extroverted styling, turbocharged engine, and comfortable interior go a long way toward giving this five-door hatchback a jolt of pizzaz that no subcompact economy car could dream of.

Once you're past the styling, it's full of clever details. We especially liked the I-CON control system, for example, which remaps several of the center-stack control buttons and the full-color secondary display screen that shows vehicle operating data. The default is to use them for Climate control, but push the "D-Mode" button and the orange buttons change to white, offering a new set of options: Normal, Sport, and Eco modes.

It rides and handles well, makes a comfortable distance car for two people (and a tolerable one for four), and the high seating position makes it feel larger inside than it actually is. The Juke's main drawback, in our view, is absymal gas mileage for such a small car. We didn't even see 23 mpg over a 300-mile road test that included substantial Interstate mileage.

All Juke models are well equipped, though adding all-wheel-drive and such options as navigation, a better stereo, and leather seats can push the price toward $25K.

The base Juke S trim level, with front-wheel-drive and a six-speed manual, starts as low as $18,980. Our 2011 Juke SV AWD CVT (that's what the sticker said) carried a bottom line of $24,260, which included the mandatory $750 destination charge.

Aggressive attention-seeking

The 2011 Nissan Juke is aimed at a 25- to 30-year-old male audience of educated, early professionals who Nissan calls "aggressive attention-seekers." That means they'll be comfortable with the many stares the polarizing style of this short but high mini-crossover will generate.

Its most awkward angle is from the front, where the headlights are mounted so low in the bumper apron that they read as fog lamps. Above them along the fender crowns are raised clear-plastic "blades" that include the turn signals. At night, the driver can actually see the front signals flashing on their leading edges.

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Comments (4)
  1. I personally like the way the juke looks. I cant believe it gets low gas mileage. My 2010 Murano gets 23 or more on the highway.

  2. This MPG insanity has to stop! You need to look at reality!
    Subaru Outback Sport - 20/27 claimed.
    Toyota Matrix S AWD - 20/26 claimed.
    Suzuki SX4 Crossover - 23/29 claimed.
    Since these are consistent with what Juke owners report, I did not verify if the real world mileage was as good as the claim.
    Nissan Juke - 25/30 claimed.
    Owner's forum posts indicate most people are getting slightly less, at worst, consistent with the claimed mileage of vehicles above (in mostly cold weather).
    Mini Countryman - 25/31 claimed.
    The Countryman is a new release as well. In their owners forums, there are many posts like this one.....
    "I have about 700 miles on my Countryman S All4 and I'm a little concerned I'm avg. 20 MPG, city driving. I think it should be closer to 30. Any ideas as to the "Why". I love my Mini and enjoy driving it, but 20 seams very low."
    There are very few American Countryman owners, but the complaints are numerous among UK owners as well. Is seems as if the Countryman is getting about the same mileage as the Juke. The same as the stated mileage on the cars I listed at the beginning of this post (or slightly better). In short, totally reasonable and predictable mileage.

  3. I recently test drove and purchased a Juke SL with AWD to commute in. I had to order mine and it has not come in yet. I am currently driving a 2000 subaru outback AWD. I live in snow country in northwest Montana. My point here is that I think the Juke will do just fine in 6" of snow or on an icy driveway if you had the appropriate tires for the condition you are driving in. I run studded snows in the winter because the all seasons don't perform very well in the slush and ice. Perhaps also the weight of the vehicle might also add to the lack of performance but I really am convinced that studded snows will resolve the majority of winter driving wows. As for the poor gas mileage threads I have read seem to indicate using non ethanol fuel to improve the mpg's.

  4. @Albert: I would agree that the stock tires are not the best for snow. The Juke has 7.0 inches of ground clearance, which is pretty good. But, note that studded tires are illegal in many, many parts of the country because of how badly they tear up asphalt road surfaces.

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