2011 Nissan Juke
News In Your Inbox
2011 Nissan JukeEnlarge Photo
The beltline rises toward the rear, and with bulbous fender arches and the rear door handles hidden in the black trim of the roof pillar, the Juke combines design cues that make it a sort-of-tall-crossover, sort-of-coupe, sort-of-hatchback. It's definitely not trying to be a mini-truck, though, which is a good thing.
We decided the Juke was probably the love child from a one-night stand between a Nissan Murano crossover and a new, young, nubile Nissan Leaf electric car. Regardless, our toll collector and garage attendant (both young men) already knew what it was, and asked a lot of questions about it--so it must be hitting its target.
Inside, the trim is largely black plastic, with a mix of soft and hard surfaces but overall, a more upscale look than we'd expected. The shift-lever surround is a contrasting glossy plastic--in our car, scarlet--meant to evoke a motorcycle gas tank, Nissan says--and the same material sets off the door inserts.
Bright red inserts livened up the black cloth seats and the whole cabin. Given all the red and black, we were tempted to nickname the little Juke "Spiderman". We liked the effect, though it might be less loud in the silver tone that's also available.
Zippy, sporty, and fun
All models of Juke are fitted with a 188-horsepower, 1.6-liter direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It's peppy, although it has to be revved to get the best performance out of it.
A six-speed manual gearbox is available only on the SV trim level, but most Jukes, including ours, will come with Nissan's continuously variable transmission (CVT), which varies engine revs and an infinite number of gear ratios for the best tradeoff between performance and fuel economy.