Whenever you are in the market for a new car it seems like the number of choices are overwhelming. The number of variables that may factor into your buying decision can also be daunting. In this particular case, a friend of mine—a young twenty something—has been looking for a new car to replace the bright red Acura CL that she has been driving since we were in college. The parameters? All-wheel drive, fast, enough room for four people and a sense style (read success). On the list are the normal suspects—BMW, Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes and on the far reaches Nissan. Then came a little surprise…the little sports crossover with the strange name—Juke.
The venture to the Nissan dealership started with the need, and yes I mean need, to look at a late model Infiniti FX. Used was the only way to go on the FX with the price tag of a new one in the $50K range. However, as it goes, when we got there the FX had already been sold. After some wrestling with the idea of a Murano or Rogue, neither seemed to fit the image of her ideal vehicle. That is until we made a stop in front of the diminutive, but unique Nissan Juke. Now this one had potential. The 2011 Nissan Juke, a hard to come by car (I mean sport crossover) at the dealerships, tops out right around $28K if you get everything on it. It also boasts a 188-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine (read fast). Then of course there is the styling. Now the Juke might not be for everyone, but in this case it met the criteria (sense of style = success).
2011 Nissan Juke - I-CON center stack controls
The next step was to take a test-drive. The Juke is nimble with minimal turbo lag considering its single turbo setup—though you will notice it starting from a light. The optional all-wheel drive puts it is a class that has few competitors; the only competitor really coming to mind at the moment is the Suzuki SX4 and the Juke bring a lot more to the table in the way of technology and fit and finish. It is also interesting that you can switch the AWD model to two-wheel drive only mode. That will definitely help with fuel efficiency. Speaking of, the 2011 Juke is rated at 25/30 mpg city/hwy with the all-wheel drive while the two-wheel drive is rated at 27/32 mpg city/hwy.
While the Juke might not carry a ton, it will carry four adults comfortably, even when one is six-foot tall and forced to sit in the back. We won’t fib here, you will have to pull the front seat up if your passengers are tall or they will have to sit sideways. If you are looking to carry cargo and not passengers, then fold those back seats down to reveal a loading area that measures out to 35.9 cu. ft.
Bottom line—if you haven’t given the 2011 Nissan Juke a chance, then you might be missing out on something special. My 20-something friend—well, she wants to buy one. The only question now is what color.