Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nissan Juke Test Drive

I did drive the Juke before and remember liking it quite a bit.

The version I was driving last week as called “Midnight Edition”. Which, in my opinion, makes it one of the most vulgar looking car I have seen in years.  The Juke’s design isn’t for everyone. I actually like it.
But the Gold (not Champagne, Gold like in Gold bar), black wheels and spoiler combo isn’t’ for me. At all.

The interior is pretty much the same as before. Except now, at least on my SL version, there is an armrest option. ($245)
Which is a good idea, since it is actually quite roomy. But its design doesn’t match at all the rest of the interior. It looks like something you got at Pep Boys, and feels pretty flimsy.

No soft plastics here. Anywhere. Which is OK I guess for s small SUV starting at under $20 000.

The stereo sounds really good, the seats are fine. The rear legroom is of the “it depends who’s driving” type. It can be pretty tight back there.

The steering is still way too light to be sporty. 

And the smooth and quiet 1.6 Liter engine still suffers from massive turbo lag. There is pretty much nothing available under 2500/3000 RPM. And then a rush of power that can take you by surprise.
Really not a good thing, at all. And quite dangerous at intersections.

The CVT doesn’t help either. Huge turbo lag and CVT has to be one of the worst combos ever.
As I said previously, the 6-speed manual is a much better fit for this car.

But Nissan seems to be on the warpath with manual transmissions these days. Either they bundle them in overpriced “Sport package’ options. Or just kill them altogether…
Last year I test-drove an SL model with 6 speeds, which is no longer available.

The car is rated at 25/30MPG. I never got 25, as my best number in the city was about 22. But for some reason, had no problem reaching 34MPG on the freeway.

Not sure if the tires are different this year, of just different for this “Midnight edition”, but the ride is horrible. It doesn’t absorb anything. The whole thing feels jittery all the time. Again, this is not sporty at all. Just uncomfortable and crude.

The loaded SL 6 speed I drove last year was a bit under $25 000. Which, I thought, was fine for a fun looking loaded little SUV. But this version costs $29 065.
Which I think is way too much for what it is. Sure, there is plenty of power, but it is delivered in such a crude way, it is very hard to manage.
The Mini Countryman S isn’t that much more expensive. As it starts at around $27 000.
And about $4000 more if you load it up like the Juke SL AWD I drove. The Mini has an upscale look and feel that the Juke cannot even dream of.

I still like the Juke. Just not for almost $30 000. 

I knew it reminded me of something, you just wasn’t sure what...


Anonymous said...

Hands down, the ugliest car currently sold in America. (And I own a MINI Coupe S, so I'm not opposed to 'extreme' designs!)

How can ANYONE consider this car attractive?

Yes, it's all about personal taste. But this thing is butt ugly! Love it or hate it, at least the MINI has a quirkiness factor which this car just lacks.

It's not cool... It's just ugly.

Anonymous said...

I have the same car but in black. The turbo lag is horrible but you get used to it the longer you drive it. The car has a real sporty feel to it. I'll be getting another for sure!

Anonymous said...

These bug eyes can be yours for $30,000. The funny thing is that this isn't alone...but I'd rather take the Beetle over this.

Anonymous said...

I own one, hot car, cool looking, but it is a take it or leave it. im in love

The Anonymous said...

Was thinking of looking into the NISMO version once it's available. I have a feeling it's going to be too small for my liking though.

Anonymous said...

Why spend money on this puny bug eyed thing when the world class 5 door GTI is out there?

Anonymous said...

I just can't past the ugliness. I wouldn't give them $3,000 for something this ugly--even if it IS a car!

moore said...

Wow. It is ugly. Anyone notice the heated seat controls are now hidden by the new optional ($245!) center armrest. Yeah, you have to flip that thing up to get to the controls. Very bad engineering. Booo!

SlippedClutch said...

I don't love the style. It's a total mess up front. But I'm glad Nissan is building a couple interesting cars with unconventional style. I can't fault an automaker for attempting to be different. It wouldn't hurt Nissan to make the Altima, Rogue, Sentra and Maxima a little more interesting and a lot less whitebread. Don't even get me started on Toyota.