All-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine, manual and automatic transmissions, and an available navigation system are some items you wouldn’t find in other small crossovers. The sporty-looking 2014 Nissan Juke has them at an affordable price. But if you need more space in the back seat and cargo area, it might not work for you.
UNDER THE HOOD
The 2014 Nissan Juke is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. This engine puts out more power (197 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque) for the Juke Nismo.
The S and SL models get a continuously variable transmission or CVT as standard. The SV and the Nismo have a 6-speed manual but they can also be equipped with a CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard on all Jukes and all-wheel drive is optional, but the latter requires a CVT.
The following are EPA’s fuel economy estimates for the 2014 Nissan Juke:
|Juke FWD (manual)||25/31/27|
|Juke FWD (CVT)||27/32/29|
|Juke Nismo FWD (manual)||25/31/27|
|Juke Nismo AWD||25/30/27|
ON THE ROAD
The Juke’s behavior on the road depends on which I-CON mode it is on. The Eco mode provides a decent acceleration while optimizing fuel economy. The Sport mode adds spice to the driving experience but it makes the Juke thirsty.
Handling is engaging, thanks to the nicely weighted steering and the suspension which remarkably keeps the wheels planted. The ride is generally smooth but a little bit stiff compared to the more family-oriented vehicles in the class. The amount of wind and road noise is tolerable.
Not all test drivers are excited about the Juke Nismo. Some of them say it performs just like the regular Juke. With an additional of just 9 horsepower, there is nothing significant about the Nismo’s acceleration. And the sport-tuned suspension makes it only slightly more interesting.
INSIDE THE 2014 JUKE
The Juke’s interior is as stylish as the exterior. Color and silver accents make it attractive and unique. But hard plastics still abound given the crossover’s price tag. But that’s not really an issue especially that the controls are easy to operate. (More expensive SUVs feature systems that are less user-friendly.)
The front seats have enough side bolsters for lively driving and they are comfortable too. But the steering wheel is not telescopic. This makes it hard for some drivers to find a comfortable driving position. The headroom at the back is small. Only kids can sit in there comfortably.
The cargo area of the Juke is a smallish 10-cubic-foot. With the rear seatbacks folded down, it is 36 cubic feet. The seemingly smaller rival of the Juke, the Kia Soul, has a surprisingly bigger cargo area with up to 61 cubic feet of space.
The 2014 Nissan Juke S comes standard with a trip computer, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, tilt steering column, 4 cup holders, 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, cloth upholstery, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system, auxiliary audio input jack, iPod interface, and security system.
The SV model adds automatic climate control, I-CON system, power sunroof, keyless access with push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and satellite radio.
The Juke SL features navigation system with 5-inch color touchscreen, fog lights, automatic headlights, heated front seats, leather seats, leather-wrapped shift knob, Rockford Fosgate audio system, and USB port.
The sport Nismo includes sport steering and suspension, Nismo badging, unique exterior styling, LED daytime running lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport front seats, synthetic suede upholstery with red stitching, and Alcantara/leather steering wheel.
Among the optional features are the Navigation Package and the Midnight Edition. The former equips the Juke with USB/iPod connectivity, Rockford Fosgate audio system, rearview monitor, and navigation system with 5-inch color touchscreen. The Midnight Edition features rear privacy glass, black mirror covers and rear roof spoiler, and 17-inch black alloy wheels.
Photo credit: nissanusa.com