Part SUV, part sports car, the Juke breathes new life into the traditionally conservative B-segment, providing buyers with a funky alternative to the conventional urban hatchback. "The Juke brings a sense of adventure to the car market. It's light, nimble, urban and reactive - qualities designed to grab a younger audience. It offers something entirely different to the traditional B-segment vehicles and cements Nissan as a car maker prepared to do something different," said Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. senior vice-president (product planning) Andy Palmer.
From a design standpoint, the lower portion of the Juke is pure SUV, with chunky wheels, wide tires, extended ground clearance and a robust stance. But the top portion is unadulterated sports car, with a high waistline, slim visor-like side glass graphics and a coupé-style falling roof line. The coupé effect is further underlined by the rear doors which have their handles hidden in the frame of the door.
Inside, the sports car theme continues with a driver-focused cabin dominated by a center console design inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank. Finished in a distinctive high gloss color, the "bike" console adds a sense of fun to the car. Practicality is assured by the rear-opening hatch and versatile luggage area with hidden storage opportunities.
Owners who love to customize their own Jukes will be able to choose between three trim/equipment options (billed as Visia, Acenta and Tekna lines), along with a full range of accessories developed for owners who want to personalize their Juke further.
Three different engines will be available when sales start later in the year - one diesel and two 1.6L gasoline units, all fully Euro 5 compliant. At the top of the range is a new turbo-charged gasoline engine (MR16DDT) with direct injection. The engine is one of the most powerful in its class, developing 190 PS and 240 NM of torque. The combination of direct injection with a turbocharger provides the power and response expected from a 2.5L engine with the economy of a smaller engine.
The second petrol engine is a newly developed version from Nissan's trusted HR family of engines. Designated as HR16DE, the lightweight, low-friction 16-valve unit now has a unique dual injection system allowing finer metering of the fuel sprays for better combustion and develops 117 PS. The 110 PS 1.5L dCi common rail diesel offers excellent driving characteristics – thanks as much to its heady 240 Nm of torque – with good economy and emissions.
In terms of powertain, the two-wheel-drive turbocharged 1.6L gas engine is available with a six speed manual, while a CVT transmission with a six-speed manual mode will be available on the range-topping all-wheel drive version of the turbocharged gas engine.
The naturally aspirated 1.6L gas is available either with a five-speed manual or XTRONIC CVT and the 1.5L diesel engine is available with a six-speed manual.
Based on the Renault Nissan Alliance B platform, the Juke has a 2530 mm wheelbase. On front-wheel drive versions, the suspension setup is MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. Four-wheel-drive models have a multi-link rear suspension based on the system found on its Qashqai sibling.