By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/10/2012
In the 2013 Juke compact SUV, Nissan has created something really quite extraordinary. It's a small SUV – smaller than a CR-V or RAV4 – that is part people-carrier, part off-road dune buggy and part sports car. The Juke can accommodate four people, or its rear seats can be folded to form a fairly large and level cargo floor. Powered by a small 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and offering a choice of a manual gearbox (front-wheel drive only) or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Juke struts its sporty credentials. This sporting nature is bolstered by the variable throttle settings and an enthusiast-oriented sport suspension, two features that further distance it from more pedestrian compact SUVs.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a small 5-door SUV that is easy on gas, can tackle snow and mud with ease but that has more personality than a Subaru Impreza or Suzuki SX4, the 2013 Nissan Juke is worth a look. Cutting-edge audio, navigation and communication options are a welcome bonus.
Beyond its unconventional styling, the 2013 Nissan Juke may not hold much appeal to those who require a big back seat and copious cargo space. If you want something stylish, fuel-efficient and roomy, the Kia Sportage makes an excellent alternative, as does the Mini Cooper Countryman.
A rearview monitor (SV trims) and revised Rockford Fosgate Ecopunch audio system (SV and SL) are added to the 2013 Nissan Juke's Navigation Package.Driving It Driving Impressions
The 2013 Nissan Juke SUV's taut suspension is adept in minimizing body roll and lean, with only a minimal trade-off in the areas of ride comfort. The electric-assist power steering feels pretty spot-on, although we'd still prefer a hydraulic setup in a car like this. The Juke's big standard wheels and tires combined with its wide front and rear track also aid in stability, but those same tires do create a fair bit of road noise. When equipped with Nissan's "intelligent" all-wheel-drive (AWD) package, the Juke gains a torque-vectoring setup and a CVT transmission usually found only in much more expensive vehicles. AWD Jukes also ditch the base car's torsion-beam rear axle in favor of more desirable independent rear suspension. The Nissan Juke's raised driving position, oversized side mirrors and good driver sightlines make it easy to maneuver in all but the tightest confines.
I-CON (ADVANCED-INTEGRATED CONTROL) SYSTEM INTERFACE
Standard on the Juke SV and SL, Nissan's slick I-CON interface/display toggles between "Climate" and "D-mode," each with its own specific graphics. In the former, I-CON commands all heat/air functions while the latter features Normal/Sport/Eco settings that appropriately revise the electronic mapping for throttle response, transmission shifts and steering feel.
INTELLIGENT AWD WITH TORQUE VECTORING
Available on all three Juke trim levels, Nissan's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system can create up to a 50/50 front/rear power split and also distribute torque from side to side on the rear axle to improve handling and reduce understeer when cornering.