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2014 Nissan JUKE

Overview
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2014 Nissan JUKE Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

The 2014 Nissan Juke SUV resides in a category of one. This compact SUV’s unique styling might place it in competition with the Kia Soul, only the Juke also offers a turbocharged engine and the option of all-wheel drive. One might think a Honda CR-V would be a better comparison, but the Juke doesn’t offer much in the way of interior room and its sporty handling leaves most compact crossover SUVs wanting. A choice between a manual or automatic gearbox is another indicator that this little crossover is aimed more at enthusiast drivers than daily commuters. Adding to its street cred is a variable-throttle setting that allows the driver to decide when the best time for economy or raw power is.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a compact crossover SUV that sips fuel, yet can still tackle the toughest winter weather with ease, consider the 2014 Nissan Juke. It’s not as commonplace as a Subaru XV Crosstrek, and its affordable audio and navigation options are some of the best in the segment.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a roomy back seat and lots of cargo space, the Juke probably won’t catch your eye. Its styling may also be too much for some, prompting us to suggest something a bit more mainstream such as the Mini Cooper Countryman or Kia Sportage.

What's New for 2014

A new Nismo model joined the lineup midway through 2013. The Juke Nismo is tuned for more horsepower and better handling, plus features unique paint and wheels. Also offered in 2014 are the Midnight Edition and Sport Packages.

Driving the JUKE
Driving Impressions

The 2014 Nissan Juke crossover SUV has been given a firm suspension that keeps body roll to a minimum, yet still returns a fairly comfortable ride devoid of excessive harshness....

... Nissan has done a good job calibrating the Juke’s electric power steering, although we’d still favor a more traditional hydraulic setup in this case. Adding to the Juke’s stability are its wide stance and huge wheel and tire combo, the latter responsible for the Juke’s adept cornering and noticeable road noise inside the cabin. The “intelligent” all-wheel-drive (AWD) option brings a torque-vectoring system coupled with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan has perfected the gearless transmission, and the CVT on our Juke proved surprisingly responsive when pushed to perform. Juke models equipped with AWD feature an independent rear suspension, as opposed to the base car’s beam axle. This setup gives the AWD model better cornering ability and a more controlled ride.

I-CON (ADVANCED-INTEGRATED CONTROL) SYSTEM INTERFACE
Available with the SV, SL and Nismo trims, Nissan’s clever I-CON display toggles between functions for the climate control and “D-mode” adaptive throttle settings. The settings for all climate controls are clearly displayed, but with the push of a button, the same panel switches over to show settings for Normal/Sport/Eco.

INTELLIGENT AWD WITH TORQUE VECTORING
Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive not only distributes torque from side to side, it can vary the front/rear torque split up to a perfect 50/50 balance, if needed. The system improves traction in snow and mud and helps reduce understeer when cornering on dry pavement.

2014 Nissan JUKE Details
Interior

If you’re into cutting-edge interior styling, the 2014 Nissan Juke SUV is the poster child for the compact SUV segment. From its molded plastic center console that mimics a motorcycle’s fuel tank to the multifunction ventilation controls that, with a push of a button, change to become the Sport/Normal/Eco mode throttle controls, the Juke’s interior is a visual smorgasbord. Don’t look for much in the way of cargo space because with only 10.5 cubic feet, there isn’t much. However, folding the rear seats flat creates 35 cubic feet of space, more than enough to fit all of your toys.

Exterior

The 2014 Nissan Juke is a vehicle you either instantly fall in love with or run screaming from as fast as you can. From its big-eyed bumper-mounted headlights to the elongate clear plastic turn-signal/parking lights that run the length of the fender tops, the Juke appears otherworldly. Move to the side, and a roofline that squats low as it moves rearward is accented by color-keyed integrated rear-door handles giving the 5-door Juke a coupe-like appearance. A single-piece hatch with electronic release opens to reveal the Juke’s rather tiny cargo hold.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Beyond first-rate powertrain/suspension/vehicle dynamics elements shared with its SV/SL kin, even the base Juke nets Nissan’s Xtronic CVT automatic transmission plus power windows/locks/mirrors, air conditioning, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, cruise control, keyless remote entry, a multifunction steering wheel, trip computer, vehicle security/immobilizer systems and front/front-side/side-curtain airbags. The SV adds a 6-speed manual transmission, premium upholstery cloth, a power moonroof, automatic climate control, the I-CON multifunction controller, satellite radio, a USB port and privacy glass, while SL trim includes the Navigation Package, leather upholstery, heated front seats, fog lights and auto on/off headlights.

Optional Equipment

Nissan’s decision to develop four definitive variations on the Juke theme keeps the formal extras list on each to a minimum. At the SV level, buyers can swap the standard 6-speed manual transmission for the CVT and add the Navigation Package that brings an SD-card-based navi system with 5.0-inch color LCD screen, rearview monitor, the Rockford Fosgate Ecopunch system and USB connectivity. The fully loaded SL limits its configuration alternatives to front/AWD and/or 6MT/CVT transmissions. The Nismo trim brings more power, a lowered suspension, unique paint and wheels and upgraded Nismo interior trim pieces.

Under the Hood

All 2014 Nissan Jukes are fitted with a 1.6-liter “DIG” (Direct Injection Gasoline) inline 4-cylinder that boasts the trifecta of modern engine tech – direct fuel injection, turbocharging/intercooling and variable camshaft timing (here on both the intake and exhaust side) – to deliver an impressive mix of performance and economy. Generating a stout 188 horsepower (197 Nismo) and 177 lb-ft of torque (184 Nismo) from 2,000-5,200 revs, it matches well with the CVT automatic (which includes an S-mode that serves up six “virtual” gears) and the 6-speed manual gearbox, and can comfortably handle the added weight of the AWD system. A manual-equipped front-wheel-drive (FWD) Juke can sprint to 60 mph in around seven seconds, while the CVT and AWD each add about a half tick to that baseline figure.

1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
188 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/31 mpg (FWD, manual), 27/32 mpg (FWD, automatic), 25/30 mpg (AWD, automatic)

1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Nismo)
197 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/31 mpg (manual), 25/30 mpg (automatic, AWD)

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