2013 Nissan Juke Nismo – Four door pocket rocket looks unique

Love it or hate it the Nissan Juke does get your attention. First off, the Juke looks like nothing else on the market and that is perhaps exactly the buzz Nissan wanted to create around it. People are a little polarized by the Juke with its reptile-eyed front and crazily veering rear backend, unique L shaped taillight detail and tall stance. The Juke’s styling is so unusual that during our week with it, people were forever asking what is even though it has been on the market since 2011.

Added to the mix was the fact our test model was a special edition sporty Nismo version of the Juke. Nismo is Nissans factory tuning and performance brand and has come out with some phenomenal cars in the last few years. Our tester with its white paint, black and chrome wheels and red accents looked very cool. It has the looks and personality of a coupe and it is easy to forget that there are two proper doors in the back with hidden handles integrated into the rear C pillar.

Available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), the Juke uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre direct-injection, 16-valve, DOHC aluminum-alloy inline four-cylinder engine rated at 197 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Two transmissions are available – a six-speed manual transmission (FWD models only), and Nissan’s “Xtronic” continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a manual shift mode feature.

The Nismo Juke adds such extras on the outside as; red exterior mirrors, a red highlighted strip of body trim on the lower side sill and the front and rear fascia’s, Nismo 18″ alloy smoked grey wheels with silver accents and summer tires, Nismo Exhaust Tip, Nismo Smoked Front Lamps and Nismo Rear Spoiler.

The Nismo edition comes with standard electronic stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes and tuned Nismo steering.

The Juke’s interior actually does live up to the exterior. A unique centre console that looks like a motorcycle fuel tank houses the shift lever and cup holders. The speedo and tachometer designs are also motorcycle influenced. The Nismo model adds the following equipment to the interior, Nissan suede steering wheel, Nismo spec front high bolstered sports seats with logos, remote I-key with push button Nismo spec shift knob, Nismo spec door trim, red tachometer dial, Ipod connectivity, Bluetooth, Hands-free phone system, steering wheel audio controls. Navigation System With 5″ Colour Display with Sirius Xm Radio, Rockford Fosgate Audio System with powered subwoofers and Nismo rear view camera.

As standard Juke interior features include a six-way height-adjustable manual driver’s seat and four-way manual front passenger seat, 60/40 fold-down second row seatbacks, AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and steering wheel audio controls, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, iPod interface, dual front and rear beverage holders, speed-sensitive door locks, tinted glass, and a storage bin under the rear cargo floor (FWD models only).

Options include heated front seats, leather upholstery, and navigation system with five-inch monitor and rear-view camera, keyless, push-button ignition, XM satellite radio, upgraded speakers with Rockford Fosgate subwoofer, USB connector, and power moonroof. The Juke’s cargo area is a tad small, but both of the rear seatbacks fold flush with the cargo floor. Standard safety features include dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags, seat-mounted driver and front passenger side air bags, curtain air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection, front-seat active head restraints, and rear LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child seat restraint system. Front headroom and legroom is generous, but rear headroom is limited for anyone over 5’ 10”. Rear legroom is acceptable and the raised front seats provide adequate space for feet.

On the road the Juke feels very peppy and responsive tracking flat and composed on corners. The Juke’s turbocharged 1.6-litre motor, offer plenty of power and combined with the slick automatic transmission with a manual mode allows the driver to really have some fun if you want to time the shift for yourself. The Xtronic CVT transmission with Sport Mode makes good use of the Torque Vectoring All Wheel Drive system. On manual model; performance can be driver adjusted for sportier or more economical driving simply by pressing a button on the instrument panel. The Juke’s “Integrated Control (I-CON)” system features three driving modes – Normal for everyday driving, Sport for more performance, and Eco for maximum efficiency. The I-CON’s electronic controller alters throttle response, transmission shifting (CVT mapping) and steering feel. What’s not to like about the Juke is its cheeky, outrageous looks, downsides are few- it is not roomy and starts getting expensive with ‘must have’ options. It is polarizing, but perhaps there within lies the true beauty of the Juke. The Nismo model is certainly very attractive inside and out. A lot of fun to own and drive. Highly recommended Auto review by Veeno Dewan

2013 Nissan Juke Nismo. Base price $24,998, plus options XTRQNIC CVT transmission with Sport Mode, Torque Vectoring All Wheel Drive $3,480 3-coat paint $300 Total cost $28,778.