There's a new Nissan Juke, and it doesn't look terrible
Well, it doesn't look terrible unless you look at it from the front, where Nissan has elected to furnish it with a gleaming monobrow that would make Frida Kahlo or Anthony Davis swoon, depending on whether your tastes run more toward post-colonialist, gender-questioning Mexican painters or towering, extenda-limb millionaire hoopers that run away to Los Angeles and team up with LeBron James at the first whiff of struggle.
That dirty big brow gives the new Juke a look of furrowed consternation, not unlike the faces of motoring journalists when the original Juke made its debut nearly 10 years ago, shrinking the "utility vehicle" down to something barely bigger than a hatchback and answering a question nobody was ever going to ask by themselves.
Once it was answered, though, there was no questioning its success. The Juke sold nearly a million units in Europe alone, where presumably people saw it as a nice blend of "small, efficient urban getabout" and "high enough to see over the traffic." Well congratulations, European Juke buyers, you have successfully added a million more high-riding cars to the traffic over there, and your next cars are going to have to be even higher to see over those.
The new Juke is not such a higher car. It is slightly longer and wider, though, adding some 20 percent more luggage space with a total of 422 liters. There's a bit more room in the back seats, with a couple of inches more room for knees and 1.1 cm (0.4 in) more headroom for back seat passengers.
Movement is provided by a one-liter, three-cylinder turbo making 115 hp. You can get it with a six-speed manual, or seven-speed paddle-shift dual-clutch auto, but the CVT is no longer an option. There are eco, standard and sport driving modes, in case you feel like you need to tone down the raging output of your hundred and fifteen horsepower, one-liter triple.
The new Juke will give buyers the option of adding Nissan's ProPilot tech for "electronically assisted steering, acceleration and braking," as well as auto emergency braking that can recognize cyclists and pedestrians; traffic sign recognition; lane keeping; rear cross traffic alerts; and a new blind spot warning and intervention jigger that "warns the driver when a car gets into its blind spot and brings Juke back in the lane," whatever that might translate to in the real world.
There's new connectivity gear, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with maps and live traffic from TomTom, and a phone app that lets you check your tire pressures, among other things. The interior trim comes in regular, Alcantara or leather.
As for the looks of it, everyone will have their own opinion, but other than the bashed-crab front end, I'd say it's a nice design, reminiscent of the fun that Toyota's team has been having with its C-HR, which everybody who commented on that piece seemed to think was "fugly," but which I'm man enough to admit I cast an admiring eye over now and then when I see one in the street.
There's no accounting for taste. But I quite like the overlapping folds on the sides, the skirts, the sharp black roof, and the backside of it, which features an exhaust so subtle I can't actually figure out where it is, if there's an exhaust at all. Seriously, if you find one, tell me where. I can even stomach the little fake splitter on the front if I squint and distract myself away from the mess above it.
You can snag yourself a Juke in the UK for as little as UK£17,395 (US$21,500) or as much as UK£25,395 (US$31,326), with no fewer than 11 trim levels to decide between. Now, the question is, how long before the scallywags at Nissan Europe stick a GT-R Nismo motor in it and build a 3.0 version of the Super Juke?
The video below introduces the new Juke.