Review: 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Saturday October 18th, 2014 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

By David Colman

Hypes: Go-Kart handling, Best Seats in the Biz
Gripes: Still Looks Homely

Nismo is the competition arm of the Nissan empire. Any vehicle bearing the Nismo badge is sure to appeal to the driving enthusiast. Currently, Nismo’s best effort is also their most affordable one, the $26,120 Juke Nismo RS. Now, the Juke is never going to win anyone’s beauty prize, thanks to its bulbous headlights, angular planes, and ungainly tall stance. But to Nismo’s credit, the stylists and engineers in the competition department have orchestrated a makeover that turns the homely Juke into a fearsome canyon carver with looks to match.

2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Let’s start with the carefully contrived cosmetic surgery. Because the letter “O” in NISMO is red – like the Japanese setting sun – everything else on the Juke RS derives from that chroma key. A neat red pinstripe decorates the RS-specific front and rear fascias as well as the rocker panels of the Sapphire Black body. Red rear view mirrors complete the two tone appearance of the exterior. Inside, the color symphony continues with racing Recaro front buckets with black suede seating surfaces, red side bolsters and red “Nismo RS” embroidered headrests. Black front and rear seats display contrasting red stitching, and even the 8,000rpm tachometer face (redline 6,500) is anodized red to match the rest of the bi-color decor.

Simulated carbon fiber surrounds the 5.8 inch color touchscreen in the center of the dash face. This navigation device, which also offers various Nissan Connect applications, is part of the $1,200 optional Navigation Package that includes Voice Recognition for Audio and Navigation, Sirius XM Traffic and Travel Link, and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth. A Rockford Fosgate “ecoPUNCH” audio system with subwoofer, and USB Connection Port for iPod-like devices completes the benefits package.

2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

But the hospitality of the interior furnishings are secondary components of the Juke’s DNA. This is primarily a tightly focused driver’s car, with an unforgiving ride quality, and a peaky but powerful engine. Likewise, the Recaro seats offer heavenly support when you’re strapped in, but are maddeningly difficult to enter or exit. If you’ve got racer genes, the performance of the Juke Nismo RS will be more than worth the tradeoff in comfort and ease of operation. The uprated 197hp “DIG Turbo” direct injection motor is 10hp stronger than that of the base Juke. It also produces 184 lb.-ft. of torque, 7 pounds more than the standard Juke. The suspension is considerably stiffer than the stock Juke, so you will feel more road imperfections but enjoy greater control when the road turns twisty. The premium performance biased Continental tires (225/45R18 ContiSportContacts) ride on Nismo specific 7 x 18 inch alloys with enough tiny spokes to keep you busy for hours at car wash time.

Rear seat passengers in this Juke will long for their trip to conclude. The exceptionally tall Recaro front seat backs impede frontal vision for rear seat riders, as well as knee room. Although the Juke offers a fifth door hatchback, cargo space is so limited that you’ll want to fold flat the 60/40 split rear seats to make room for anything bulky. A nice feature is the under-floor rear cargo bin, ideal for hiding valuables from sight.

2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

The Juke Nismo RS is a hard core enthusiast sedan which makes few concessions to comfort or ease of drivability in its quest to provide maximum thrust on twisty roads. If you enjoy road racing, you will love this little rocket. Kudos to Nissan for having the resolve to offer such a tightly focused sports package at such an affordable price. The Recaro seats alone are worth the paltry price of admission.

2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

  • Engine: 1.6 liter inline 4, turbocharged with direct injection
  • Horsepower: 197hp.
  • Torque: 184 lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 25 MPG City/31 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $28,345
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO

Tuesday July 23rd, 2013 at 8:77 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Makeover Deluxe, Killer Seats, Curve Hungry
Gripes: Nav Panel Too Bright At Night

The first time I saw a Juke I wanted to puke. But before I could issue a stern rebuke, I discovered that Nissan’s fluke has became kind of a nuke. Rhyme time aside, NISMO, the motorsports arm of Nissan, has managed to transform the Juke from an ugly frog into a snappy swan. Monochromatic Sapphire Black paint morphs the Juke’s hunchback posture into visually tolerable awkwardness. While the fender top headlights remain protuberant, special NISMO front and rear fascia panels and hatch top spoiler convert the base Juke’s clownish countenance into a grimace that’s purposeful if not ferocious. A “Signature Red Accent Stripe” circles the lower circumference of the revised bodywork, visually reducing the Juke’s tall proportions. Matching red mirror covers tie disparate elements of the styling theme together.

Step inside the NISMO’s refettled cabin and you’re in for an even more pleasant surprise. The front seats have been bolstered to feel like Swedish massage chairs. They’re so good that you can’t wait to get in and hate to get out. Each one features a NISMO inscription on the headrest which matches similar logos affixed to the shift console and gauge faces. Best of all, a special competition-style steering wheel covered in Alcantara and leather sports a dead giveaway of NISMO’s racing heritage: a red leather marker ring stitched to the 12 o’clock position on the wheel – so you never lose visual track of where top dead center is located. Porsche saves this trick for its $150,000 GT3. The Juke’s rear seats are usable thanks to ingenious rear doors actuated via small release handles embedded in the rearmost C posts. The back seats are 60/40 fold down splits which work well in conjunction with the Juke’s sizeable rear hatchback door. Not only is the revised Juke handsome, but practical as well.

But this hot hatchback was designed primarily to please the enthusiast driver, and it succeeds estimably in that mission. The NISMO Juke makes you want to spend the day at the race track. The handling of this lightweight buzz bomb is impeccable, thanks in part to a retuned NISMO suspension system riding on Continental SportContact 225/45R18 tires. The Contis are mounted on special NISMO black alloy rims with polished outer spoke tips. Nissan engineers have also quickened the Juke’s steering ratio and re-tuned the 1.6 liter turbo motor for superior response. Although you’re always aware of the Juke’s front-wheel-drive layout, there’s never any torque steer, and the front tires do a consummate job of providing solid traction and direction information. This hot hatch will scoot with the best in class from VW’s GTI to Audi’s A3. And the best news is that instead of spending more than $30,000, the base Juke NISMO retails for just $22,990. Equipped with a bargain 5 inch screen Navigation Package ($1,170) the Juke NISMO’s out-the-door cost is $25,195. The Navigation Package also includes XM Satellite Radio and Traffic, plus a throaty Rockford Fosgate “ecoPUNCH” premium audio, with subwoofer and USB connection port for iPods. My early rock ‘n roll CD of Link Wray and the Raymen, played via the Juke’s in-dash slot, seemed tonally suited to the thumping output of the Rockford file.

The NISMO Juke is a joyous little transportation device. While it still looks a bit like a squid on steroids, it has enough tentacles to embrace the racer you, the family you and the bargain you all at the same time. You can’t do much better than that, and for this price you can’t do all that anywhere else but your Nissan dealer.

2013 Nissan Juke NISMO

  • Engine: 1.6 liter inline 4, direct injection, turbocharged
  • Horsepower: 188hp
  • Torque: 177 lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 25 MPG City/31 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $25,195
  • Star Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Stars

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2011 Nissan JUKE First Impressions Review – Not making sense has never been this much fun

Monday March 21st, 2011 at 1:33 PM
Posted by: AKramer

2011 Nissan JUKE
By Alex Kramer


  • Potent 1.6L turbocharged engine
  • Slick shifting 6 spd manual transmission
  • Surprisingly capable handling
  • Snappy interior design


  • Sub-compact size means limited practicality
  • Exterior design is a bit cartoonish

Sometimes it seems like car designers are developing new models simply by taking the existing categories and just scrambling them together. Take the new Juke from Nissan. Styled like a crossover and based on the same B platform as the Versa and Cube, but armed with a potent 1.6 liter turbocharged and direct injected engine, the Juke is unlike any other car on the road today.

On paper the concept of a sub-compact sport crossover seems almost goofy, but after spending some time behind the wheel of the Juke, we can’t help but be impressed. This little micro-ute is just a ton of fun to drive.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Nissan |Tags:, , , , || 1 Comment »

Video: Nissan Juke Model vs. Model

Thursday February 17th, 2011 at 11:22 AM
Posted by: Derek

NIssan Juke Model vs. Model AccelerationIn the spirit of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition going on sale this month, Nissan released a series of four ads that were created to answer the age-old question: what’s better, the Nissan Juke or a tall blond bombshell in high heels?

The Juke marketing campaign pits Amber and the car against each other in the categories of acceleration, agility, appeal and aerodynamics. Neither really wins in the end, but we get to see Amber in four bikinis, plus a few slow-motion shots that really test your pacemaker. I think the biggest achievement is not Nissan’s newest crossover, but Amber running the sprint and slalom course in a pair of high heels without breaking an ankle.

Watch the videos below and you be the judge.

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Posted in Nissan, Press and News, Viral Video |Tags:, , , , , || 2 Comments »

Nissan Juke – The first crossover / crossover / crossover / crossover

Wednesday March 3rd, 2010 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: asgruben

Nissan-Juke-European-Model-300x200By Adrienne Gruben

No one talks about how ugly Shrek is anymore – it’s so beyond that – so hopefully people will stop wondering, like they’ve been doing a lot lately, whether the Nissan Juke is too funny-looking to develop a following. I guess when the Juke – introduced at last year’s Geneva Motor Show as the Qazana concept car, and this year as the Juke proper – goes on sale in the US this Fall, we’ll find out once and for all if people like its big ole’ (inverted) headlamps and wheel arches, and its futuristic Day Light Opening shape, or not.

Now, I still gotta give Nissan a “Ya think?” regarding their assertion at today’s press conference that the Juke “will stretch the boundaries of what ‘crossover’ means.” Nissan let us know that the Juke borrows its toughness from Nissan’s family of SUVs, but its “driving pleasure…stylish good looks…and 1.6 liter, turbo-charged, direct-injection engine” from the sports side of the family. There is also a meager resemblance to the sedan side, and it seems that while they were pregnant with the Juke, they kept whispering onto Mommy’s tummy the word “small.” Promptly confusing that smallness is the Juke’s 5 seat cabin and the fact that in sitting high over traffic, you feel bigger than you are; wait, maybe that means you are small, or medium? What?

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Posted in Nissan, Press and News |Tags:, , || 4 Comments »

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