By on July 17, 2018

The phrase “Nisan just built its one-millionth Juke” would probably be the first question on a Voight-Kampff test for automotive lovers residing in North America. The information is totally incompatible with everything you thought you understood about the world around you, and processing it begins scrambling your brain as you frantically hunt for an escape from it. An open window? The sweet release of death?

Relax. While the news is scary and difficult to comprehend, don’t forget that there is an entire world out there with a populace that’s not subject to the same predilections as ours. The Juke may have been too funky to become a massive hit in the United States and Canada, but it had a few good years and Nissan planted seeds all across the globe.

Japanese sales of the model almost matched the U.S., despite having a comparatively minuscule population. Volume also exceeded expectations in Europe, and China has a weird luxury version of the Juke called the Infiniti ESQ. But it wasn’t a good fit for North America and sales suffered as a result, forcing Nissan to call in the Kicks as the Juke’s successor after annual deliveries started plunging a few years ago. 

If you haven’t noticed, a subset of our staff doesn’t have many bad things to say about the replacement crossover. The Kicks is cheaper, boasts a more usable interior space, and isn’t without a personality of its own. But the Juke wasn’t a terrible car, it was just too weird for mainstream tastes. If you could be charmed by (or completely ignore) its bizarro styling, you’d find yourself with a fun little runabout.

Honestly, we think people will look back at the Juke with a quiet fondness in a few years — if only because the subcompact crossover segment has become a toilet bowl the industry refuses to flush. There’s some really tepid piss in that category and the Juke doesn’t deserve to be thrown in with the likes of them (nor does the Kicks).

The rest of the world seemed to notice that. It didn’t mind that the Juke was actually less practical than a similarly priced hatchback. That’s why the millionth Juke rolled off the line at the Sunderland Plant in the United Kingdom this week. Nissan estimates a new Juke is built at the plant every 105 seconds.

“Reaching the one million milestone is a fantastic achievement for any model,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, Senior vice president of manufacturing, supply chain management and purchasing for Nissan Europe.”Eight years ago we had never seen anything like the Juke before – it created an entirely new segment and brought a distinctive never-seen-before look to the market. Fast forward to today and we have one million customers and Juke remains the segment leader [in Europe].”

Nissan sold over 91,774 Jukes inside of Europe last year, while the U.S. only saw 10,157 deliveries.

Hearing that the Juke is doing so well an ocean away is a little bit like finding out your ex got married. You broke up because it wasn’t working and there’s no real animosity between you, but you can’t help but wonder what might have been if you had tried a little harder or if everyone was willing to meet somewhere in the middle. You’re glad they’re doing well, but a part of you wonders what could have been as you look out into the driveway and see a Toyota CH-R or Chevrolet Trax looking back at you.

[Images: Nissan]

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13 Comments on “Your Ex Is Doing Fine: Nissan Just Manufactured Its One Millionth Juke...”


  • avatar
    John R

    “…what could have been as you look out into the driveway and see a Toyota CH-R or Chevrolet Trax looking back at you.”

    [SHUDDERS] “♫Baby come back, you can blame it all on me / I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you!♫”

  • avatar
    slavuta

    If only Juke Nismo didn’t have those torturous seat bolsters. . . also, if only you could actually find one you want on the dealer lot. . .

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Honestly, we think people will look back at the Juke with a quiet fondness in a few years”

    Yes, just like the Pacer, Aztek, Edsel…

  • avatar
    HaveNissanWillTravel

    It wasn’t funky, it was ugly.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    That is a lot of pieces of garbage.

  • avatar

    If Juke is funk then Veloster is a Grand Funk according to MT https://www.motortrend.com/cars/hyundai/veloster/2019/2019-hyundai-veloster-first-drive-review/. It beats Juke handily.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I wouldn’t buy a Juke even if it was just to park it within sight of my least favorite ex’s geodesic dome. Nissan selling a million of them definitely puts a certain nutjob’s car company having used up its federal subsidies into perspective.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    what an absolute and utter $#!+box. This is a Vega for modern folks.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Ex girlfriends and Jukes belong at some other house.
    And in just a few more years, both will resemble a lumpy potato.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    I thought interior packaging on these was horrible. American-sized people can’t make it work, not even as a car only the driver ever sat in. I handily exceed the 95th percentile male size and I am not surprised this was a hit in Japan where men are closer to the 5th percentile American female in size.

    Being based on the Versa I expected far more from the Juke’s interior. The previous more French-like Versa hatch had incredible interior room and good visibility. The Juke ruined both.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    On this side of the Atlantic the popularity is really inexplicable.

    It’s a horrible ugly little pretend SUV that is inevitably driven by terrible drivers who buy these type of “sit up high” cars because they feel safe as they cause mayhem on the roads.

    If it’s your ex, you’re welcome to them back. Please.

    About 20 years ago Nissan Europe used to build some really great cars. Where did it all go wrong?


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