Nissan may have discontinued the North American-market Juke earlier this year, but the model remains a popular item in the European market, dating back to its 2010 debut. There, its polarizing looks and role as an enjoyable to drive city car helped keep the model relevant.
As even the freshest of takes can get stale after seven years, the Juke is due for a redesign. But will Nissan change the formula to give the small crossover broader appeal, or will weirdness, once again, rule the day? Considering Americans no longer have to contend with its quirks, as we have the subcompact Kicks working as its replacement, there’s real no reason for the brand to pull any punches. Likewise, Nissan global design boss Alfonso Albaisa’s description of the second-generation model promises anything but an average automobile.
Having already bastardized the Eclipse name by affixing it to a new crossover vehicle, there’s palpable fear within the automotive media that Mitsubishi might try the same with another iconic property. While FTO and 3000GT don’t have the right ring to them, we can imagine trendy performance SUV wearing an Evolution badge — to our chagrin.
In our fantasies, we imagine Mitsubishi bringing back a new, harder-hitting Lancer compact and a menacing mid-sized Galant. Maybe the Starion could even make an appearance. However, those models probably wouldn’t sell outside the Land of Make Believe even if they were stellar models. Sport utility vehicles and crossovers are where the money’s at right now, and cash is exactly what Mitsubishi is after.
Keeping that in mind, a new rumor claims the brand is working with Nissan to get its Alliance partner’s modular platform inside the Mirage, or whatever replaces it. The end result will be a small crossover with sporting pretensions, which doesn’t sound bad in the least.
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.
When you burst out guns blazing from the get-go, it’s sometimes difficult to follow up with an impressive sequel. Such is the case with the Juke, which will have no second generation — at least not in North America.
According to two independent sources familiar with Nissan’s future product plans who spoke with TTAC, the Japanese automaker will kill off the funky four-wheel-drive subcompact crossover after the 2017 or 2018 model year, and replace it — in body and name — with the Aguascalientes-built Nissan Kicks.
Representatives for Nissan said it would not comment on future product.
Taking a cue from Mitsubishi, which offers the Outlander and the smaller Outlander Sport, Nissan has decided to introduce a Sport version of the strong-selling Rogue — though it is actually an entirely divergent model.
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport fills a relatively tiny gap between the brand’s smaller CUVs. While the sizing difference is easier to appreciate against the Juke, the two Rogues are actually more dissimilar than a first glance would suggest. For starters, the standard Rogue is about a foot longer and can be outfitted with three rows while the Sport is limited to only two. The larger crossover also comes with a 2.5-liter inline-four that the Rogue Sport won’t have. Instead, buyers receive a 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque, mated to a continuously variable transmission.
The Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-3 are coming. The Buick Encore, a pair of taller Minis, and the Nissan Juke are already here.
It’s a burgeoning segment, silly in the eyes of many, but useful for automakers who want to cash in on consumers’ desire for fuel efficiency and slightly higher driving positions, consumers who are forever interested in a little wheelarch cladding.
However, these vehicles don’t even combine to sell as often as the Honda CR-V, America’s top-selling SUV/crossover. That’s not to say they won’t. Nor are we suggesting that buyers of these vehicles would consider something as mainstream as a CR-V, Escape, or RAV4, America’s top-selling utilities.
The big news for the Nissan Juke is what you can’t see: according to them, Nissan claims that the cargo area is 40 percent larger on front-wheel drive models, now up to 12.5 feet. World markets also get a new 1.2L turbo 4-cylinder engine. I’m just hoping they’ll finally give us an all-wheel drive 6MT version. I’m glad it’s still weird.
Welcome to Remix Review, where we take a review written somewhere else and change it to be about a completely different car. Yes, it sounds odd, but trust me, it’s the best thing that’s ever been done on the Internet. Points will be awarded for being the first reader to guess the original car and review. Give a welcoming hand to Amanda, our first Remix Review author, telling us about her Nissan Juke! — JB
The Nissan Juke is the Japanese automaker’s flagship five-door hatchback. A high-performance five-seat version of the already extremely capable Sentra, this four cylinder powered vehicular star
of the James Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace is one of the fleetest production cars in the world, with seductive looks and lavish interior appointments to boot.
Only the most modestly-sized pocketed consumers could even consider procuring one, but there’s no denying the powerful allure of the Juke, even when stacked up against its competitors. Few, if any, cars on the road today can match this uber-Nissan’s combination of dashing style, normal levels of luxury and moderately ferocious turbo-charged vigor. Just ask your neighbor who might have one.
Let’s get one thing sorted. The picture above is not, I repeat not, the wasabi-snorting-485-horsepower-3.7-second-to-60 Juke that Nissan has been teasing. Instead, this is the Nismo treated Juke we saw at the Chicago Auto Show in February. If you’re disappointed, or if the unusual confluence of shapes that is the Juke has made you throw up a little in your mouth, don’t click past the jump. We warned you.
An invasive species originating in North America is threatening the native fauna of Europe in a big way. Small crossovers, largely based on B and C segment hatchbacks, are one of the few growth segments in Europe’s ailing auto industry, so much so that they could even help reverse the fortunes of a couple ailing auto makers.
Nissan’s motorsports division doesn’t think it has enough brand awareness in America. To counter this perception, Nissan tossed out a few NISMO (NISsan MOtorsports) models at the Chicago Auto Show. First up we have the Juke NISMO which is Nissan’s oddly shaped small crossover vehicle. The NISMO treatment makes the Juke look even more conspicuous on American roads with shapes and styles never before seen on a production vehicle. Whatever you do, don’t look up Juke in the Urban Dictionary while at work.
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