Review: 2011 Nissan Juke Take Two
Back in 1989 I spent some time blasting along the unpaved roads of the Southwest in a 1988 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo. A frequent thought: “What this thing really needs is more ground clearance.” That same year Pontiac displayed a sports car / SUV crossover as a concept. The Stinger was never produced, but it lingered within memories at GM and eventually provided some inspiration for both the Vibe and Aztek. Neither came close to the Stinger. Both lacked the chassis dynamics to fulfill the mission I had in mind.
And so it fell to Nissan to field the first compact crossover with the spirit of a sports car. Is the JUKE worth the two-decade wait?
Nissan Juke Design Influence Revealed?
The Juke's On Me. Sadly
When Renault released their second generation Megane, people’s reaction pretty revolved around three words. “Whisky”, “Tango” and “Foxtrot”, if you know what I mean. I remember when I first saw it my first thoughts were “My goodness! It looks like someone’s made a massive dent in the back with a cricket bat.” But what did I know? It was voted European Car of the Year in 2003, was the first small family car to achieve a 5 star Euro NCAP rating, and went on to become a sales success. Now let’s look at Renault’s partner, Nissan. When the Juke came out, the reaction was pretty much the same to the Renault Megane. “What in the name of all that is holy is that?!” And now. the Renault-Nissan alliance has done it again.
Nissan Juke: The Car For… Cross-Dressers?
Nissan Juke Design Inspiration Discovered
I happen to like the Juke, in about the same way I like the Datsun F10. Even though the F10 was a CC competitor for the world’s ugliest car, I’m all for anything that makes our streets less boring; bring it on! And the Juke certainly does that. And you can’t deny there’s more than a few similarities, right down to protuberances on their front fender tops:
Review: 2011 Nissan Juke
Because car enthusiasts tend to be more interested in cars themselves than the industry that creates them, critics and commentators tend to praise engineers while vilifying accountants, marketers and the countless other professions required to bring a new car to production. The assumption seems to be that engineers develop great cars which are then cheapened, blandified and otherwise screwed up by everyone else. Obviously this is an oversimplified perspective, but in certain cases it’s downright undeniable. Rarely has it been more true than with the Nissan Juke.