The Nissan Juke is about as small a car as you are likely to find in the crossover class. Its car-based origins can be traced to the chassis shared by both the Versa and the Cube, but the Juke sports a powerful and efficient powertrain.
The Juke has a 99.6-inch wheelbase and 162-inch overall length, which actually makes it smaller than the Versa 5-door. The Juke is propelled by Nissan's direct-injected 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The little unit is good for a sprightly 188 hp and 177 lb-feet of torque.
Jukes come standard with front-wheel drive, while torque-vectoring all-wheel drive is optional. Nissan offers either an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with a Sport mode, or, in front-wheel drive models--a 6-speed manual.
Jukes handle great, thanks to MacPherson struts up front and either a rear torsion beam setup on front-wheel drive models or a multi-link setup on all-wheel drive models.
Three trim levels are offered: S, SV and SL. Standard equipment on the S includes 17-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors, windows and locks, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, air conditioning, tilt steering column, steering wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, 12-volt outlets, manual front seat adjustability and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 capability and iPod interface.
SV models with the CVT add Nissan's Integrated Control system (I-CON), which allows drivers to set the transmission's response, steering input and throttle response to one of three modes--Sport, Normal or Eco. SVs also get rear privacy glass, automatic temperature control, push-button ignition, XM satellite radio, premium suede-tricot cloth seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The SL gets fog lights, auto on/off headlights, a touch-screen navigation system, XM NavTraffic, a rear back-up camera, heated leather front seats and a premium stereo with Rockford Fosgate subwoofer.
Navigation is available as a package, as are special exterior and interior treatments through the Sport Accessory and Chrome Accessory packages.
Safety features standard to all Juke models include dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags. Stability and traction control are also standard, as are 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution.
Nissan has kept the Juke mostly unchanged for 2013, however there are a couple of additions to Jukes sold with the Navigation package that include a rear view monitor and a revised stereo. Juke SL models also benefit from the new stereo.