January 18, 2012
I know the Juke has four doors and can technically hold five people, but as my recent trip to Vegas to cover CES showed, I don't think the Juke could hold the bags of more than two people.
As I went to photograph the absolutely massive convention for two days, I packed a normal sized duffel bag, a camera bag, a pair of boots and a gear belt. Looking at the picture shows that not much of the trunk remains. Any other bags would have wound up in the back seat.
Is that the end of the world? Hardly. But, if you're in the market for a little adventure vehicle, it would be wise to lay out the stuff you, and possibly your companion, bring along and imagine having to stuff it all inside the Juke. Maybe you don't need to bring the big cooler after all...
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 17,877 miles
January 06, 2012
I'm a sucker for body color trim inside the cabin of a car. Any car. Keep your wood, your leather, your faux wood, your fake leather. I love the way the paint brightens up the center console and doors.
I was making a mental list this morning of how many current models carry the paint job into the interior.
How many can you name?
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 17,318 miles
January 04, 2012
There are a few things I'd change about the Juke's driving position. Nothing major, just a few tweaks here and there.
The first adjustment would be the steering wheel angle. In the Juke, I feel like it's tilted just a bit too far forward. It's not like it's on a flat plane like an old school bus, just a few degrees or so towards vertical would do the trick. It's so slight, it doesn't affect comfort, it's just my personal preference.
The next adjustment is a bit more important to me. There's no lumbar adjustment for the seat back and there's not quite enough support for my tastes. This ends up putting me in a slight slouch, and that can get annoying on a long road trip. It can easily be fixed with a lever or knob-type mechanism, no need for the pneumatic or power-adjustable units.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
December 20, 2011
It's about this time in the life of a long-tern car (almost 17,000 miles in this case) that it makes sense to look at the most obvious wear points. The Juke is holding up well, There's virtually no wear on the driver's side seat bolsters -- points which we touch every time we drive the car.
December 19, 2011
Friday afternoon I noticed a squeak coming from the driver's seat. It was so annoying, I attempted to record it on video so Test Fleet Commander Mike Schmidt couldn't call me crazy when I complained about it on Monday.
December 02, 2011
No, I'm not talking about the Nissan Juke's coefficient of drag (which is 0.35, in case you were wondering). I'm referring to the slippery leather covering the Juke's front seats. The seats are comfortable enough and have decent side bolstering, but that doesn't matter too much if the leather is hard and slippy. Side bolsters don't stop you from sliding forward. I find myself having to re-position in this seat more often than usual.
There's nothing wrong with a good quality, soft and supple leather seat, but in the Juke's case I'd much rather have cloth. Warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, you know the story. And cloth definitely holds you in place better.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 16,071 miles.
November 08, 2011
When you park the Juke in the middle of the night in your driveway and look down on the driver-side armrest for the door unlock button for your passengers (or anything other than the driver-side window switch), this is what you see.
If you ever wondered what it is that car-makers do to save five cents here and two cents there, you have only look down to the driver-side armrest to count the declining number of lighted switches.
You would think that such a small thing would escape notice, but instead you notice it every time you drive the car at night.
The next time some product planner tells me such small details make no difference, Im going to tell him that Im going to charge him 5 cents for every time I look down into the darkness and fumble for a switch. So over the life of a car, whats that 5 cents add up to, $1,000?
When you make your car $1,000 cheaper, people are going to notice.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 15,444 miles
November 03, 2011
Monticello may think the hazard button that's smack-dab in the middle of the Juke's dash is well-paced. But it bothers the heck out of me every time I drive the thing. Seems like such an odd place to put it, and aesthetically it sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb.
Sure, the cute ute's cockpit is tight on space. But couldn't Nissan have put in lower in the dash, say, where the poorly placed USB port is located? (Sorry, Ed, but I'd prefer to see it in the center console, where I can more easily store my iPhone in the cubby at the back or in one of the cup holders -- and not in that silly slot at the front, where the device can easily slide into the foot well.)
And if you have to live with that eyesore in the center of the dash, I can think of a couple of things that would be a better and more practical fit for the space.
November 01, 2011
Everything about the Juke is funky. It's just one of those oddballs you never know quite where to place. In just another illustration of its funksauce, the ignition button is fairly well obscured from view by both the steering wheel and the wiper control stalk. Our tallest drivers boosted up high in the Juke seat could probably spot it, but most folks unfamiliar with the Juke might need a second or two to sort it out.
I'd be tempted to call this poor or indifferent design, but it's just another element that makes the Juke unique and somewhat inscrutable.
Is it a crossover? A mini-SUV? A high-riding Versa? Whatever. It's a fun, unique car and the auto industry needs more of them. It's ugly, it's not. It's got a great personality. Personally, the fewer family sedan clones, the better.
But not sure how I feel about the Juke rubbing off on the new Murano and Versa though, the whole big-hipped quarter panels and blistered lamp motifs. I say keep the Juke weird, like Austin. Don't make everything else weird along with it.
October 18, 2011
There are many things I like about our Juke. But I do wish it had a telescoping steering wheel. I'm 5-foot 10-inches, but my legs are proportionally long, so I often find myself either adjusting the driver seat for my arms (making my leg positioning too tight) or my legs (arms too far away).
It's not a huge deal. We've had other cars in the fleet over the years (including our current Mustang) with the same issue. But given that almost all new small cars these days have a telescoping wheel, it'd be nice to see one on the Juke, too.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
October 11, 2011
My dad was a clean freak. He had three rules when it came to cars:
1) No dogs
2) No sand
3) No eating
I broke his three rules in one go this past weekend.
Los Angeles county allows dogs off leash at one beach and my dog loves to swim. If he doesn't get enough exercise, he'll drive us nuts at night. A happy dog is a tired dog. After dropping off the gardening gear at my coworkers house, I headed south to Long Beach.
After two hours running and swimming, I rinsed him off in the public showers, placed a multilayer blanket/towel sand barrier in the back and secured him with a seat belt harness for safety. After stopping off to grab some tacos, I rolled north. My dog slept most of the way back so I hoped any sand that remained on him would be kept in one place.
When I got back home, I learned why my dad those rules. First, there was a blob of hot sauce on the front seats. Dog hair had gotten into the fabric of the cargo area and then there was the sand. The stuff is insidious. I spent about 45 minutes vacuuming out the nooks 'n crannies the sand seemed to thrive in. The hair took 10 sheets of a sticky roller to get out. I'm glad I took my dog to the beach but what a pain in the butt!
Pops and I didn't always see eye to eye. But his rules on this matter I think are going to stay in place for the time being. I say that because if I get an SUV, I'd have to get one of those heavy duty rubber mats for the cargo area that's lipped to keep water and sand in place. Hopefully.
Do you have these rules or do you let the dog run the show? How do you keep your vehicle clean?
Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography
October 01, 2011
A couple nights ago, I took our long-term Nissan Juke out for 10 miles of errands in West L.A. I always forget how much fun this tiny crossover-hatch can be when you're just running around the city. Throttle response is kind of lively, the electric power steering feels quick and the little car likes to change direction.
Another thing I like about the Juke and it's a little thing, is that while you're driving along, you can always see the crescent-shaped auxiliary lighting units that house the turn signals and parking lights. So, you get to enjoy these design elements while your inside the car. This reminds me of driving the G37 coupe and M37/M56, as I've always liked that you can see the curvy hood contours on these cars from the driver seat.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 11,272 miles
September 26, 2011
Last weekend we took the Juke Challenge. You know, we challenged the possibility that this tiny Versa-based crossover can get a family of four through a weekend without anyone getting hurt or losing their mind.
This one didn't care in the slightest.
And short of it being a tight squeeze between the B-pillar and rear seat, she fit just fine.
September 23, 2011
This, apparently, is a Nissan thing. Perhaps you remember a similarly sticky situation in our long-term Infiniti M56. In that car the manual is huge and would consume the entire glove box. The Juke, however, has a smaller owner's manual and a larger glove box.
September 08, 2011
As that elderly Japanese fellow said back in the '90s, dogs love trucks ... or whatever the hell the Juke is. Actually, I can't really tell if Maggie loved the Juke. Certainly not as much as she likes convertibles, but she seemed content enough chilling in the back seat. OK, I really just wanted to throw a picture of my dog on the blog. Hey, that rhymed.
Actually, this was one of the last times I'll have to use my bootleg dog-securing method (dog harness + carabiner + dog collar looped around a locked seat belt, not pictured). I just received Maggie's new dog car seat yesterday (photo after the jump) , so expect copious posts about that in the future. Oh boy!
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 11,381 miles
September 07, 2011
The trend these days is toward panoramic sunroofs that are big enough to leave you feeling as if you're driving with the top down. Even compact cars like our Outlander Sport have gotten in on the action.
Though the Juke is (painfully) trendy in certain respects, this is one trend that it hasn't embraced. With this Nissan's sunroof you get a standard-sized slab of glass that's no bigger than you'd expect -- a panoramic sunroof isn't available.
I love oversized sunroofs, but the Juke's doesn't leave me feeling shortchanged. Given that its cabin is so small, the car's standard-sized sunroof is more than up to the task of giving the interior an airy feel.
How about you? Is a panoramic sunroof a feature you look for in a vehicle?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 11,381 miles
September 01, 2011
So I thought I would spend a relaxing evening RTFMing with the Juke. Imagine my surprise when I opened the glovebox and found this little contraption. It's made partially of leather, or a reasonably facsimile of leather, and a few springy straps, all designed to keep the manuals from flying about the cabin.
Good thing too, as there are many of them. There's the main owner's manual, the navigation system manual, the maintenance booklet, the printed quick reference guide, the quick reference guide on DVD, the addendum to the owner's manual and the service guide. I got about 10 pages into the first one before dozing off.
Thankfully, the handy holder is removable, and it even has Velcro strips on the back so you can stick it to the carpet or maybe the headliner if you prefer. In a world where most owner's manuals are merely tossed in a plastic pouch, this is quite nice for a relatively inexpensive car.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com
August 29, 2011
Takahashi decided that he wanted to learn how to throw a baseball properly so he enlisted myself, Kurt Niebuhr and veteran LT blog guest star Chris Mehl to help him cross that particular activity off his bucket list. There was a slight problem, though: The biggest car in the group was my ride, the Juke. Not ideal, but this is the stuff blog posts are made for.
As the shorter members of the team, Niebs and Takahashi rode in the back and immediately declared that it wasn't that bad back there. They found a surprising amount of legroom. Of course, that was because Chris and I had got in first to move our seats up. His legs were up against the dash and mine were at a less-than-ideal position for comfortable driving. It was practically a flashback to my MarkIV Jetta days.
In the end, the Juke did just fine for transporting four guys of above-average height for a short distance to a baseball field and then on to lunch. It would not have been a viable choice for a longer journey, such as our last group adventure. As for Takahashi, he still needs to work on his throwing form, but as it turns out, the "kid" can hit.
James Riswick, Baseball Coach @ 11,038 miles
August 25, 2011
No waffling on whether or not I like the Juke. I do. Not quite enough to buy one, but not because of any serious flaws. Just not my preference. Otherwise, the Juke is a fun, whippy downtown car that looks bizarre and can snag a tight parking space without fuss.
But I'm not ambivalent about the door's waffle-cloth armrest material. Probably seemed like a hip idea at the time, but when wearing a short-sleeve shirt, it's just scratchy elbow sandpaper. There's gotta be some kind of Sanrio covering we can buy for this.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
July 27, 2011
I like front center armrests, whether you're on a long freeway cruise or slogging through stop-and-go rush "hour" traffic, sometimes it's nice to just be able to plop your right arm down. As long as they're the right size and height, I don't care whether the armrest is the center console lid- or the flip-down type. Some small cars (such as a Mini Cooper and Fiat 500) offer the latter, as they don't have the space in their small cabins for a large covered console bin.
On the Juke Forums, I've noticed that more than a few owners/potential buyers have stated that they'd like Nissan to offer one for the Juke. But after checking out Nissan's options/accessories for the U.S. market Juke, it looks like no dice.
Doing a little digging, I found two. On eBay, there's a leather one that's an official Nissan accessory in the U.K. Little info is provided, but it appears to be the flip-down style. The price is 69 pounds, or about $113 U.S.D. The photo above is of a cloth-covered version.
And then there's another one (also located in the U.K.) that looks like it drops into the shallow open bin located towards the rear of the Juke's center console. It costs anywhere from 80 to 90 pounds (about $131 to $147 U.S.D.).
Have any of you Juke owners out there checked out and/or installed a center armrest for your ride?
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor
July 26, 2011
I'm not sure why this simple USB/aux jack pod appeals to me. Some complain that it looks added on at the last minute. Others don't like its placement so low in the dash.
Me? I like the fact that it's easily accessible yet doesn't take up room any room on the dash.
The Juke center console is already packed with buttons and controls, the last thing it needed was another feature jammed in there. And as clean as it looks to have USB jacks like this buried in the center console, it's just plain easier to have it right out in front where you can see it. Seems like a simple solution to an issue that other cars often get wrong.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com
July 19, 2011
With apologies to the Surfaris, (dig this groovy video, man) there's one thing about the Juke that's really annoying -- the center display's washout in direct sunlight. Granted, the Nissan isn't the only car to be plagued by this, but it seems to happen more often and with greater, ummm, effectiveness. Perhaps having the display more vertically oriented or even reverse canted (angled so the bottom edge is more rearward than the top) would help matters.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 7,304 miles
June 20, 2011
The controls in our Nissan Juke feel cheap. What that means is, the plastic feels flimsy and lightweight, and the knobs feel loose and indecisive when you turn them.
A few years ago, it was a given that cheap cars like the Juke felt cheap inside and out. But these days, with so many refined choices available on the affordable end of the price spectrum, expectations aren't nearly as low.
Nissan has made it clear that the Juke is aimed at a youth market. Maybe they figure kids don't like nice things.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
June 07, 2011
It has been noted several times here that our long-term 2011 Nissan Juke SL AWD is a sporty ride. And some of those mentions were from me.
One feature that contributes to its sporty feeling is the steering wheel.
I love the cross-section's shape, the quality stitching and perforation, and the thumb notches at 9 and 3 o'clock. The diameter is also nearly perfect for me; not too small like on some cars that pretend to be sporty.
Overall, the Juke's steering wheel reminds me of that on the 370Z (bottom pic).
And that's a good thing.
Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 6,450 miles
June 03, 2011
Now that's a well-placed, well-sized hazard button in the Nissan Juke. Off on its own, up high, nice and large.
Which is probably of little concern to most, but when you live in an area where the traffic goes from 80 mph to a dead stop, back to 80, then back to a dead stop quicker than you can say "Southern California drivers truly suck," well, you'd understand why it's utterly important to be able to find the hazards quickly and easily.
As someone who has been rear-ended twice, so to speak, in test cars, I've learned to reach for those flashers to warn the person bearing down on me that traffic is completely stopped; you never know if they are actually paying attention. More usually they're texting, checking e-mail, talking on the phone, putting on makeup, shaving...basically anything they can possibly find to keep them from, you know, concentrating on their driving.
May 30, 2011
Not a huge fan of the Juke's interior door handles. They're awkward to hold and their design causes them to feel a bit uncomfortable in my hands when they're being used.
As you can see, the handles are flat in places and have edges. I think a more rounded, tubular design would fit in the hand in a more natural way.
This obviously isn't a huge issue. Still, it's one I'm reminded of each time I exit the car.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 6,178 miles
May 23, 2011
It could happen. You buy a Nissan Juke because you love it and then the stork makes an unexpected appearance at your door. Just because you might not buy a Juke as a family car doesn't mean it will never ever ever do duty as such. (My husband and I had two Civic coupes when we had our first kid 5 years ago, and we still have one of the coupes even though we now have two life obstacles, I mean, adorable munchkins).
Technically, the seat fits back here. It's not touching the back of the front passenger seat in this shot.
So, how would life as a front passenger be in a Juke with a rear-facing child safety seat? Bounce with me to the jump to find out...
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 5,969 miles
May 17, 2011
I was driving to work this morning in drizzling rain. I had the headlights set to Auto. And when I looked down at the temperature controls, (I was in Climate mode) I couldn't read any of these buttons. They actually came out clearer in this photo than they looked in real life. They were a total blank while I was driving. In the daylight you usually can't read them.
Then the sky became a darker gray and these button became easier to read as you see in this second picture.
May 10, 2011
Hmm...I wonder if the designer of the Juke ever saw the movie Short Circuit? I mean, clearly the odd looking instrument panel hood is an homage to Johnny 5 right? There's already a whole website, why not an instrument cluster?
So back to the Juke. I'm still liking the way it drives. It's quick enough, feels good through fast corners and is generally easy to get along with. I agree with Oldham that it would benefit from a standard automatic transmission. The CVT isn't the worst I've ever experienced, but like all CVTs, it's never really that great either. Too many instances where you want a "downshift" and it just kind of sits there in the wrong ratio.
The seats are surprisingly good too. I haven't done a long trip in it yet, but from my limited seat time they feel well bolstered and nicely shaped. The adjustment controls are easy to use too, a good thing in a car with a manual controls.
Ed Hellwig, Editor @ 5,655 miles
April 07, 2011
First thing my girl said when she got into the Juke as "Sure is red!"
This past weekend was the first time I've ever been in our Juke. Yes, it's funky looking, and yes it's very red all over. Normally I'm not a big fan of Cute-Utes. But to my surprise I really enjoyed driving this ugly SUV.
Yeah, I said I think it's ugly. I don't think there is an argument about that.
But it's like an ugly dog that has a great character. Might not be cuddly, but it's a great little buddy.
I loved the turbo charged engine, I really liked the interior design with all the red, and I dug just how fun the Juke was to drive. Believe me, when there were four adults riding, the performance suffered. This is enjoyable with two adults max.
I see this more as a vehicle for the young and possibly childless, so the demands will be well met. The Juke is all about having fun and it delivers that in spades.
Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography
April 06, 2011
Our long-term 2011 Nissan Juke SL AWD has a standard navigation system. It's a Secure Digital card (SD)-based system with 5" color touch panel display and comes with XM NavTraffic. It's standard on our high-zoot Juke SL.
And it looks tiny. I measured 5" diagonal, same as advertised. The Garmin Personal Navigation Device (PND) measured up at 4.5". But I do prefer factory navi -- usually good usability and it won't be stolen.
April 05, 2011
Not only does the 2011 Nissan Juke look funky on the outside but it has unusual bits on the inside as well. Erin Riches already covered the nifty, grippy smartphone shelf, located conveniently next to the USB port but check out all this other stuff. Seems like features that would appeal to young 'uns, but what do you think?
This weird hood for the instrument panel. Stylish way to minimize glare. Wonder why make it look like a movable visor when it's fixed. Also, what's up with the hole in the center? Not that that's bad, just wondered.
April 05, 2011
There are several controls in the Nissan Juke which are low in the cabin and sheltered under some design elements. The mirror controls, for example, are down and to the left of the steering wheel. In the above picture can you see where they are? They are above the two glowing lights.
You can see them here when I use my camera's flash.
February 28, 2011
Nissan put a nice, rubberized, grippy coating on this little shelf under the 2011 Juke's center stack. Good idea, of course, since the USB and aux inputs are right here. And wouldn't you know, an iPhone 4 fits perfectly here. If you have some gargantuan 'droid-based phone, well, it might not fit so well.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor
February 25, 2011
I enjoy driving our long-term 2011 Nissan Juke SL AWD. A lot. It's a great urban commuter that's quick and has sharp handling.
But I don't like the passenger side airbag. In most modern cars you can't even detect that a P-side airbag is in there if there wasn't a label. But our Juke has a huge, ugly seam that circumvents the bag.
So Old Skool.
It's as if to remind you not to pick your nose before that big rear-end crash.
Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~2,100 miles
February 15, 2011
Our long-term 2011 Nissan Juke SL AWD is equipped with a customizable drive mode selector.
Dubbed I-CON (for Integrated Control) the driver can choose settings for throttle response, CVT transmission, steering, and even HVAC. These are grouped into Normal, Sport, or Eco modes. This is the first time I've seen an adjustable drive mode incorporate the HVAC.
The video from Nissan USA will break it down nicely. During my brief drive, I noticed a discernable difference between modes, particularly the throttle reponse.
And even in Eco mode the Juke is a quick, urban commuter. The Juke is not genius, but it's quite good.
Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 1,818 miles
February 10, 2011
The Juke's center console is red. Yes, red. Red like Superman's cape. Red like the dashboard of an overlowered Civic at Battle of the Imports. Gross, screaming, retina-piercing red.
But it's that second one that really kills me. I can't help but imagine some kid with spray paint, spikey hair and a little too much ambition going after this thing in his front yard. But it comes that way from the factory. What do you think?
More interior investigation after the jump.
February 09, 2011
I'll admit it. I have certain hang ups when it comes to quality. Knobs that move laterally are a big one for me. These are controls you touch virtually every time you get in the car. And when you can't turn them without noticing that they want to move in multiple dimensions, there's a problem. Also, the sound the shift-release button makes is cheap.
And another thing...
February 07, 2011
Note the ample gap between the headrest and the rear-most edge of our longterm 2011 Nissan Juke's sun visor. Yeah, that's where my head lives when I drive this thing. There's no extendable flap or way to slide the visor out, either.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor