2012 Nissan Juke S
(1.6L 4-cyl. Turbo CVT Automatic)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 8/1/2010 (2011 Juke S)
Acceleration from a standstill can take a moment to 'spool up' but midrange torque is good. CVT is responsive to changing driving conditions and the manual mode is a nice feature for engine braking on demand.
Very bright handling. Adept and fun to drive. Steering feels obviously electric, aka artificial, but is precise. Torque steer exists. However, it is not terminal. Stability control is quite willing to let the driver play. Very nice!
Well-damped ride; firm, not 'squishy' at all -- more European flavor than you might expect. The stiff chassis helps to facilitate this kind of control.
No real suprises here other than the fact that the combination of the CVT and four-cylinder doesn't result in a tiresome droning sound. Isolation from this sound is effective.
Aside from the lack of a telescoping wheel, there are no glaring missteps from an ease-of-use standpoint.
Forward visibility through the tall windshield is quite good, though the large D-pillar and rising beltline conspire to create a large blind spot over your shoulder.
Seat Access & Space
Front-seat space is adequate and accomodating, but the Juke drops the ball in the backseat. The body's narrow waist pinches shoulder room and headroom is snug. Use for short drives.
Cargo & Storage
The cargo area has a moderately high liftover and it appears to have fairly compact dimensions until you consider that it has good stacking height. That and the backseat folds down.
Hard plastics abound, but the Juke appears to be well-screwed-together. The steering wheel in particular is a nice piece, with the right shape in the right places.