2011 Nissan Juke: Sport vs. Normal
May 18, 2011
I had these grand plans this morning of showing you how much of a difference the Juke's power delivery is between Sport and Normal driving modes. Sorry, dear readers, I failed you...
I was running Dynolicious on my iPhone and set off on a few acceleration runs to 50 mph. I didn't floor the pedal, I kept it steady right around 70 percent throttle. Without looking at the results, I thought Sport mode would be quite a bit quicker. It even managed to spin the tires slightly, whereas in Normal mode, there was none.
I looked at the graphs quickly and saw a big difference -- or so I thought. Above, is the Juke's run in Sport mode. Below is the run in Normal. The problem here is the graph itself, since the time scales are different, but just looking at the time to 30 mph and to 50 mph, the numbers are virtually a dead heat.
I superimposed the Sport onto the Normal graph on the bottom. The Sport is slightly ghosted back. Not a lot of difference on paper, but it sure feels livelier from the driver's seat. After a little more investigation, I dug up Mike Monticello's notes from the test track.
Extremely laggard-like off the line, then moves smartly once turbo spools up. Sport mode proved no quicker than normal as it uses shift points instead of holding the revs high like in CVT/rubber band mode. Quickest run was in normal, ESC off and some power braking. Once the CVT gets to 6,500, it holds the revs there. Manual shifting via console lever; does not hold gears, blips throttle on downshifts.
How Nissan managed to make Sport mode feel so much quicker (without actually making it quicker) is still a mystery to me, but I still prefer it over the others. I do, however, drop it into Eco mode when I'm stuck in traffic.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor