2011 Nissan Juke: Who's This Car For?
April 20, 2011
Since the 2011 Nissan Juke arrived in our long-term test fleet, my boyfriend and I have started informally keeping track of other Juke drivers we see in our travels. We've seen quite a few, both in Southern California and during a recent trip to Georgia. But to date, we've only seen one man driving a Juke (one man not employed by Edmunds that is). That Juke was black. Of course.
I'd like to say I'm surprised, given that at least initially Nissan officials said they were positioning the Juke as a crossover SUV that would appeal to men in their 20s. But I'm not.
However, just like with countless ugly-duckling Subarus, the real appeal of the Juke comes into focus once you're inside the vehicle and unable to see the sheetmetal.
I've already gone on about how the Juke is actually pretty good to drive -- good acceleration, respectable handling -- and it rides well, too. Whereas our Mini Countryman can feel wound up over LA freeways, the Nissan is reasonably compliant and relaxed over the rain-grooved slabs.
I'm also liking the cockpit ergonomics, which sets up a 5-foot-10 driver up for a good seating position; although, the reach to the steering wheel is a bit too long. A telescoping steering wheel would be nice to have.
Finally, I'm finding more and more situations where the Juke's 35.9-cubic-foot cargo max perfectly suits my needs. For example, after a late night coffee (it's dark at night, hence the inelegant use of my point-and-shoot's flash) with friends last week, I gave one friend with a bike a lift home. I know I'm not the official "does the bike fit?" tester here, but her normal adult-size Schwinn just fit into the Juke with the seats folded... the liftgate just closed.
That was convenient. So maybe the answer to "Who's this car for?" is "Erin." Maybe.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 5,005 miles