Pearl White; Navigation Package ($1,170 -- includes secure digital card-based navigation system with 5-inch color touchscreen display, XM NavTraffic, rearview monitor, Rockford Fosgate ecoPunch audio system with 8-inch subwoofer and amplifier, six upgraded speakers, USB connection port for iPod interface and other compatible devices); Center Armrest ($245).
Turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4, gasoline
DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
197 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
184 @ 2,000
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
Not what we'd call inspiring acceleration, but the little turbo-4 does a commendable job of moving the Juke Nismo down the drag strip. Best launch came with a linear clutch release at 3,500 rpm, getting decent wheelspin. The six-speed manual gearbox has long throws, but a light action and it's super easy to find the next gear. The soft rev limiter hits at 59 mph in 2nd gear, forcing a shift right around 60 mph. Trap speeds remained consistent, no heat soak.
The Juke Nismo exhibited the largest amount of ABS commotion and pulsing through the pedal that we can remember. Significant nosedive, and it pulled to the right slightly on most stops. First and last stops were the longest at 116 feet, while the sixth stop (second-to-last) was shortest at 114 feet.
Skid pad: More body roll than we expected from the stiffer suspension. Less grip than we expected from the summer tires. Lots of ESC intervention when the system was left on (cutting throttle, adding brakes), no intervention when fully turned off. But it turned out the ESC was actually doing a commendable job, as we couldn't go any faster with it off. We experimented with 3rd gear (instead of 2nd) to control the inside tire from spinning, but the times (2nd gear vs. 3rd gear) were absolutely identical. Slalom: Slow and not particularly engaging steering (again, expecting something a little better with this Nismo model) along with a sizable amount of body roll/lean through the turns. Best method was to get aggressive and throw the Juke around. The harder you charge, the better it works, and the more it comes alive. Which is kinda the car's nature. Eventually, though, the ESC system has enough of the shenanigans and starts adding brakes. Still, considerably quicker here with ESC on than previous, non-Nismo Jukes we tested.