2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS new car reviews

A turbo, four doors, manual transmission. Oh, and it's a crossover.
The headlight situation is still a little problematic for us.
How ofter do you see a crossover with a rear diffuser?

Nismo has once again laid their hands on the Juke, Nissan's zippy crossover. It received the full treatment: Turbo power, manual transmission and a reworked suspension. But is it really the supercar of crossovers?

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Does a sporty cute-ute really need seats whose bolsters will attempt to split apart your most intimate areas? Sure, once you're in said seats they're rather comfortable, but it's the first thing everyone notices when they attempt to get up into this car: What is up with these seats? Then they go, Ow, my girl/boy parts now hurt.

On a Lotus Elise, Alfa 4C or Porsche GT3, yes, these kinds of seats make sense. Those cars are designed for maximum performance. The Juke Nismo RS? Well, if it was intended for that league, it wouldn't sit so high off the ground. Instead Nissan would give us an updated version of their SE-R.

Other than the seats--which, I admit, are hard to ignore since you encounter them almost every time you drive the car--the Juke is rather pleasant. It makes good power, offers great visibility, and can be ordered with a real manual gearbox. The Nismo Juke even gets upsized brakes.

Dear Nissan: Put those performance goodies into a sport sedan, and then we can be buds.

Signed, a guy who bought an original Sentra SE-R back in 1992.

Ed Higginbotham Ed Higginbotham
Associate Editor

It's a cool idea. A crossover that can perform like a sports car. Throw in a manual transmission and a turbo and color me excited.

However, it just doesn't feel well done to me. The gearbox feels like it's a half a step higher than an economy car. And even though it is fairly quick for a crossover, it doesn't really warrant those racing seats and the red 12 o'clock ring. Sure, you may be able to outrun a Ford Escape, but why?

Also, going back to the seats, the side bolsters are high like a racing seat, but they just make it harder (and painful) to get in and out.

I will say it is lighter than I would expect it to be. And it does feel rather nimble on its tightened-up suspension. But it's still a crossover, not a Z, and not an SE-R.

It feels on the verge of being a poser-mobile right now. Make it angrier, and count me in.

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Comments

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bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
8/28/15 1:24 p.m.

Sorry, I'm a form follows function kind of guy, but I can't drive something that ugly no matter what.

tjbell
tjbell Reader
8/28/15 1:26 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: Sorry, I'm a form follows function kind of guy, but I can't drive something that ugly no matter what.

This

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/28/15 1:39 p.m.

You know, I don't mind the looks, although I'm still not sure which front lights are the headlights. If Nissan could put this package into a small sedan, they'd have a winner.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing Dork
8/28/15 1:46 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

No, if Nissan built the IDx with this stuff in it, they'd have a winner.

rcutclif
rcutclif Dork
8/28/15 1:47 p.m.

It weighs what, 100? 200? lbs more than an SVT focus and has 45 more HP?

I'd take it off some sweet jumps.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UltraDork
8/28/15 1:50 p.m.

you can keep the red trim.... but the Juke is one of the wifes choices in the current car market

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 UltimaDork
8/28/15 2:20 p.m.

Is auto trans still required if you want the awd?

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
8/28/15 2:33 p.m.

I've always loved the way they look, but I think spiders are neat.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
8/28/15 2:34 p.m.
You know, I don't mind the looks, although I'm still not sure which front lights are the headlights. If Nissan could put this package into a small sedan, they'd have a winner.

In typical Vigo fashion I wish for it in a Cube.

OldGray320i
OldGray320i HalfDork
8/28/15 4:04 p.m.
jimbob_racing wrote: In reply to David S. Wallens: No, if Nissan built the IDx with this stuff in it, they'd have a winner.

Troof.

If they'd built the IDx, with the proper equipment (i.e. no crappy CVT) I'd have gone and traded the Focus in on it in a heartbeat.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
8/28/15 4:23 p.m.

I still think they should have done it as a dune buggy. Those big round lights are crying out for smiley face covers.

captdownshift
captdownshift UltraDork
8/28/15 4:26 p.m.

In reply to JohnRW1621:

I believe so :(

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
8/28/15 4:28 p.m.

The Juke looks like a bulbously obese frog.

Sorry, frogs.

Mike
Mike Dork
8/28/15 4:55 p.m.

I think it looks great in NISMO trim. I stopped at the Nissan dealer a few hours ago, just to be a tire kicker, and I am a fan. I just hate having to choose AWD or manual. Worse, the automatic is detuned.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
9/1/15 4:24 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: Sorry, I'm a form follows function kind of guy, but I can't drive something that ugly no matter what.

With 300 HP, a manual and AWD it would suddenly become a swan.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi UltraDork
9/1/15 4:42 p.m.

I was in Nashville last week and these things were everywhere. I think I've seen one up here. Looks like a good piece of kit, possibly good swap material down the road for us cheap folk....

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/1/15 4:53 p.m.

...after all the ugly has been smashed out of it by a rollover accident.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
9/1/15 7:09 p.m.

As someone who likes turbo, likes AWD, likes manual transmissions, and (used to) like Nissans.....I have zero interest in this thing. For the same price (or less?) you can pick up a WRX that does everything the Nismo Juke does better, and has just as much interior space. And (though admittedly not "pretty") doesn't look stupid.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
9/1/15 7:12 p.m.

btw, the phrase "supercar of crossovers" makes about as much sense as "most utilitarian two-seat convertible" or "best subcompact car for rock crawling"

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/1/15 8:15 p.m.

I never really liked the Juke, but there has been a black Nismo Juke in the neighborhood by work for the past few months and it certainly catches my attention every time it drives past.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/1/15 8:18 p.m.

I just discovered that even the black Nismo Jukes look terrible in photos. I swear they're a little better in person.

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
9/1/15 8:19 p.m.

The Juke is an answer to a question nobody was asking. It must've been dreampt up by the same genius who came up with the Moron-o convertible.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/2/15 8:20 a.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: If Nissan could put this package into a small sedan, they'd have a winner.

Which is a 110% guarantee that they won't. It never ceases to amaze me how so many car makers have all the ingredients for the perfect enthusiast car in the pantry already, and just refuse to put them together. It's not that they can't, but that they won't. I realize it's because beancounters, but still...

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy PowerDork
9/2/15 8:30 a.m.

Well, I guess we know who Fiat is going after with the 500X Abarth.

trigun7469
trigun7469 Dork
9/2/15 10:04 a.m.

My wife loved it, in conjunction of the roof line, the back seat is pointless, trunk is small there is more room in a 2dr base Mini. She ended up getting the Mazda3 which was cheaper, bigger, and better in pretty much every way only negative no AWD.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy PowerDork
9/2/15 12:31 p.m.

I like the way they look, but I also liked the BMW 135i/1M.

The biggest thing is the height. The Juke Nismo RS needs to be SLAMMED. 210hp in a 2800lb vehicle is pretty damn good IMO.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltraDork
9/2/15 1:32 p.m.

I like the looks of these. They just need hit hard with the lowering stick. Get the rockers about six inches off the ground....

airwerks
airwerks Reader
9/2/15 2:09 p.m.

I dig em'. One of the only cars the wife an I agree on.

LuxInterior
LuxInterior Reader
9/2/15 2:20 p.m.

The Juke is so ugly it make my brain ache.

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
4/26/16 3:21 p.m.
jimbob_racing wrote: In reply to David S. Wallens: No, if Nissan built the IDx with this stuff in it, they'd have a winner.

And now Nissan has cancelled the IDx altogether. I heard that top management was afraid that it might actually be fun to drive, and they couldn't have that.

Blitzed306
Blitzed306 HalfDork
4/26/16 3:51 p.m.

Out of nowhere!

Trackmouse
Trackmouse Dork
4/26/16 4:21 p.m.

I can take the ugly if it's fit in all the right ways. Kinda like a butterface. You know, a girl that's got a bangin' body, butterface looks nasty. I can do that.

But you can't have both with this thing. I've looked into it so many times. The cvt isn't that bad, The loss of "power" is easily gained back. The cvt can take it. There are guys on the juke forum putting down 225hp to the tires with a cvt AWD. It's AWD actually gives a good launch too. I may end up buying one. Wife likes its funkiness. I just can't believe Nissan hasn't listened. This car has been out for six years and since day one ppl (even the buyers that they interview) tell them "manual+AWD) and they still don't listen. What is wrong with them?

jere
jere HalfDork
4/26/16 5:32 p.m.

" ...What is wrong with them?"

Renault + Carlos Ghosn

TIGMOTORSPORTS
TIGMOTORSPORTS HalfDork
4/26/16 6:38 p.m.

I bought my wife a new 2015 Juke AWD for Christmas. Our first 5000 miles is all good to report.

We are getting 30-31mpg, handles great, we've used the AWD. I had an aftermarket power sunroof added. Fold down back seats are nice.

It's comfy, I"m 6.2 my wife is 5.2, we both like the seats.

It was one of the few cars/crossovers we agreed on. Price vs competition was pretty good.

She doesn't like larger or even mid size cars. I don't like small cars.

It has zip.

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