NickD UltraDork
12/1/17 8:27 a.m.

And that's a bad thing. Put down the pitchforks and torches and hear me out, please. Yes, the Juke had looks that were polarizing at best. But the interior had some cool touches, like the motorcyle gas tank floor console and the bespoilered gauge cluster. And it was a turbo AWD crossover that could even be had with a manual. It was reasonably fun to drive. There were Nismo versions. So, the Juke was a sign that maybe there was a pulse at Nissan. It was fun, it was funky, it was a risk.



Now it has been replaced with the Nissan Kicks. Same busy, cheap-looking Nissan corporate grille that's on everything. Same non-body-colored roof that's currently de rigueur in the small crossovers. Body lines that pretty much look like everything else in the segment. Less powerful 1.6L naturally-aspirated engine mated to a CVT. No AWD option.


With no 370Z successor planned, no R36 GT-R on the horizon, it looks like the fun is gone over at Nissan

GameboyRMH MegaDork
12/1/17 8:42 a.m.
NickD said:

 Same non-body-colored roof that's currently de rigueur in the small crossovers.

A styling trend started by the Range Rover Evoque.

I agree that this is not an improvement in any way. I think the Juke is just an OK-looking car. Not exactly good looking but not hideous either. I like the looks of it better than the Kicks, and coming back to the Evoque, while seeing a Juke makes me think "that's different, nice to see a different car" seeing an Evoque makes me think "It's amazing how they've captured the concept of snootiness in the form of a car's styling."

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
12/1/17 8:55 a.m.

As a former Nissan service advisor, from when these things were launched, I say good riddance.


KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
12/1/17 9:12 a.m.

I haven't driven one and likely never will.  But a friend who knows vehicle dynamics extremely well drove a rental recently and declared it on FB as "the worst thing he's ever driven".  Apparently the automatic transmission tuning is absolutely at odds with the rest of the car all the time.

So maybe the turbo/AWD/stick version is good.  But when they sell 95+% of them in 2wd auto trim and that's garbage, being "cute" will only take you so far.

NickD UltraDork
12/1/17 9:13 a.m.

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

Yeah, I'm not familiar with how they were in terms of reliability or anything, I'm just saying that the Juke was kind of a barometer for the Nissan corporate mindset. And with the Juke in production, it gave hope that Nissan would build something funky or crazy still. Now with the Juke gone and replaced by it's much more mundane successor, it shows that no one at Nissan has a pulse anymore and that we are doomed to a company of boring CVT-equipped penalty boxes for people with bad credit.

OldGray320i Dork
12/1/17 9:14 a.m.

The Juke was never alive.   It was a Frankenstein monster.   Except that the real Frankenstein monster was much prettier. 

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
12/1/17 9:18 a.m.

In reply to KyAllroad (Jeremy) :

Sad thing is, unless there was a recent change I'm unaware of, there never was an AWD manual, if you wanted to shift your own gears, it was FWD only.  AWD was CVT only.

Klayfish PowerDork
12/1/17 9:20 a.m.

Never drove the Puke...uh Juke...but I wasn't really sold on it anyway.  Kinda looked like an Aztek front end.  The rest of it was sorta "Nissan Leaf on stilts" styling.  I liked the Leaf style, but I don't like the car on stilts look, so the Juke didn't really appeal to me that much beyond the fact that it dared to be different.

The Nissan Cube dared to be different too, but that wasn't a great car either (the Cube is dead, right??  I'm not even sure...)

Run_Away HalfDork
12/1/17 9:20 a.m.

Just wanted to point out that the AWD juke was CVT only, not available with a manual as you stated.


As a Nissan tech, I like the juke. It was different and fun to drive. Ignoring the early timing chain issues that are now fixed under recall, they're good vehicles.

Duke MegaDork
12/1/17 9:30 a.m.

I won't comment about dynamics, because I've never driven one.  But at least the new version doesn't look like a stepped-on frog.  It's better looking than the similar Toyota thing.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
12/1/17 9:35 a.m.

We had a manual one around the office, and despite it's "unique"  looks, it was a lovable little thing.   Much more entertaining to drive (at least in manual form) than a CRV or RAV4, or Soul.   It had spunk, it had character, it punched above it's weight class.   


I kinda liked it.....even though I totally expected not to.  

pointofdeparture PowerDork
12/1/17 9:38 a.m.

Don’t worry, Nissan still cares about us enthusiasts! That’s why they offer the Sentra NISMO, which costs more than a GTI, Focus ST, or Civic Si, with less power and significantly worse fuel economy and what is widely considered one of the worst interior in the business!

It’s al our fault though, Nissan says the enthusiast market isn’t worth pursuing because nobody buys them...


Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
12/1/17 9:42 a.m.

I rented one once years ago.  First Datsun I'd been in in decades.  It didn't suck.  I wouldn't buy one, and it was no RAV4, but it didn't suck.

irish44j UltimaDork
12/1/17 6:26 p.m.
pointofdeparture said:

Don’t worry, Nissan still cares about us enthusiasts! That’s why they offer the Sentra NISMO, which costs more than a GTI, Focus ST, or Civic Si, with less power and significantly worse fuel economy and what is widely considered one of the worst interior in the business!

It’s al our fault though, Nissan says the enthusiast market isn’t worth pursuing because nobody buys them...


I've literally never seen that before, and I live in an area where I see a dozen of every type of "import tuner" type car (Civic Si/R, Focus ST/RS, STi, etc etc) all the time. Never seen a new Nismo Sentra. Hardly ever see regular new Sentras, for that metter. I remember that back in the day B13 and B14 SEntras were everywhere.

As someone who was a Nissan fanboi (moderator on Nissan forums, even), I have to say....Nissan E36 M3 the bed about a decade ago. The Maxima went to E36 M3. The Altima went to E36 M3 (the old SE-R aned 3.5s were pretty good cars), The Sentra got ugly and went to E36 M3. The Z just got old and boring. The Frontier is still not a Tacoma. The Pathfinder isn't remotely rugged. The GT-R seems to be the forgotten supercar these days. Nissan's remotely cool cars all have Inifiniti badges on them.

I always wanted a B13 SE-R, personally ;)

I actually think that Sentra above looks pretty good. I may have to look up what's the deal with it, but I have to imagine it has some lame non-special engine, no LSD, and probably CVT attached to it. Because if it had a VQ or another good engine, with an LSD and 6MT, I bet they'd be everywhere...


EDIT: same engine (188hp) as the Sentra SR. Under 200hp in a 4-door sedan these days? Even the Civic Si has 205, and that's at the low-end of the scale in the "sporty 4-doors" category, IMO. Apparently ahs some nice chassis upgrades but nothign I read says much that is very nice about it............

Run_Away HalfDork
12/1/17 6:40 p.m.

The most disappointing part about the Sentra Nismo is the fact that it has the same engine as the regular Sentra Turbo (a Juke engine). The Nismo versions of the Juke had a bump in power, why not the Sentra? It's probably just a software flash, and even if it's not the hardware is already out there from the Juke Nismo and Juke Nismo RS

JamesMcD SuperDork
12/1/17 6:42 p.m.

Sub prime loans will keep them afloat!

rustybugkiller Reader
12/1/17 8:55 p.m.

I thought when the Pontiac  Aztec engineers lost their  jobs they went to Nissan To create the joke (Juke).

stanger_missle Dork
12/1/17 9:46 p.m.

I have a deep morbid curiosity with the Juke NISMO RS. Normally I take issue with FWD cute utes but something about the RS speaks to me. It seems to say "I know I'm weird and not popular but I can be fun too!" That and its not mainstream with its looks and manual transmission. Its different.

I've never driven an RS (or any Juke) but I'd like to.

Besides the timing chain issues, are there any other issues with these?

Vigo UltimaDork
12/1/17 10:35 p.m.

The Juke had a remarkably long run considering how niche its appeal was.


I always looked at the Juke as an engine that should be in a Cube wrapped in a donor too expensive for me to ever attempt the swap. cheeky


I am glad it was produced, but don't exactly mourn it. 

The0retical SuperDork
12/1/17 11:23 p.m.

Frog faced Godzilla was proof Nissan's engineers still knew how to party in 2012.

I'm pretty sure Brazilian/French Mr. Bean fired all of them after the free goodwill press was over though. 

pointofdeparture PowerDork
12/2/17 6:55 a.m.

In reply to stanger_missle :

I remember thinking that the interior was godawful aside from the seats. Just really low rent.

20 years ago it would have been inconceivable, but these days it seems an awful lot like Nissan and Mitsubishi have reversed roles with Hyundai and Kia. As the former two fall further and further downmarket the Koreans are moving up.

bgkast UberDork
12/3/17 12:44 a.m.

I liked the Juke, it was... quirky. And it looks pretty fun with a few mods:

Feedyurhed SuperDork
12/3/17 7:22 a.m.

Well I hate to say it but Nissan is only responding to the market like all the manufacturers. People (except for us here) don't want different or performance oriented vehicles anymore.  They want simple, generic samey samey vehicles that are appliance like with lots of tech and gadgets. I bet half the people that drive these cute utes don't even know if it's AWD or FWD and don't care. They want super low/sub prime lease rates that they can turn in every two years and get another updated version just like their phone. Half the teenagers I know aren't even interested in driving anymore, preferring to sit around and text all day. Even the name "Kicks" is sort of a young person targeted name. Will there ever be a Porsche or Ferrari named something like Kicks? Of course not. We are living in a different time my friends, for better or worse. 

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