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10 Things You Need To Know About The 2013 Nissan Juke

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
September 17, 2013
5 min. Reading Time

The 2013 Nissan Juke is one of the most unique entries in the Japanese brand's lineup.  With its straight-from-the-streets-of-Tokyo styling, importing Nissan Juke is one of the braver moves made by a foreign automaker over the course of the past decade.  Love it or hate it, the Juke almost always gets some kind of reaction from those who see it, even in passing.  Even better is the fact that from behind the wheel the Nissan Juke provides a considerable dose of driving thrills along with a modicum of day-to-day practicality.

Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the Nissan Juke.

01. The 2013 Nissan Juke Features Attention-Grabbing Styling

The 2013 Nissan Juke offers an extroverted design that features a prominent snout, bulging light pods on its hood, and a pair of big and round lights frenched into its front fenders.  It's a visage that sparks reactions that range from adoration to revulsion, and its in-your-face personality puts it squarely at odds with most other subcompact crossovers on the market.  The Nissan Juke's rear is a bit more restrained, although its sloping roofline and its hidden handles for the back passenger doors give it a two-door 'coupe' look that is in line with modern European styling trends.


02. The 2013 Nissan Juke Is Designed For A Pair, Not a Foursome

The 2013 Nissan Juke is a subcompact SUV, which means that right from the start one can't expect scads of interior room.  This reality is compounded by the Nissan Juke's roofline - a design conceit that steals interior storage space from the small hatch area.  You won't be loading all that many oversized items into the Juke, but with 36 cubic feet of cargo room available a pair of passengers should be ok for weekend trips or the occasional Costco run.  With a full load of four occupants there's only 10 cubic feet of space between the rear seatback and the hatch, but that's ok, as the tight rear bench will keep you from transporting more than two individuals on a regular basis.


03. The 2013 Nissan Juke Offers Turbocharged Power

The 2013 Nissan Juke conceals a fun secret underneath its hood: a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes use of a turbocharger along with direct fuel injection to produce a welcome 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque.  Turbo crossovers are as rare as hen's teeth, and the Nissan Juke's power plant is oriented towards sprightly acceleration and all-around fun.  Driver's can select from Eco, Normal, or Sport modes via the dash-mounted I-CON interface in order to further tailor the Juke's drivetrain characteristics.  When pushed, the Nissan will reach 60-mph in eight seconds, and it's also reasonably efficient: highway fuel mileage is listed at 32-mpg, while stop and go driving yields a 32-mpg performance.


04. The 2013 Nissan Juke Features A Pair Of Transmission Choices

The 2013 Nissan Juke can be ordered with one of two intriguing transmissions.  The first - and standard - unit is a traditional six-speed manual, which is an unusual gearbox to offer in a crossover but one that belies the Nissan Juke's enthusiast leanings.  The SUV's optional continuously-variable automatic transmission would seem to be a duller offering, but the inverse is actually true: the CVT's unique ability to keep the Juke's turbocharged engine pegged at a specific rpm regardless of vehicle speed means that it's possible to stay 'in boost' longer than with its manual tranny.  This is an important consideration for a small-displacement, turbocharged engine, and a characteristic that helps the Juke feel quicker than it really should be.


05. The 2013 Nissan Juke Delivers Above-Average Handling

The 2013 Nissan Juke is small, with a short wheelbase and a curb weight of under 3,000 lbs.  This gives the crossover a distinct advantage over the competition when it comes to handling - but it's not the entire story.  While manual transmission versions of the Nissan Juke are restricted to front-wheel drive, the CVT opens up the possibility of a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system that further improves the SUV's ability to grip the road.  The torque-vectoring feature allows the Juke to transfer power from the inside to the outside rear wheels in order to enhance cornering, in addition to its front-to-rear power shuttling capability.


06. The 2013 Nissan Juke Comes In 3 Trim Levels

The 2013 Nissan Juke starts out in S trim, which includes air conditioning, keyless entry, power windows and door locks, cloth seats, 17-inch rims, Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, and a trip computer.  The Nissan Juke SV steps up with a significant amount of extra equipment, such as tinted windows, automatic climate control, nicer seats, satellite radio, a sunroof, the I-CON system, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, while the Juke SL installs a navigation system, a rearview camera, a much louder stereo system, fog lights, automatic headlights, and heated leather seats.  Much of the SL's gear is available via the options sheet for the Juke SV.


07. The 2013 Nissan Juke Is Available In The NISMO Edition

Those seeking an even more focused crossover experience will want to order the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO.  Tuned by Nissan's performance division, the Nissan Juke NISMO tightens up the suspension underneath the SUV and also adds larger 18-inch wheels with stickier tires.  This helps the Juke NISMO feel more planted in the corners, especially if ordered with all-wheel drive (a front-wheel drive NISMO model is available).  Styling is amped up, too, with a slick aerodynamic body kit installed on the subcompact crossover along with comfortable sport seats and unique red leather stitching on the inside.  Completing the NISMO package is a bump in power to 197 horses and 184 lb-ft of twist from the same 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine.


08. The 2013 Nissan Juke Puts Safety First

The 2013 Nissan Juke might be small, but it's definitely secure, checking in with a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  The Nissan Juke comes standard with seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants, dual forward airbags, and side curtain airbags that deploy to protect those riding in both the front and rear positions.  The Juke additionally features electronic traction control and stability control, as well as active front head restraints that reduce the risk of whiplash in a serious collision.  There are no active safety features - such as a blind spot monitoring system - offered with the subcompact crossover.


09. The 2013 Nissan Juke Is Affordably Priced

The 2013 Nissan Juke is priced to sell, which means that entry-level S models begin at a very affordable $18,990.  Even the Nissan Juke NISMO starts at an MSRP of $22,990, with the SL trim topping out at $24,290 before the addition of optional all-wheel drive.  This places the Juke in an interesting market position.  Given the vehicle's small interior dimensions and fun-to-drive character, it makes more sense to cross-shop the Nissan against other small hatchbacks like the Chevrolet Sonic and the Focus Fiesta rather than more utility-focused (and more expensive) SUVs like the Ford Escape.


10. The 2013 Nissan Juke Could Be In Line For Even More Performance

10.  The 2013 Nissan Juke Could Be In Line For Even More Performance

The 2013 Nissan Juke is fun to drive in stock form, and it's even better as the NISMO model.  Nissan has further surprises in store for the Juke, however, if one is to believe the rumblings coming out of the company's headquarters.  Although Nissan has already built several special edition Juke crossovers motivated by the ultra-powerful turbocharged motor found originally in the GT-R sports car (dubbed, appropriately, the Juke-R), a more street-friendly, high horsepower version of the SUV that would boost engine output well past 200 ponies and be labeled the Juke NISMO R could be reaching American shores in short order.



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