Click on any image to see a larger slideshow and captions. Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.
Is the Juke so ugly it's cute? That's what one editor said. Others weren't so generous to the small crossover, whose cluster of lights is confusing. (For the record, the ones near the grille are headlights; the ones atop the hood are parking lights and turn signals.)
Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard. Although it offers all-wheel drive, the Juke's length and height run closer to a subcompact hatchback, like the Honda Fit or Nissan Versa Note, than to a compact SUV.
Nissan's blue-and-silver ''Pure Drive'' decal sits below the Juke's trim badging. Nissan applies the signage to most of its cars as part of a brand-wide effort to raise gas mileage, but it bears only some truth here. The Juke gets decent EPA-estimated combined mileage, but it needs premium gas for maximum performance.
A new Midnight Edition package (1) swaps in black alloy wheels, a black roof spoiler and black painted mirrors. The Juke Nismo (2), which hails from Nissan's Motorsports division, has a lower suspension and unique bodywork that improve downforce by 37 percent, Nissan says. Eighteen-inch wheels on the Nismo wear wider, P225/45R18 tires, versus the regular Juke's 17-inch wheels and P215/55R17 tires.
A six-speed manual (1) is standard on the front-wheel-drive Juke SL, SV and Nismo. All-wheel-drive models, as well as the Juke S, have a continuously variable automatic transmission (2). It's optional on the front-drive SL and SV.
The cabin's inventive styling features a painted center console inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank, Nissan says. It can't make up for crude build-quality, which ranges from a rickety center armrest to a headliner that feels like egg-crate material. Other cars have integrated their passenger-side airbags for years; the Juke still has 1990s-era cutouts.
The three-spoke steering wheel comes standard with cruise, audio and Bluetooth (phone, not audio streaming) controls. SV and SL models get a leather-wrapped wheel. Unfortunately, no trim has a telescoping steering adjustment.
The driver's seat has a standard manual height adjustment with two grades of cloth upholstery. You can also get leather (shown) that's unexpectedly rich given the cabin's otherwise humble materials. The Juke Nismo gets suede seats with red stitching and thicker bolsters (inset).
Cargo room behind the Juke's backseat is just 10.5 cubic feet, which is smaller than the trunk in every popular subcompact sedan. Fold the seats down and maximum volume is 35.9 cubic feet. That's still undersized among small hatchbacks and SUVs.
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