February 10th, 2010

Juke Nukem

What you see here is Nissan’s attempt at going all manly, with their next generation cross-over SUV - The Juke. With their marketing department going all ‘street’ and dropping the D of duke for a J, the Juke conjures up images of powerful wealthy men with shotguns shooting pheasants, or to me an image of a wise-cracking, hyper-masculine, egotistical, chauvinist, machismo-filled, womanizing tough guy from the video games, Duke Nukem. But one thing is for sure, the Juke looks like it will definitely command the road.

The Juke joins the Nissan group of city cars which aren’t really meant to be in the city, the Murano and Qashqai. With its squatted and somewhat swollen front, it looks a bit like a Qashqai who had a lethal dose of steroids and then some botox on top.

What is refreshing to see within the Juke, is the crossover of design features between Nissan’s high performance cars such as the GTR and 370z into a small SUV. The heavily raked windscreen which then slopes dramatically to the rear window is a carbon copy of the GTR and 370z. The front is dominated by two massive fog lights which look like they are powerful enough to blind a small child, and three random holes which I have no idea what they are there for - rocket launchers perhaps? The rear is not as dramatic as the front, with sleek and curvy lines around the wheel arches, making it look like it has the best child bearing hips a women could dream of.

Inside the Juke the detailing is very similar to the Qashqai and Qashqai+2. Nissan decided to add a centre console design inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank to give it a more sporting look. Now I have watched more than my fair share of American Chopper episodes and I can safely say that I have never seen a fuel tank that was bright red and plastic. Inside there will be very similar technology as what we saw when we reviewed the Nissan Qashqai+2, with keyless entry and start, rear view camera and bluetooth integration.

Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan Europe says the Juke ”takes the best elements of an SUV and sorts car and combines them. It’s roomy yet compact, robust yet dynamic and practical yet playful. These are qualities that seem to contradict each other, yet come together in Juke to create something that’s genuinely unique.”

We have to agree it is unique and  think it will sell well within young, small families. Priced between £13,000 and £14,000 with a range of petrol and diesel engines and two and four wheel drive trains there is something for everyone. I would personally go for the top of the range, six speed 1.6i Turbo as it is the same as in the Qashqai+2 and we liked it.