The 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo is perhaps the most underrated and under-loved hot hatch on sale today. But I can’t seem to work out why. It takes the successful recipe utilized by names like GTI and Mazadspeed3 and adds a dash of Nissan flair. Sounds like fun to me.
Marketed as a crossover, the little Juke is the last car that anyone expected Nismo to fettle, but the results speak for themselves.
The car is basically pocket-sized, it is 16 inches shorter than a Honda Civic , but it comes loaded with a 197-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder, three pedals and six forward gears. That is more than enough grunt to make any enthusiast happy. You can pout all you want about the fact that the Mk VII GTI has 215 horsepower, but the current MK VI model only has 200 ponies, and it weighs more than the Juke to boot. The Juke will hit 60 in about 6.5 seconds, only a hair away from the Focus ST despite its 50+ horsepower advantage.
This little Nissan can hang with the big-boys, regardless of what that horsepower number says.
Read more about the 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo and see my video review below.
Ladies and Gentleman, it is Thursday, and that means it is time for Justin, Mark, and myself to fill your ears with banter about the automotive universe.
It is time for the TopSpeed Podcast . No video this week folks, sorry, but we are working on getting a live show setup soon! That means you can see us and chat with us all in rel time. We hope to have it ready by next week.
We conclude the news with a quick talk about my recent time with Grid Autosport .
Our Q/A segment features some talk of F1 cars, and we finish the show with Own, Drive Burn. This week we have a trio of the greatest supercars of all time. This one was far from easy.
As always, you can find us on iTunes. Feel free to rate, review and subscribe, it makes us all very happy. If you prefer the Twitter thing, you can find us @TopSpeedPodcast, and you can always reach us be email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com. Of course, we love the comments and enjoy chatting with you.
See you fine people next Thursday.
So let’s just get it right out in the air. I don’t think Ferrari or Lamborghini or any other purveyor of exotic metal is the best enthusiast brand. Part of the enthusiast car market is to make great cars that enthusiasts can actually buy. The Miata , the Mustang and the GTI are the kinds of good fun that we can actually buy.
When trying to figure out who the best enthusiast brand is, I didn’t stop at pure numbers. I looked for cool cars, and interesting cars, not just fast ones. I also tried to focus on the more modern petrol head. Back in the 60s every car company was making wacky and crazy cars, but over the years the enthusiast market has kinda dried up a bit.
I almost went with Honda . The CRX , early Si badged cars and the NSX all hit the right buttons, but over the last 15 years or so Honda has really lots its magic. It feels like they started to care more about Consumer Reports scores than steering feel and spoilers, and so they didn’t make the list.
But who was it? You have to hit the jump to find out.
The Nissan Juke is one of those cars that you either love or hate. There’s no in-between when talking about this baby. Fortunately for the Juke, it belongs in a market where the word "style" seems to have taken a vacation, so by default, it already has a leg up on the rest of its rivals. Looks aside, the Juke also has a nice engine to fall back on that is highlighted by 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, which makes it one of the highest in its segments.
There’s something about the Juke and the way its packaged that makes us wonder whether Nissan was trying to make amends to this particular segment after introducing the world to the Cube , a ratchety-looking lump of steel that a lot of people hope never to see again.
So give credit to Nissan for taking the leap with a more dramatic crossover that doesn’t lack in aesthetics.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Juke.
When Nissan introduced the Juke in 2011, its hip styling in a rather bland segment made it a near immediate hit. To this date, it is still the swan in a class filled to the brim with ugly ducklings. Add to that a base turbocharged engine that pumps out 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of twist that allows it to hit 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds, even with a cruddy CVT backing it up.
That was 2011 and now we are moving into the 2015 model year, so it is time for a mid-cycle refresh. And a refresh the Juke received, as Nissan unveiled the Euro-spec Juke at the Geneva Motor Show this week. Sure, a few of the engines won’t make their way to the U.S., but we did get a nice look at how Nissan added in its new design language and revised the only U.S.-bound engine: the 1.6 DIG-T.
Overall, the refresh is, well, refreshing. The Juke looks like a whole new car, despite sharing most of its sheet metal with the 2014 model. Unfortunately, the Juke’s interior is largely carried over, but the interior was never a complaint, except for cargo space, which was address with this refresh.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Juke.
The Juke NISMO is a hilarious riot to drive. If you take one thing away from this full review, that should be it.
Highway fast lanes clear rapidly when any hint of GT-R or NISMO is coming up from behind.
As the second NISMO-tuned effort after the incredibly transformed 370Z Nismo, the Juke is the perfect combination of economy-car basics, but with the highest-tech racing components outside, inside and under the hood.
There are amazing details all over the Juke Nismo, especially with its very fun and entertaining persona on the roads. This car loves to be floored in AWD V-spec and Sport modes, slamming through seven virtual - and seriously sporty — upshifts at the red-line. In a CVT!
It is true. A huge part of the NISMO magic in the Juke is the reprogrammed ECU that makes sport mode a mandatory button push - right after lighting up the push-button ignition.
TopSpeed’s Juke Nismo press loaner is the $25,000 AWD automatic with the navigation system upgrade, but all the joy and fun cornering stance is also on offer in the manual-transmission, front-drive Juke Nismo from just $22,990.
Click past the jump to hear all the reasons why this might be the smartest Fiesta ST alternative on the market.
The Nissan Juke Nismo is a really surprising little machine. After a week with my foot on the floor (in ’normal’ mode), I was vaguely unimpressed with the little truck’s ability to hustle out of its own way. I thought it looked cool and handled well, had great seats and a good image. But... even the coolest car in the world still needs to be fast to get my attention, and yours too I bet.
Silly me. The TopSpeed team is mostly hard at work during the day producing news content, so the amount of miles we put on the press loaners is pretty low overall.
That extra time was exactly what I needed to discover the Juke Nismo’s sport buttons, which allow personalization of numerous parameters between normal, sport and eco.
Most sport buttons in mainstream cars are a waste of time. They might make the engine hold shifts longer, or thump harder over bumps - but generally achieve very little beyond that.
The Nismo sport tune is far from subtle, however. Cars have to generally start up in their ’Normal’ setting so that they can achieve the emissions and economy required by the test and buyers.
Flipping to Juke Nismo to Sport mode opens up a totally different little crossover. One that has front, AWD auto or even a V-mode all-wheel-drive setting to keep traction.
Skinny tires ensure more playfullness than is normal in a compact, and the sport mode also transforms the optional CVT auto of our test car into something much, much more special. It thrums and upshifts like a real sports car, with handling and steering precision on the highway that seems autobahn-ready.
A quick walk-around video of the Juke Nismo highlights some of the reasons I loved this car by the end of our time together. It also shows of an impressive exhaust rumble and all the Nismo-exclusive styling features of this $27,000 pocket rocket.
Click past the jump to see some clips of the Nissan Juke Nismo ahead of the full TopSpeed Driven review in the coming weeks.
Considering how surprisingly popular the Nissan Juke has been since it was first introduced a few years ago, nobody’s going to hold it against Nissan if it continued to produce more powerful versions of the funky-looking crossover.
To be fair, it’s hard to top the 500-horsepower Juke-R , but Nissan has continuously produced more and more powerful versions of the Juke, and at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show , another one is set to grace us with its presence.
The new tuned-up crossover will pick up where the Juke Nismo left off. Taking that into account, the Juke Nismo RS offers an even more powerful engine, sport-tuned suspension with new springs and shock absorbers. There will also be a more aggressive exterior look, an updated interior and other cool Nismo features.
Updated 11/20/2013: This review was updated with the official details, images and specs.
Updated 02/28/2014: Nissan announced today prices for the 2014 Juke Nismo RS which will be put on sale at national dealers later this spring. Prices for the sporty crossover will start from $26,120.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS.
Well, that was a bummer.
We’re not exactly sure how the whole Star Wars theme was adopted on this new package for the Nissan Juke , but considering that there are little to no hints of Storm Troopers in the crossover, you could say that the Japanese automaker may pulled a fast one on all of us through creative advertising.
There are still some noticeable upgrades to the Japan-exclusive 15RX Personalized Package - that’s what Nissan’s calling it - specifically the rather plump Passion Red and Night Veile Purple color options. Very rare do you see these two shades on the car, particularly the latter and it’s eggplant-like hue that gets a top grade from us. The sports stripes are also a nice touch, especially on a crossover that exudes attitude like the Juke. Contrasting mirror caps are also part of the package, as well as a new set of 17" aluminum wheels.
Inside, there’s not a lot to go by except for what looks like a two-tone upholstery that can be had in either a black-and-red combo or a black-and-grey variety. Other than that, the 15RX Personalized Package is a massive disappointment relative to what was teased with the involvement of the Storm Troopers. Coming off the heels of the ridiculously cool Dark Knight Rises Juke , this program just fell flat of our expectations.
But hey, if you like the new digs offered by the 15RX Personalized Package, we can’t blame you. All you need to do is shell out the ¥1,943,550 price tag ($19,950) attached to it.
Click past the jump to read about the Nissan Juke Dark Knight Rises Edition that had our hopes so high on this model