2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

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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.

A similar upgrade in a past Nissan phase would have been the Nissan Sentra SE-R. Nismo isthe new hotness.

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.

The Nissan Juke NISMO is an incredible machine for sports-car fans and hooning boy-racers alike.

Click past the jump to hear all the reasons why this might be the smartest Fiesta ST alternative on the market.

Exterior

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

The Juke NISMO makes every road into a gorgeous playground.

The smoked front headlights tone down the Juke’s original styling ... brashness. In black, the dark round lights really disappear and let the Juke NISMO’s hood-mounted blinkers and lower GT-R LEDs make a very cool statement.

2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Profile Styling Detail

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

Relatively skinny summer tires are worn by the standard 18-inch wheels, which seems odd at first for an AWD crossover.

2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Tail Styling Detail

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

The Juke NISMO is a real stunner from behind. The combination of standard tinted glass, a huge rear wing, totally unique rear bumper, and NISMO red diffuser really slam home that this is no pretender edition.

The central rear fog light is a delightful element, but we could not quite figure out how to turn it on in the American-market car we drove. Perhaps a button on the UK cars, where a rear fog is a legal requirement.

Visible mostly from the back, the not-so-wide rubber has an ace in the hole.

It lets the Juke NISMO move around more under heavy throttle. A little more slip brings huge fun and lets the Juke NISMO become a bit more playful - even in AWD-V mode on a dry day.

LED Detail

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

Exterior Features

  • NISMO smoked front combination lamps (Halogen headlights)
  • LED accent lights
  • Turn signals integrated into upper front fenders
  • Center High Mount Stop Light
  • NISMO Rear center fog lamp
  • NISMO front grille
  • NISMO front and rear fascias with red stripe
  • NISMO side sills
  • Red power outside door mirrors
  • Rear liftgate with fixed glass
  • NISMO rear spoiler, NISMO badge
  • 18-inch NISMO aluminum-alloy wheels

Video Walk-around

The exterior video walk-around from last month’s first-drive article is actually pretty decent.

It highlights a number of good styling details of the Juke NISMO, as well as offering a sample of this little slugger’s exhaust gurgle when idling.

Interior

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

The Juke NISMO wears dozens of special hypersuede surfaces and red leather accents all over the cabin.

The best highlights are:

  • The driving position - which can be set quite low for track-day center of gravity fanatics.
  • NISMO-embroided grey suede of wheel and seats is so nice. Never too hot, or too slippery like leather; but clearly only for a sports special and not a mainstream car.
  • Dark headliner is a really cool NISMO-exclusive as well

2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Interior Features

  • NISMO sport synthetic suede seats
  • NISMO spec bucket front seats
  • NISMO logos embroidery
  • Additional bolstering
  • Driver’s side 6-way manual
  • Passenger side 4-way manual
  • 2nd Row Rear seats
  • Unique rear seats with red stitching
  • NISMO spec shift knob
  • Center console with NISMO logo
  • NISMO spec door trim, unique painted door switch panels
  • NISMO dark headliner color

2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Audio and Navigation Features

  • AM/FM/CD with 6 speakers
  • MP3/WMA CD playback capability
  • Auxiliary audio input jack
  • iPod connectivity
  • Radio Data System (RDS)
  • Speed-sensitive volume control
  • Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately)
  • Fixed rod antenna
  • Black color satellite radio antenna
Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

Navigation Package ($1,170)

  • RearView Monitor, Six upgraded speakers, NavTraffic, Rockford Fosgate ecoPUNCH audio system with 8-inch subwoofer and amplifier, USB port for IPOD

Interior Room Stats

Seating capacity5
EPA Interior passenger volume without moonroof (cubic-feet)86.7
Cargo volume with rear seats up (cubic-feet)10.5
Cargo volume with rear seats down (cubic-feet)35.9
Fuel Tank (gals.) – FWD13.2
Fuel Tank (gals.) – AWD11.8

Performance Feel Assessment

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

The Juke NISMO in sport mode really comes alive. It is always on-power and ready for more pace.

Braking and handling is also very well-done, with firm settings that are fine in daily use and stiff enough to keep it from wobbling on a track.

Acceleration feels great at full throttle in Sport mode, where the CVT changes its whole strategy and mimic’s a very aggressive torque-converter automatic in how it upshits.

There is none of the ’mooing’ and surging sense that even joins the plush Pathfinder when the gas pedal is floored.

2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Mechanical Features

  • NISMO-tuned MR16DDT – 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) DOHC 16-valve turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) on intake and exhaust valves
  • Nissan Direct Ignition System
  • Double-tipped iridium spark plugs
  • Electronic drive-by-wire throttle
  • NISMO-tuned vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering
  • NISMO-tuned suspension with increased spring and dampening rates

2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Mechanical Details

Engine 1.6-liter Turbocharged 16-valve I-4 With DI and CVVT
Fuel Gasoline
Transmission 6-Speed Manual (FWD), Nismo-tuned CVT Auto (AWD)
Powertrain Layout Front-engine, Front-drive (AWD Opt)
Power (Horsepower) 197 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (Torque) 184 @ 2,000 rpm
0-60 mph (Seconds) 6.8, est
Top Speed (MPH) 130, est
EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) 25/31/NA (FWD), 25/30/NA (AWD)

Pricing and Availability

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

The Juke NISMO has a different model year schedule than other models, and 2014 pricing is not yet available. The 2013 car is exactly the same, and available now with even a few rebate offers.

Safety

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven
  • Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant-classification sensors
  • Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags
  • Roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupants head protection
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
  • 3-point ALR/ELR passenger seat belt system (ELR for driver)
  • Front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Front-seat Active Head Restraints
  • LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren)
  • Energy-absorbing steering column
  • High-strength steel side-door guard beams
  • Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones
  • Hood buckling creases
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure display

Conclusion

Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

Aside from all the amazing driving traits, handling balance, exterior upgrades and interior overhaul: is there anything left to rave about in this awesome Nissan?

Turbocharged. GT-R LED lighting in front. Red mirrors and rear central fog light in back like a race car.

Manual or automatic, front or AWD. That must be it, surely?

There is one more tiny detail worth repeating: the incredibly affordable $24,000 base pricing.

The fact that this turbocharged rocket is only a few thousand above a regular Juke only sweetens the deal.

LOVE IT
  • Pounce on this incredibly fun and chic NISMO upgrade
  • Juke NISMO details from every angle
  • Choice of transmissions is very thoughtful
  • Loves to be floored and thrown around corners, with hilarious results
LEAVE IT
  • Central nav touchscreen is full-featured, but too tiny
  • A bit more overboost would be welcome for highway passing
  • Nothing else - Juke NISMO is a great sports car

What is your take?

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