The Juke is not big or pricey; it has (let’s say) distinctive styling lines and it packs a hot little engine under hood that also provides excellent fuel economy… 

2011 Nissan Juke
2011 Nissan Juke
2011 Nissan Juke
2011 Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke: 2011 to 2013

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, then check out a Nissan Juke.

It was described by Nissan as a sport cross-utility vehicle, when introduced for the 2011 model year.  The Juke is not big or pricey; it has (let’s say) distinctive styling lines and it packs a hot little engine under hood that also provides excellent fuel economy.

It is short in length yet tall in stature and has a wide stance with short front/rear body overhangs. The round headlights were rally car-inspired and are topped by distinctive “crocodile eye” light combinations. From a side view, the Juke has a two-door coupe look with “hidden” rear door handles.

Even a base SV trim level of Juke comes surprisingly well equipped with alloy wheels, keyless entry, air conditioning, 4-wheel disc brakes, stability control, steering wheel audio controls, heated side mirrors, a security system, Bluetooth and audio connectivity.

The sweetest part of the package is the turbocharged (with intercooler) 1.6-litre direct injection, 16-valve engine. Power peeks at an impressively high 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. While its fuel economy ratings are a super-frugal 7.3/6.1 L/100 km (city/highway), this engine does prefer pricier premium fuel.

An optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) system comes with a torque-vectoring feature on the rear axle. Under normal driving conditions, it directs all drive power to the front wheels for best fuel economy. It can (automatically) vary drive up to an equal split between the front and rear axles.

An I-Con display with a drive mode selector, which offers different throttle/transmission/steering response settings, comes with the higher SL trim level. This trim also includes fog lights, a power moonroof, push-button start and climate control air conditioning. A 6-speed manual transmission was standard with the front-drive models and the automatic is a CVT type.

Despite Juke’s compact exterior dimensions, there’s seating space (with a bit of a squeeze) for five adults on the inside. The rear seat is a handy fold-down 60/40-split bench that folds flat to provide an extended cargo floor. Juke’s centre console is a motorcycle-inspired design that has a high-gloss (colour-matched) painted finish. The design and slope of the roof at the back, however, does limit rear vision from a driver perspective.

Juke carried-over into the 2012 model year virtually unchanged and had only minor alterations for 2013. The Navigation package includes a rear view monitor and a stereo upgrade (that was standard on Juke SL).

The NHTSA overall crash test safety rating (front/side/rollover) for Juke was 4 out of 5 stars, with a 3 out of 5 stars in its frontal impact test. It received a coveted “recommended” buy rating from Consumer Reports and an overall “average” rating for reliability.

Daring to be different, the Nissan Juke is a fun vehicle to drive and an interesting vehicle option for those bored with conformist compact sedans.

Price Check: 2011 – 2013 Nissan Juke (January 2014)

Year                    Edition                                                 Expect to Pay Today

2011                       SV                                                          $15,000 to $18,000

2012                       SV                                                          $17,000 to $21,000

2013                       SV                                                          $19,000 to $23,000

Prices vary depending on a used vehicle’s condition, mileage, usage and history. A complete mechanical check should always be performed by a reliable auto technician prior to purchase.

Safety Recalls: 2011 to 2013 Nissan Juke:

2011: A weld at the boost sensor bracket may fail, allowing the bracket to separate from the air inlet tube. If this occurred, the engine would enter fail-safe driving mode with reduced motive power. Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the air inlet tube assembly.

2011/2012: The fuel pressure sensor connected to the engine fuel delivery rail may not have been sufficiently tightened during vehicle assembly and could leak. Dealers will inspect for fuel leakage from the pressure sensor, tightened to specifications or repair as necessary.

2012: The rear seat latch strikers (which secure the seat backrest in the upright position) may be faulty and could deform during a frontal vehicle crash, increasing the risk of injury to rear seat occupants. Dealers will replace defective rear seat latch strikers.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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