The Juke's unusual exterior styling has been described as froglike, but it at least proves that not all small cars need to look the same. Nissan says the Juke's foglight design was inspired by rally cars, the center console by a motorcycle fuel tank, and the taillights by those of the 370Z sports car. The idea for the Juke is to blend the benefits of a crossover (ride height, all-wheel-drive capability) with the fun aspects of a sports car (responsive engine, engaging handling). The interior is surprisingly commodious for such a compact vehicle, with seating for five and rear seats that fold completely flat to improve cargo capacity. The turbocharged, direct-injected 1.6-liter in-line four-cylinder engine provides punchy acceleration but still returns decent fuel economy. It can be mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission in front-wheel-drive Jukes, whereas the all-wheel-drive model comes exclusively with the CVT. The Juke is no sports car, but it is far more interesting than the economy cars on which it is based. Minimal body roll and accurate steering make the Juke fun to throw around corners, and its brakes are similarly able to cope with enthusiastic driving. All-wheel-drive models use an independent rear suspension and a torque-vectoring rear differential, which distributes torque between the two rear wheels to improve cornering performance. The Juke is a unique compact crossover that is both practical and enjoyable to drive--but its quirky styling is definitely not for everyone.
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