2011 Nissan Juke SV FWD M/T - Four Seasons Introduction

August 17, 2011
2011 Nissan Juke SV FWD MT Front Slight Right View
The Juke is the latest in a long line of truly distinctive cars that have helped Nissan stand out from the automotive crowd. (Besides the current Leaf, Cube, and GT-R, let's not forget about the Pulsar NX, the Japanese-market S-Cargo, and the Figaro of the late 1980s and early '90s). Already, the Juke's looks have been likened on this website to those of a frog, a deep-sea fish, and a Pontiac Aztek. This peculiar-looking, inexpensive crossover, like the Cube, is built on the underpinnings of the even-more-affordable Nissan Versa hatchback. Clearly, plenty of people are pleased with the aesthetic pizzazz offered for a starting price of just $20,330 -- Americans bought more than 29,000 Jukes in the vehicle's first ten months on sale (through July 2011).
2011 Nissan Juke SV FWD MT Front Right View
Being fans of cars with character -- and having recently completed a one-year test of a 2009 Nissan Cube -- we were quick to order a Juke for a Four Seasons test. We enjoyed driving an all-wheel-drive Juke SV in Michigan's snowy Upper Peninsula for our May issue and for this comparison with a Mini Cooper Countryman last winter, but we opted for a front-wheel-drive Juke for the long-term test, so we could get a stick shift (all-wheel drive is available only with Nissan's continuously variable transmission). The six-speed manual should pair well with the Juke's 188-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a direct-injected engine offered for the first time in North America in the Juke. We likely would have saved some money at the pump, however, if we had gotten the front-wheel-drive CVT. That combination is EPA-rated at 27/32 mpg city/highway, versus the stick shift's 24/31 mpg.
Our Juke is the midlevel SV edition, which -- compared with the $1310-cheaper S base model -- adds a sunroof, a pushbutton ignition, XM satellite radio, suede-trimmed seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also comes with Nissan's I-CON system (for Integrated Control), which offers three driving modes (Sport, Normal, and Eco) and cleverly uses the same control knobs and buttons as the climate-control system. Notable features on all Jukes include air-conditioning; power windows, mirrors, and door locks; an auxiliary input for audio toys; steering-wheel-mounted audio controls; a trip computer; and front, side, and side curtain air bags.
Our choice of a stick shift meant that we could not get the SV's sole option package -- a navigation system and a Rockford Fosgate stereo. (The top-of-the-line SL comes with navigation and the premium stereo as well as a backup camera, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and foglights, but costs $2320 more than the SV.) We added only carpeted floor and cargo mats, which cost $175, so our Juke came in at a very reasonable $21,815.
Be sure to check back with us regularly throughout the next twelve months as we keep you updated on life with our graphite blue 2011 Nissan Juke.

Long-Term 2011 Nissan Juke Reviews to Date:

2011 Nissan Juke SV FWD M/T - Four Seasons Introduction
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