/ / /
1108 2011 Nissan Juke Sv Fwd Mt Introduction
four seasons long-term tests

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

Matt Tierney
2011 Nissan Juke reviews to date

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).

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.

2011 Nissan Juke Specs
  • Overview
  • powertrain
  • chassis
  • measurements
  • equipment
  • options
Body style 5-door crossover
Accommodation 4 passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Engine Turbocharged, direct-injected I-4
Displacement 1.6 liters
Power 188 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque 177 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic transmission
Drive Front wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 24/31/27 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Speed-sensitive electric power steering
Turning circle 38.1 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented disc/solid discs
Wheels 17-in aluminum alloys
Tires Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
Tire size 215/55VR-17
Headroom F/R 38.6/36.7 in
Legroom F/R 42.1/32.1 in
Shoulder room F/R 53.6/51.4 in
Wheelbase 99.6 in
Track F/R 60.0/60.0 in
L x W x H 161.8 x 78.6 x 61.5 in
Cargo capacity 26.1/54.6 cu ft (rear seats up/down)
Weight 2923 lb
Weight dist. F/R 62/38%
Fuel capacity 13.2 gal
Est. fuel range 350 miles
Fuel grade 91+ octane (premium unleaded)
Standard Equipment
  • 1.6-liter turbocharged direct-injected I-4
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • 17-in aluminum wheels
  • Six air bags
  • Antilock brakes
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control
  • Traction Control System
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Steering wheel stereo controls
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Tilt steering column
  • XM Satellite Radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Push-button start
  • Power sliding moonroof
  • Integrated control system
  • Rear privacy glass
  • 12V DC power outlet
Packages & Options
  • Carpeted floor mats and cargo mat
  • $175
Just bought a blue 2012 SL Juke & drove it back from California to New York in three days - 2774 miles, 96 gallons of petrol, 42.5 hours total driving time. I drove alone, and still felt functional at the end of each day (XM radio was a big factor in this).I'm very pleased with the way the car drives, its responsiveness and comfort - although there were some badly made road sections around Oklahoma & Buffalo where the drop at the end of each concrete slab made for an almost unbearable "galloping horse" effect. The engine had more than enough oomph to accelerate out of potentially hazardous boxed-in conditions, and I never once had to put it in Sport mode - Economy & Normal modes were all I needed on this run.I have mixed feelings about the GPS, it gives good advance warning of upcoming junctions & it made good route choices, but I missed the ability to search for business names or types (I was hoping to stock up for the journey in a Walmart or similar) , and I didn't find a way to preview the route.
The Front heel drive model doesn't have indepent rear suspension, but rather a torsion beam rear suspension.Also, the combine mileages is closer to 28.5 MPG.Spend the extra money for the SL, the leather seats are very comfy, the Rockford system is very nice, and the backup camera and heated seats help make the car feel premium. We bought ours in December 2010 and already have over 17,000 miles.

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price


new cars

Read Related Articles