The Nissan Juke might (OK, does) look a bit strange, but we mostly love its compact footprint, feisty powertrain, and strong value. Parking the 13.5-foot-long Nissan is a cinch. After a trip to Chicago, senior web editor Phil Floraday called the Juke "the perfect size for city parking." Associate web editor Donny Nordlicht has stayed closer to home but marvels that "the Juke's small stature makes it a breeze to park around town," and he's thinks that our affordable little crossover makes "a perfect city car."
Assistant editor David Zenlea presented a different, but similarly positive, take on the Nissan's size: "I think that most people who hate the way the Juke looks in pictures would change their tune -- as I did -- when they appreciate just how small it is. The tiny proportions transform what looks on paper to be yet another overdone crossover into a vehicle that has a cute yet masculine character -- perfect for young males who find most subcompacts (including and especially Nissan's Cube) too feminine."
Of course, a diminutive footprint has its limitations, mostly notable when it comes time to fill the cargo area. With the rear seats raised, there's only 10.5 cubic feet of space beneath the hatchback, and even when the back seats are folded there's just 35.9 cubic feet, which is enough for a couple of laundry baskets but clearly lacking when compared with the cavernous confines of larger small crossovers. Besides the large glove box, there's no real covered stowage area in the cabin, a problem for all those city parkers out there who are worried about the security of their belongings.
It's not just storage space that suffers from the car's outside dimensions. "I don't like the lack of space within the cabin," writes associate web editor Evan McCausland. "Yes, I'm a broad-shouldered, heavyset guy, but there just isn't a whole lot of room in the Juke. For instance, the (nicely padded) armrests on the front door panels intrude to the point that I almost need to open the door in order to reach the power-seat controls. Cargo space isn't much better; I bought a new comforter and bedding set that ate up most of the available volume with the rear seats up."
Floraday begs to differ, however, reporting: "I tested the Juke's cargo capacity this weekend by picking up four sacks of grain that will be used to brew beer. I was able to fit all four 50-to-55-pound bags in the cargo area with the rear seats upright. Unless you need to move four adults in one vehicle, the Juke is pretty awesome."
We'll tell you more about the Juke's varying levels of awesomeness next month.