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1202 2011 Nissan Juke Sv Fwd Mt February Update
four seasons long-term tests

2011 Nissan Juke SV FWD M/T - Range Anxiety

Months in fleet: 6 / Miles to date: 12,132

Matt Tierney
WINTER
2011 Nissan Juke reviews to date

At the mid-point in our yearlong test of the Nissan Juke, we've driven fewer miles than we usually do. The greater concern, however, is how few miles we're able to drive on each tankfull of fuel. The Juke's fuel range is pretty dismal. We've managed to get more than 300 miles out of just one tank so far, which is a relatively poor statistic, although the fact that it hasn't done a whole lot of highway time may be a contributing factor. We've averaged 25 mpg for the first six months of our test, though, which is OK but certainly not great for a very small car that takes premium fuel. That's 2 mpg lower than the EPA combined rating a Juke equipped like ours, with front-wheel drive and the six-speed manual (the EPA's city/highway ratings are 24/31 mpg). We've had tank averages in the low 30s a few times, but that's been the exception rather than the rule.

Adding insult to annoyance, the low-fuel light provides relatively little warning. "I was shocked that the low-fuel light went on when the trip computer listed the fuel range at only 21 miles -- that's pushing it in many rural areas," noted one commenter. "Most cars give you 40 miles notice or more, it seems."

Senior web editor Phil Floraday agrees: "My only problem with the Juke is how quickly I use a tank of premium fuel. That's more of a self-control problem than a serious criticism of the car, though, because I really have to try to keep the speeds below 80 mph when I'm on the highway. The rather short gearing of the transmission means you're never far from the meaty part of the power band, and that kills fuel economy. I'd really have to change my driving habits if I owned a Juke, because I wouldn't want to spend so much time at the gas station refilling the tiny fuel tank."

Recently, the Juke has gotten out and about a bit more, visiting gas stations all over the Midwest, as it went to Chicago (twice) and Saint Louis. Road test editor Christopher Nelson took a roundabout route to Chicago, via Bloomington, Indiana. He reports: "Even on its winter tires, the Juke is quiet at highway speeds. The suspension is soft enough to absorb big bumps but taut enough to let some road feel come through. Its cabin is as comfortable, although it really should have a center armrest."

The longer slog to Saint Louis produced a less-rosy assessment of cabin comfort. "On a ten-hour trip, the seats were not as supportive as I'd like, and the black fabric is like a magnet for stray hair and dust." The highway manners again came in for praise, though: "smooth and quick on the highway, with lots of passing power." The Juke was also deemed "pretty fun to drive, especially in traffic."

After his weekend in the Juke, Nelson couldn't help but compare it with our Four Seasons Fiat 500. "Unlike our Fiat," he said, "there are no big blind spots and not as many kitschy styling elements in the cabin. But, of the two hyper-stylized compact cars in our fleet, the Fiat at least has some sort of fashion sense. The Juke? It's not ugly, but I think it's too far out there to be called 'stylish.' It's simply different for the sake of being different."

We'll see if we can't get our Juke out on the road some more in the second half of its year with us. Stay tuned.

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
Driving.Gloves
Let me get this straight: you tell us that the Long Term Juke has seen virtually no highway and normally gets 25mpg and you are disappointed? Considering the city rating is 24 I thing that's pretty good, especially considering you don't drive the cars as if you owned them. It's actually right at what I am getting in my own Juke 2WD 6-soeed. Last tank, and using Sport mode much of the time, I got 25.74 mpg. I ususally hover between 25 and 27. My car hasn't seen highway yet in 6 months.Also the distance to empty computer is conservative. It will come on telling me I've only got 'x' miles to empty, but even when I run the computer down to dashes, when I fill up I only put 10 gallons in, meaning I actually still had 3 gallons left in the tank. I'm anxious to take it on a trip. Very happy with it.
TwoTires
I have a Juke 2 wheel drive, thus my fuel tank capacity is higher and therefore I have not had an issue w/range. But, my average fuel economy runs 29.1 mpg in combined driving. I get slightly higher mileage on straight hwy running. The only (Other than custom paint/wheels) modification I've made thus far is the muffler. I ditched the golf bag size muffler for a small duel port Weapon R unit that cut about 20 lbs off, but improved the sound to near English "Sports Car" tune that my ears prefers over the vacuum cleaner noise. Looks better too. I have tried various brands/octanes of fuel and find virtually "NO DIFFERENCE" in performance or mileage. As regular cost less and if you're willing to give up "Full Throttle" foot jamming performance driving.....you'll do fine and save money.

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