2011 Nissan Juke | road test
New for the Middle East, the 2011 Juke is an all new small crossover. Nissan calls it a Sport Cross, meaning it’s a crossover with sporty tones.
Boldly designed, Juke’s styling at its best is controversial and at its worst is repulsive. Either ways, it gets the talk going.
Within the Nissan crossover line-up, Juke is smaller than the Quashqai. If you are shopping around for a small daily runner with a bit of an attitude and style, the 2011 Nissan Juke could be a good match.
Powered by a 1.6-liter direct-injection engine with an optional turbo charger, mated to either a continuous variable transmission (CVT) or a 6-speed manual stick, the Juke is built on Nissan’s well proven B platform that has been around for a while.
It’s a 5 seater with enough space for occupants and their luggage, and is primarily designed as a town runner with some personality.
With price ranging from AED 66500 – AED 88000, the 2011 Nissan Juke is not necessarily the cheapest option, and is not designed to be one either.
We tested the 1.6-liter turbo charged version with both, the CVT and manual stick in and around the coastal town of Fujairah in UAE. The engine develops 190PS and 240Nm of torque; and can clock a claimed top speed of 215kmph.
The 2011 Juke feels nimble and sporty as long as you keep it plus of 2500rpm. Quick off the mark, the Juke tends to struggle a bit initially but once in its comfort zone, the Juke delivers performance levels expected from a normally aspirated 2.5-liter engine.
The CVT gearbox comes with a manual shift option and, in our opinion, is better suited to the Juke. Looking at the driver preferences in the Middle East, we expect the CVT version to sell more than the manual stick.
Nissan claims Juke can reach 0-100kmph in 8.0 seconds.
The non-turbo version develops 117PS and 157Nm; can go up to 170kmph and takes 11.5 seconds to do 0 – 100kmph. We did not test this variant.
Although Nissan makes an all wheel drive version for some countries, the Middle East gets front wheel drive Juke only.
Ride & Handling
Urban traffic poses no challenge to the 2011 Nissan Juke, as expected from a small crossover. It was in the hilly roads around Fujairah that the Juke performed impressively. When pushed to the limits, slight understeer, mainly due to the excessive torque from the engine can be felt. This should not be a point of concern for a potential buyer who will rarely see the Juke as GT-R stable mate.
There are three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Sport that can be selected at the touch of a button from Juke’s advanced information system. Engine, transmission and steering are adjusted to the selected mode.
While sport mode gives maximum driving pleasure, the 2011 Juke performed to our satisfaction in Normal drive mode, while the Eco mode gives you just about enough power to keep the wheels rolling.
Front seats are multi-adjustable, comfy and supportive, while the rear seats can be folded in 60:40 ratio or full flat to create more luggage space. In addition to the high quality cloth trim on our test car, leather is also an option on Juke’s interiors.
Outside temperature was touching 50 degree Celsius with high humidity and hot winds on the day we test drove the 2011 Nissan Juke. Such climatic conditions are not uncommon in this part of the world. The air-conditioning system kept temperature inside the Juke to much needed humane conditions with no apparent stress.
Juke’s audio system can play a CD at a time, connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth and has an aux port for playing any external music device, but lacks a USB port for directly plugging in a memory stick.
No complaints here, as the 2011 Nissan Juke offers a good amount of knee, leg and head space for its occupants, fair number of cup holders and conveniently placed hand rests. Two adults can sit easily in the rear, while a third will be bit of a squeeze. Driving position is high allows for good visibility all around. Instruments are easy to read and comfortably placed. Steering can be tilt adjusted. Our top of the range test car came with keyless entry and a start/stop button.
An innovative control system in the 2011 Nissan Juke allows the driver to adjust climate and drive settings from the same control panel, and give additional information on performance and fuel economy as well.
Electric front windows, 60:40 folding rear seats and CD player are standard while the higher kitted version will add front fog lamps, leather wrapped steering and cruise control as well. The Bluetooth integration allows for music streaming from your phone to the car’s speakers.
Additionally, Nissan offers a range of accessories including alloys wheels, under-body protectors, exhaust finishers, roof spoilers, illuminated door sills and seriously extroverts can opt for roof sticker and striping sets to set their Juke out from the crowd.
Navigation is not available as of now. Nissan says this will be offered in times to come.
The 2011 Nissan Juke comes with ABS with brake force distribution and brake assist, driver and passenger front airbags as standard. Side and curtain airbags are optional.
The 2011 Nissan Juke comes in more than one variant and here are the prices as in UAE. For GCC markets, these should be near enough the same but in the respective local currency. Needless to say, you should always check with the local dealer for any promotional offers that might be going on at the time of buying.
2011 Nissan Juke S – AED 66500
2011 Nissan Juke SL – AED 71900
2011 Nissan Juke SL with sunroof – AED 77000
2011 Nissan Juke SL Turbo MT – AED 80900
2011 Nissan Juke SL Turbo CVT – AED 82900
2011 Nissan Juke SL Turbo MT with leather pack – AED 86000
2011 Nissan Juke SL Turbo CVT with leather pack – AED 88000