The Nissan JUKE sport cross, which rocketed onto the automotive scene in 2011, moves into its sophomore season with a well-earned reputation as one of the boldest designs and most spirited performers in the traditional B-segment hatchback field. Drawing its inspiration from a number of active lifestyle influences, including motorcycles and rally cars, JUKE features highly distinctive, sporty styling inside and out, along with unexpected levels of performance from a standard 188-horsepower 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) turbo 4-cylinder engine and an advanced torque vectoring all-wheel drive (AWD) system – performance technology usually reserved for premium vehicles.
“In just one year JUKE has shaken up the market with a boldness, style and sense of fun that has never been seen before – at a time when segment sales are expanding with buyers looking for just such a combination,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “Succeeding well beyond all expectations, JUKE is finding a wide, enthusiastic audience both here in North America and around the world.”
A Bold Urban Sport Cross
For 2012, JUKE again fuses the best qualities of a sports car, including a sporty driving position, dynamic handling and powerful turbo engine, with the best aspects of an SUV – such as a robust lower body, raised ground height, improved visibility, confident stance and available all-wheel drive.
JUKE’s aggressive styling brings a breath of fresh air to the segment. Built on Nissan’s proven global B-platform, JUKE features a powerful front end treatment with the turn signals integrated into the front fenders, a high beltline and coupe-like falling roofline. Other exterior details include body-colored outside mirrors and front door handles, and “hidden” rear door handles.
JUKE also offers generous ground clearance with standard 17-inch wheels and tires. Adding to the authentic SUV look is a broad shoulder line, large wheel arches and robust lower bodywork that seems to emerge from under the vehicle. Above the waistline, JUKE shows its sporty side with a raked windshield, upswept rear side windows and canopy-like glass. The lights also reflect JUKE’s sporty agility, with the front lights split into two distinct elements, with the main lamps drawing inspiration from rally car lights. Fog lights are available, depending on trim level. In the rear, the taillights share a resemblance with the distinctive “boomerang” design found on the latest generation Nissan 370Z. The JUKE color palette includes a range of eight exterior offerings: Sapphire Black, Electric Blue, Gun Metallic, Metallic Bronze, Chrome Silver, Cayenne Red, White Pearl and Graphite Blue.
The JUKE interior is equally aggressive with bolstered front seats, a wide instrument panel and a unique center console inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank and finished in a high-gloss paint. The gearshift sits on top of the console, inspired by sports car driver/shifter positioning.
“The center console design clearly makes the statement that JUKE is no ordinary compact crossover,” said Castignetti. “It’s an unexpected touch that reinforces JUKE’s active, sporty attitude, while also helping create a sense of a true driver’s cockpit.”
Another unique element of the JUKE interior is the Integrated Control (I-CON) system drive mode selector, which offers three different throttle/transmission/steering response settings – Normal for everyday driving, Sport for a more intense performance feel and Eco for maximum efficiency. It adjusts throttle, transmission (CVT only) and steering feel for the precise ride the driver desires. I-CON also serves as a central command center and display module, adopting different display colors and functions depending on how it is being used. In Climate mode, the display shows the interior temperature settings while the “buttons” display air flow preferences. In “D-Mode,” the buttons change to the three driving modes and the display shows engine- and drive-related dials and information.
Despite JUKE’s overall compact dimensions, the interior offers segment competitive roominess and space for five adults. In the rear, a fold-down 60/40-split bench seat and flat load floor provide passenger and cargo hauling flexibility.
Among the long list of standard JUKE interior features are a 6-way manual driver’s seat and 4-way manual front passenger seat, dual front and rear beverage holders, speed-sensitive automatic door locks, AM/FM/CD audio system with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Interface System for iPod® and storage under the rear cargo floor (FWD models only).
Available interior features include available premium cloth fabrics, leather-appointed seats, heated front seats, RearView Monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), upgraded speakers with Rockford Fosgate powered subwoofer, USB connector for iPod® and other devices, power sliding moonroof and privacy glass. Also available is the Nissan Navigation System 5.0-inch screen and XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information (XM® subscription required, sold separately). Three interior colors are offered: Black, Gray and Black/Red.
An Advanced Drivetrain
Powering the 2012 JUKE is a standard 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) turbo, 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine rated at 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The engine, the first application in North America, combines the best of both worlds – spirited performance and good fuel economy. Direct injection helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions. The use of the turbocharger and intercooler also help boost power, while the variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response.
Two transmissions are offered – Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission) with S-Mode and a 6-speed manual transmission (SV FWD and SL FWD models only).
Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg City and 32 Highway for JUKE FWD models equipped with the CVT and 25 mpg City and 31 Highway for JUKE FWD 6-speed manual transmission equipped models. JUKE AWD CVT models are rated at 25 mpg City and 30 mpg Highway.
The 2012 JUKE also carries the PUREDRIVE™ designation. PUREDRIVE is used on models utilizing Nissan’s most advanced technologies to promote eco-friendly driving and lower CO2 emissions.
“The combination of 188 horsepower and 32 mpg fuel economy is another unbeatable feature of JUKE,” said Castignetti. “It’s a win-win combination.”
JUKE’s torque vectoring AWD system not only splits torque up to 50:50 between the front and rear wheels, it also can split torque from side-to-side across the rear axle. By monitoring vehicle speed, wheel speed, gear position, steering angle, lateral G forces and vehicle yaw rate, torque can be increased to the outside rear wheel in corners to help reduce understeer and enhance the car’s cornering feel. In total, up to 50% of the total available engine torque can be sent to either rear wheel.
JUKE features a standard independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, while JUKE AWD models offer a multi-link rear suspension design. A cradle-type front subframe enhances lateral stiffness of the assembly. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard on all models.
Also standard is vehicle-speed-sensing electric power-assisted steering. Braking is supplied by power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). JUKE rides on 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P215/55R17 all-season tires.
Every 2012 JUKE comes equipped with the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags and seat belt and occupant classification sensors, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection, seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags and front-seat Active Head Restraints. Other standard equipment includes LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System, Vehicle Security System (VSS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
The 2012 Nissan JUKE sport cross is offered in eight well-equipped models: JUKE S CVT FWD, JUKE S CVT AWD, JUKE SV CVT FWD, JUKE SV M/T FWD, JUKE SV CVT AWD, JUKE SL CVT FWD, JUKE SL M/T FWD and JUKE SL CVT AWD.
Only one option package is offered – the Navigation Package, which includes a Secure Digital (SD) Card-based Nissan Navigation System with 5-inch color touch screen display and XM NavTraffic® capability (XM® subscription required, sold separately), upgraded speakers and Rockford Fosgate-powered subwoofer and USB connectivity (iPod® compatible).