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BUYER’S GUIDE: 2018 Nissan Juke

It’s a “really love” or  “really hate” thing when it comes to the Nissan Juke. And if there’s anything in between, it’s probably the “really confused” types who still don’t have an inkling of what to make of its design. We do have to admit that we were in that “limbo” category when it first came out, but its uniqueness made us appreciate its quirky design over time.

Note, however, that its unique exterior is the only thing that stands out here (although we wish it did). There are no “oomphs” here, and certainly no “aaahs” to make us stand in awe. The Nissan Juke carries some features that many would like–if practicality and space aren’t on top of their wish list. However, if you’re more into saving money, standing out, and going from Point A to Point B in style, then you’ll find that the Juke more than suits your tastes to a nice tee.

Exterior

Nissan Juke
©nissan.ph

Perhaps no other car can inspire so many adjectives when describing its appearance. People have described the Juke as a “frog” due to its bulbous eyes, a coke bottle, a “duck”, an oddball, quirky, strange, and most especially “weird”. The list goes on here, but many will say that it  grows on you (like it did on us). This vehicle practically set the trend for vehicles that are out of this world, you know–and many appreciate its style (at least in Asia and  Europe).

Interior

Go inside and you’ll find that it’s as fun as its looks. The seats are made of fabric, but at least they can be manually slid, reclined, and lifted to your heart’s content. It offers the Nissan Integrated Control System (I-CON) that controls the Air Conditioner, Drive Mode Change, Vehicle Information, and Heater Control. This allows you to customize your driving experience with just a push of a button, so really, this car won’t judge you when you’re in the mood for some brooding, gothic road trip somewhere.

Features and Performance

The Juke has some notable features that will make your life easier, such as the Intelligent Key, Push-Start System, and Rear Camera.

We like the feel of the leather steering wheel–it’s very snug and easy to use (and tilt). Combine it with its responsive, and snappy steering performance plus its good handling on tight corners, and you’ll realize it’s really a fun crossover to drive.

Convenience

This five-seater has ample space–and really, note that the emphasis here is on the word “ample.” With all the slopes and strange lines used up to support its quirky design, we think a lot of space was sacrificed inside–especially its rear portion.

We’d suggest passengers at the back go on a seven-day fast before deciding to use the backseat for long, uncomfortable journeys. Otherwise, expect to suffer from asphyxiation due to prolonged periods of breath-holding. And good luck if all three of you at the back have just eaten two-piece fried chicken with slabs of mashed potato, brownies, mushroom soup, and coleslaw.

Engine

The Juke’s inline, four-cylinder, DOHC, 16V Twin CVTC offers a maximum power of 114 hp and 154 Nm torque. Its Xtronic transmission allows you to cruise on the highways at 100 kph at reduced gear ratios, thanks to “pulley and steel belt improvements and the use of high performance ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid).” This allows the Juke to deliver “outstanding acceleration and fuel economy.”

Our Verdict

The Nissan Juke, which is priced between PHP980,000 to almost PHP1.1 million, is a good entry-level vehicle for anyone who’s new in the crossover scene. And while it won’t impress you with excellent fuel efficiency nor dazzle you with top-of-the-line performance, it has more than enough features, function–and of course, stylishness–to keep you on your toes on the road.

Just remember to stay off on that fourth helping of mashed potatoes from now on. 

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