Photos & Words: Evan ‘Evo’ Yates
Exterior: Even at its most basic version, the Nissan Juke is certainly an acquired taste. Some view it as a creative, fresh take on the modern crossover while others think it’s some sort of amphibian. Either way, the NISMO touch on this particular Juke definitely maximizes its potential. For starters, the NISMO front and rear fascias, rear spoiler and front LED lights certainly take the aesthetics into the next stratosphere. I also think the color combo is spot-on with the Brilliant Silver paint, custom-looking wheels and red pinstripe running down the carbon-colored side skirts. The only complaint I have is that the vehicle needs to be lowered considerably – at least three inches. I understand it’s a crossover but a lowered suspension would complete the NISMO effect on this Juke. Overall, Nissan / NISMO hit the nail on the head with the exterior of this silver bullet.
Interior: Walk someone blindfolded to this Juke, have them sit down and I’m 100% positive they could easily be convinced they’re in some sort of ultra high-performance Nissan rocket ship. The NISMO treatment in the Juke NISMO RS’s interior seals the deal for me. The most noticeable attribute in the interior is clearly the Recaro racing seats. And where some car companies may use a watered-down version of a Recaro, these bad boys are damn near race-spec. Surprisingly, the Recaro seats are quite constable for the most part as they certainly hug you in like no other seat and they’re soft to the touch with Alcantara down the middle with leather surrounding and finished off with a nice, red contrasting top stitch. This theme also carries over to the steering wheel that is wrapped in a matching Alcantara and leather combination. The hints of carbon fiber on the shifter, shifter surround and radio bezel are a nice touch as well.
A/V: I really enjoyed the Rockford Fosgate ecoPunch premium audio system. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Nissan head units in general as they are super easy to operate and come with the masterful multi-camera back up system that is very helpful, especially in a car with some serious blinds pots. The audio output is crisp and punchy and there’s virtually zero distortion at high volumes. Having plenty of experience with Rockford in the car audio world in the past, I would say this system has earned the nameplate.
Performance. The Juke NISMO RS provides an exhilarating, go-kart experience. The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine mated to the six-speed manual transmission provides a ton of smiles every trip behind the wheel. However, I would have loved to try the AWD version as the FWD can get a bit squirrelly at times. Over-rev between shifts while cornering and you could find yourself a few feet to the left in a hurry thanks to some aggressive torque steer. However, once you’ve learned the car’s shift points and the clutch’s sweet spot this should not be a problem. In addition, the NISMO tuned suspension certainly does its job as you’re held in tightly at every corner.
Floss Factor: For right under $30k, you get a lot of flash and fun for your buck. Off the dealership floor the Juke NISMO RS is positively ready to turns heads at every stoplight.
Power: 215 hp, 210 ft lb
0-60: 6.7 sec
Gas Cash: 27 MPG (combined)