2013 Nissan Juke Review

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6.8
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6.0
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Performance
7.0
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Comfort & Quality
6.0
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8.0
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7.0
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Fuel Economy
7.0
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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

The 2013 Nissan Juke is road candy, from its zippy powertrain to its wacky looks--but tight space and low real-world gas mileage leave an aftertaste.

The Nissan Juke has only been around for two years, but it has become one of the easiest cars on the road to identify. It's one of those cars that looks like it managed to emerge from the design studio intact, as if it escaped the factory as a concept instead of waiting around to be watered down.

It's futuristic, it's definitely quirky--and it's sometimes hard to quantify. Is it a hot hatchback with some extra ground clearance? Or a crossover permanently hamstrung by a teensy cockpit and a stiff, almost sportscar ride?

It's both, and the oxymorons keep coming from all directions, even from the Juke's petite engine bay. The Juke comes with just one engine, a 188-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and offers either front- or all-wheel drive, and a choice of manual or continuously variable (CVT) transmissions. The powertrain lends itself to city and commuter duties, but with gas mileage of, at best, up to 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, it's easily outpaced by the extra-large Nissan Altima sedan. The relatively light weight, rapid steering, and firm suspension combine with the advanced engine to give the Juke a sporty feel--but if you're looking for more crossover-like compliance in its ride, you're just out of luck.

In the cabin, an LCD screen houses the I-CON control system, which remaps throttle and transmission controls to improve fuel economy or sharpen handling; the climate controls are also found on-screen. Overall materials and design are sharp and modern, with price-appropriate finishes. Optional navigation and other features can push the price toward the $25,000 mark, however.

Crossover features in subcompact proportions lend the Juke to urban uses and sensibilities, but interior room is tight for any more than two adults. With a four-passenger capacity (five can fit in a pinch), 35.9 cubic feet of cargo space (with the seats folded down), and a relatively high driving position, the Juke doesn't feel as small as it is--or as it parks--until you try to wedge in a maximum passenger count.

Updates for the 2013 model year add a new Midnight Edition accessory package, a rearview monitor on navigation-equipped vehicles, revised Rockford Fosgate ecoPUNCH sound system on SV and SL models, and a trio of new color choices. A new model, the Juke Nismo, is also due for release later this year, bringing with it more dramatic sport-themed looks and improved performance.

While the Juke certainly isn't for everyone, its unique look, compact dimensions, and sporty feel may make it just the ticket to challenge more mainstream offerings from other brands. Is this the future of the crossover? Perhaps.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015
2013 Nissan Juke 5-Door Wagon CVT SL FWD

Excellent luxary car for someone who needed a break from junk!

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I love this car. It can with so many amenities which is something I've never had before. I love my smart key and my push button start. I also like that I can fold down my seats for more space if needed. Things... + More »
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016
2016 Nissan Juke 5-Door Wagon CVT SL FWD

I'm very excited about this car!!

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I had been searching for the 'car, perfect for me' for over a year. I'm so happy I found the Juke, drove it and was patient with my decision! I made a wise choice for myself.
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Saturday, June 18, 2016
2014 Nissan Juke 5-Door Wagon CVT SV AWD

Great car, great price plus it has omph like you read about, that is to say, it really goes!

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It has everything you could possibly want in a car and fortunately the things do not distract your attention from the road. For example when the manufacturers moved some of the critical items from the dash to... + More »
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