2012 Nissan Juke Styling

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Styling

The word "juke" commonly means a feat of athletic faking-out--a quick motion in the opposite direction you'd expect. The Nissan Juke is the opposite of what we expected from the automaker, and pretty much from any earthbound styling studio.

The Juke, put plain, is the wackiest car design since the Pontiac Aztek--even weirder, maybe. It has wide hips, a pontoon-like lower body, a predatory front grille and an angular rear end--and that's before you get inside to the motorcycle-inspired gauges. It's alternative to the extreme, with chunky proportions and lumpy lines that don't resolve anything, anywhere.

The 2012 Nissan Juke is like nothing else on the road--take that any way you like.

The most awkward angle is from dead-on front, where the Juke's headlights sit so low, they read as fog lamps. The turn-signal blades are feral--like the tusks on a warthog. Most crossovers are in some way or another, trying to be a truck. The Juke may be trying to be an alien life form, and that's how it succeeds. And, boy, that must have be a wild night on Alderaan.

The interior's just a bit more recognizably terrestrial. Glossy plastics abound, even where you don't want them, and the door panels get shiny nylon upholstery that may remind you of a carnival stuffed animal. Or a velociraptor. In bright red the Spiderman color scheme works on some cartoonish, instinctual level, but we think most Juke buyers will prefer the somewhat more sedate silver tone.

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