2011 Nissan Juke Review

2011 nissan juke review

The Nissan Juke is the latest attempt by an automaker to usurp the Mini Cooper, still the preeminent small urban car. Measuring just 13.5 feet in length, with a total height of just over 5 feet, this sporty and stylish mini-crossover is a blast to drive. And, the curiously responsive 185-horsepower engine provides enough juice for the Juke to make you gasp a little around corners. But the real innovation is that Nissan managed to pack in an engine with 177 lb-ft of torque at around 2,000 – 5,200 RPMs in a small and nimble footprint. For those who prefer the pure thrill of driving over more practical transportation needs, the Juke feels like you’re driving a stock-car at the circus. The only problem: The fun only lasts up until about 45 MPH.

As with any small car, you have to know what you are getting. From the outside, the Juke looks a little odd depending on the angle. From the front, it looks beefy and mean, almost like the close cousin to the Nissan Leaf. Turn to the side, and the Juke takes on a more pronounced small-car look: tall in the front, sloping dramatically to the rear, with a hatchback that’s small enough to be mistaken for a door on other cars. There’s something striking and a bit peculiar about it. During our tests, we had several people stop and ask about the model name. The turn signals, which are located on top of the hood and highly visible when you drive, are also head-turning. Overall, the design borrows a little of the curvatures on the M37x, squishes them down to Mini Cooper size, and then adds some of the Mini Cooper’s flare.

2011 nissan juke review

At a base price of around $18,000, this is a sporty small car that has some interesting innovations, starting with the continuously variable transmission, which makes the car feel like it always has power to spare. The CVT is a relatively rare and currently used only in a handful of cars. A Nissan spokesperson explained how it works:

“We use a unique Continuously Variable Transmission that doesn’t actually have gears. It uses a metal belt between two cone-shaped pulleys to transmit power from the engine to the wheels,” says Colin Pricea Nissan spokesperson. “The pulleys can be continuously varied to adjust the effective gear ratio to achieve the acceleration requested by the driver, so the engine will rev to the optimum point in the torque curve, and the engine control unit will then adjust the transmission’s effective gear ratio to make the request from the driver through the accelerator pedal.”

Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Product Review

Ford’s reincarnated Ranger feels like a car that does everything a truck can do

The 2019 Ford Ranger aims to be a tool for weekend adventures, and goes head-to-head with midsize pickup trucks from Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Ford hasn’t sold the Ranger in the United States since 2011, so it has to make up…
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.
Cars

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.
Cars

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Cars

Lincoln revives its coolest-ever design feature for limited-edition Continental

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Audi’s self-driving car unit teams up with Luminar to go driverless in 2021

Audi's self-driving car unit has teamed up with Luminar to develop and test autonomous technology. Luminar provides its lidar technology, which sees farther than the sensors offered by rivals, while Audi brings its own software.
Cars

Land Rover’s upcoming high-tech Defender will leave last-gen model in the dust

Land Rover is giving the Defender a full reboot. The original SUV was a rugged machine built to go anywhere. Its replacement will tick those boxes, too, but it will add a dose of technology and luxury.
1 of 2