One of the funkiest and most fun cars on the market, the Nissan Juke, is getting even more aggressively strange for 2015. Unveiled at the LA auto show, this mid-life refresh of Nissan’s ugly duckling, accentuates the Juke’s unique personality while leaving the basics of the car intact.
All versions of the Juke, with the exception of the NISMO RS hot rod, get an updated version of the previous 1.6-liter four cylinder engine. Power figures remain the same at 188 horsepower and 177 compact and fiery torques. But improved direct injection and continuously variable valve timing offer 1 more mpg in most models, lower emissions, and according to Nissan noticeably improved responsiveness.
The improved engine responsiveness should contribute to the little crossover’s fun loving reputation. For the 2015 model year, buyers can also directly contribute to their car’s unique image with Nissan’s new “Color Studio.”
Color Studio allows buyers to personalize their new Juke’s color pallet. In addition to the standard range of colors, customers can choose to among eight colors on 12 accessories; including everything from the rear spoiler to the wheels themselves. No doubt this will lead to some truly horrible combinations: Black Purple wheels, White Spoiler, and Electric Blue door sills for instance. Yet, even that garish combination perfectly fits with the Juke’s “in your face” image.
The Juke’s interior also gets a workover, especially when it comes to tech. In its new guise the Juke gets access to Nissan’s latest – and greatest – tech package, including the slick NissanConnect system as well as the excellent AroundView overhead backup camera.
Perhaps even better, all Juke’s will now come standard with rear view cameras and keyless entry and go. These additions, along with a low starting price – just $20,250 for the base “S” model – should help keep the Juke extremely appealing to budget minded enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, other than the changes available on the standard models, the extremely fun – and ridiculous – NISMO RS model remains largely unchanged. It keeps the tuned version of the car’s pre facelift 1.6-liter plant, good for up to 215 hp. Also as with last year’s model the excellent manual is only available on front-wheel drive versions of the NISMO RS. Still, given that the Juke NISMO is still a recent innovation, and a very fun one, we can’t complain too much.
In total, Nissan has smartly decided to make the Juke even more Jukey as it enters the second half of its production run. Fortunately they have also thrown in just enough luxuries to make the odd little crossover a semi-practical choice.