Nissan added the performance-oriented Juke Nismo version to the lineup of its cool subcompact crossover four years ago, and for 2017 there are two versions available, the regular Nismo and the even-sportier Nismo RS, which has additional power.
Both can be equipped with either front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual transmission, or all-wheel drive with the special Nismo-tuned Xtronic continuously variable automatic.
Three non-Nismo Juke models are offered for 2017: the base S ($20,250 for front drive; $22,100 for all-wheel drive); mid-level SV ($22,550 and $24,400); and top-end SL ($25,240 and $26,940), all plus $940 freight.
For 2017, the base front-wheel-drive Nismo version starts at $24,830 (plus $940 freight), and an all-wheel-drive base model, with a sport-tuned continuously variable automatic transmission, for $27,230.
Both of these come with the same turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder found in the regular Juke models, cranking out 188 horsepower and 177 foot-pounds of torque.
At the top of the Nismo line are the RS front-drive with manual, for $28,020 – the one we tested for this report – and the all-wheel-drive RS with the CVT, for $30,020.
The RS models come with a version of the 1.6-liter turbo that kicks up the front-drive version to 215 horsepower and 210 foot-pounds of torque; and the all-wheel drive to 211 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque.
RS versions come with a 9.5-1 compression ratio and require unleaded premium fuel, while the base Nismo models have a 10.5-1 compression ratio, and premium fuel is only recommended, not required.
The Nismo models are track-inspired variations of the Juke, designed to give this already fun little vehicle some key performance upgrades and unique styling cues.
Clearly, the Juke has somewhat of a polarizing design that most people either like or not, so it’s not for everyone – the target audience actually is young men. But whatever your age or sex, once you get behind the wheel – especially if you’re a car person – you’ll most likely appreciate the Juke.
That goes double for the Nismo Juke, which is a product of Nissan’s performance division – similar to the Chrysler SRT and Toyota TRD teams. The Nismo name is derived from NISssan MOtorsports, and until the Juke arrived, was reserved for more-expensive, advanced vehicles designed specifically with the track in mind. There now is even a Sentra Nismo compact sedan available for 2017.
With either Juke Nismo variation, the manual transmission is available only with front-wheel drive, and the CVT only with all-wheel drive.
The Juke already was a pocket rocket, with the direct-injection aluminum-alloy turbocharged engine. But the RS certainly kicks that up a notch.
Another benefit is the Juke’s great fuel economy, even with the higher-output engine. This is an efficient four-cylinder engine, not a Hemi V-8. EPA ratings for the RS front-drive model are 25 mpg city/31 highway/27 combined. But I can’t guarantee you’ll do that well if you’re driving this little car with gusto, as it almost demands to be.
Base Nismo front-drive models have EPA ratings of 27 mpg city/33 highway/29 combined.
Both models come with projector-beam headlights, LED signature accent lights, and Nissan’s cool Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. Special features for both versions include 18-inch Nismo aluminum-alloy wheels, Nismo bodywork with red exterior accents, and a racing-inspired interior.
Additionally, our Nismo RS came with Recaro front bucket seats with red leather side bolsters and black suede center inserts. These heavily bolstered seats are designed to help hold the driver and front passenger in place during spirited driving, but can be annoying if you have a wide rear end. They also have embossed Recaro and stitched Nismo logos, as well as red stitching.
The driver’s seat was comfortable, even with those high bolsters. But they did get in the way a bit as I was trying to exit the vehicle.
Other special touches included the RS logo on the speedometer, and a charcoal gray suede meter hood on top of the dash, with red stitching. There is carbon fiber trim around the center stack and shifter, and red stitching in the rear seats.
As for performance upgrades, besides the different engine, the Nismo RS comes with unique suspension, steering and brake tuning, along with a helical-geared limited-slip differential on the front-drive model. In addition, the RS suspension and steering have been specially tuned for crisper handling.
The tester had the Brilliant Silver exterior color. Other available colors include Super Black and White Pearl. There were dark red outside mirrors and a matching stripe around the base of the vehicle.
Nismo’s dark-smoke interior has other special touches, as well, such as unique instruments (including a red tachometer), steering wheel, shifter knob, pedals and trim.
The seats have red stitching that’s the same color as the exterior striping, and that same stitching carries over to the Alcantara leather steering wheel. There is a black headliner; no sunroof is offered. There is also a glossy Piano Black trim around the heating/air conditioning and audio controls.
Rubber pedals have been replaced with metallic, and the seatbacks have Nismo labels. Also standard are privacy glass, Nissan’s intelligent key with pushbutton start, and automatic climate control.
The suspension has been lowered slightly for improved looks and aerodynamics. The speed-sensing electric power steering has been tweaked as well, for “sportier and more-direct handling,” Nissan said.
Braking is superb in the Nismo. Standard are four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. Combined with the responsive steering, impressive turbo-boosted acceleration, tight suspension and short-throw shifter, this vehicle performed flawlessly, and curvy country roads were great fun with the Nismo.
While front drive is the standard mode, the optional all-wheel drive can split torque 50/50 from front to rear – with up to half of the torque going to either of the rear wheels.
The Juke already was the most-fun car in its class, except maybe for the MazdaSpeed3, but the Nismo tweaks bumped it up a notch. But Nismo or not, the Juke is a good answer to small-car boredom.
My RS test vehicle included some no-cost extras, such as an in-dash audio/navigation system with 5.8-inch color touch screen, satellite radio, cargo-area subwoofer, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio connections, and NissanConnect with mobile apps.
Juke’s rear hatch lifts up in one piece, and the rear seatback has a 60/40 split-folding feature. With the rear seat folded, the cargo area has nearly 40 cubic feet of space; with the seat up, there is 10.5 cubic feet of storage.
With the seatback down, there is a flat load floor from the tailgate to the front seats. But there is also covered storage under the rear cargo floor on the front-wheel-drive models.
Turn signals are built into the flared front fenders, and the exterior also features a high beltline and a roofline that is more like that of a sport coupe than an SUV. Also included are disguised rear door handles.
Among standard safety features are electronic stability control with traction control, all-season tires, speed-sensitive electric power steering, and four-wheel antilock power disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
Also included are front seat-mounted side air bags, roof-mounted side-curtain air bags in both rows, tire-pressure monitoring, and the LATCH child-seat anchoring system.
The interior was actually roomy enough for five people, but more comfortable for four. There was even decent rear-seat legroom for average-size people or kids/teens, but larger adults might feel cramped.
Our RS front-drive tester had the base price of $28,020, and the only options were carpeted floor mats ($220), and a center armrest ($250). Total sticker price, including freight and options, was $29,430.
2017 Nissan Juke Nismo
The package: Performance-oriented, five-door, five-passenger, front- or all-wheel-drive, turbocharged four-cylinder, subcompact crossover utility vehicle.
Advantages: The special Nismo versions of Nissan’s sporty junior-size crossover, designed with the driver in mind, have turbocharged performance and great road handling. The Nismo RS upgrade is an attractive package with lots of standard amenities at reasonable prices.
Engine: Turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (two versions, base Nismo and Nismo RS).
Transmission: Six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic.
Power/torque: 188 HP./177 foot-pounds (base); 215 HP./210 foot-pounds (Nismo RS front-drive); 211 HP./184 foot-pounds (RS, all-wheel drive).
Length: 163.8 inches.
Curb weight range: 2,950-3,203 pounds.
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.
Side air bags: Front seat-mounted; side-curtain for both rows.
Electronic stability control: Standard.
Cargo volume: 10.5 cubic feet (behind 2nd seat); 35.9 cubic feet (rear seat folded).
Fuel capacity/type: 13.2 gallons/unleaded premium recommended but not required (base, front drive); 11.8 gallons, unleaded premium recommended but not required (base, AWD); 13.2 gallons, premium unleaded (RS, front drive); 11.8 gallons, premium unleaded (RS, AWD).
Source : www.blog.mysanantonio.com