Words: Carlo G. Tirona
Photos: Randy Silva-Nietto
You’re either going to love it, or hate it. There are no two ways about it. It’s an acquired taste, some would say. The bold and bulbous shape stands out thanks to its more popular colors namely Solar Yellow or Red Alert, as does a confusing array of front headlamps, which will certainly garner a double look from bystanders if not the driver themselves. However, let me make one thing very clear: the last thing the Nissan Juke needs is someone to defend its looks. True to form, this car is built to stand out, and stand out it does, without excuse. The question you might want to ask is if your personality can keep up with the Juke’s.
The Juke is a facelift from the previous model and now sports a new grill, redesigned rear lights, LED daytime running lights that were inspired by the 370Z, and 17-inch wheels. The build quality inside is very good, materials that feel good to the touch and are not sore on the eyes. Overall, the car’s mantra of being built to stand out should be joined with built to last.
Not everything, unfortunately, is all sunshine and rainbows; it does have a few setbacks. The first: boot space is smaller than the competitors in the same category by a margin of 10 liters. That may not count for much if you’re driving solo, but could mean the world if you’re off to a destination with a couple of friends or family. Another, changing the behavior of the powertrain is done via the display panel of the air conditioning system. It is a cool feature, but a driver’s direct view of the console is hampered by both the gearshift and the screen’s low position, making interaction with it dangerous even at low speeds. Which brings me to my next point: power.
The Juke provides you with two very different characteristics for its powertrain. The first is economy. The best way to describe this particular setting is that it is traffic’s best friend. The car’s torque is brought way down and can tiptoe itself when surrounded by the sea of sloths that only Manila can provide. Leave it in this particular mode while on the highway and you can forget about it. It’s like a slow boat to China. Pop the transmission into sport and it’s a whole new ballgame. Noticeably, the transmission will hold a gear and give you at least 500 revolutions per minute more, and pull it certainly does. More than enough to get you noticed by our fine men in uniform governing our highways.
As a package the Nissan Juke exudes a young, sporty and hip lifestyle coupled with a term reserved for cars that provide much less fun: affordability. Locally available at less than a million pesos, the only thing that might stand in your way is choosing which color complements your unique style.
Engine: Inline-4, 1598 cc, dohc 16V, CVT
Max Power: 115 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Max Torque: 118 lb ft @ 4000 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 11.5 sec.
Top Speed: 185 km/h
Fuel Mileage: 16.6 Combined
Price as Tested: PhP 980,000.00
+ Premium build quality, good seat bolsters
– Odd position for driver mode selector, horn doesn’t match car’s personality
C! Editor’s Rating: 9/10