This week we had a chance to drive the Nissan Juke, as in Juke Box. And yes, what it is is pretty much a mystery. It’s based on a car, the little Nissan Versa. It looks like a small sports ute, but it’s not really made for going off the tarmac. It has a peppy turbocharged engine, but is fairly top-heavy around a corner.
And it is styled to within an inch of its life.
I mean, I defy you to find a square inch on this vehicle that some stylist hasn’t laid his fingers on. And as far as I can tell, none of them communicated with each other. Whether the result strikes you as quirky, like a Mini Cooper, or just plain goofy like a Pontiac Aztek is a matter of taste.
I can only conclude it is meant for someone a good deal younger than me, which includes most everyone.
Inside, they gang at the Nissan Design Studio pretty much went nuclear as well. Multiple colors and materials all thrown together have one advantage. It will be impossible for you to fall asleep at the wheel.
Under the hood, a turbocharged 1.6-liter four cylinder engine cranks out 188 whole horsepower, enough to take the little dumpling to 60 miles per hour in 7 seconds.
On the road, there’s not a lot of sound deadening, but performance is sprightly. Now you can hit 130 if you dare, but that’s not really what this thing is all about.
Handling is alright, but only just, and if a long trip is in the cards, well, its big brother Altima might be a better choice.
I said earlier, this is a young person’s car. OK, a young person who has $23,000 in his pocket and hasn’t seen any other car on the road.
But then again, that’s the view of a guy who’s first instinct is to tell the Juke to get the heck off my lawn.
Now, I think I need a nap.