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2017 Nissan Juke: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader January 2017

As compact crossovers continue to grow in popularity, many automakers are scrambling to bring innovative new products to market. Luckily for Nissan, it already has a well-established player in the field, one that continues to set the bar for styling and performance. The 2017 Nissan JUKE combines quirky styling and a powerful turbocharged engine in a small but versatile crossover SUV perfect for cramped urban confines. Toss in the option of all-wheel drive and the JUKE becomes a year-round go-kart undeterred by snow-covered thoroughfares. Add a nice dose of cutting-edge electronic features, as well as the performance-oriented NISMO and NISMO RS models, and the JUKE's appeal becomes nearly irresistible to people of all ages.

For those who appreciate the JUKE's qualities, there's one more that may help seal the deal: affordability. The JUKE has a base price that starts at around $21,000, which is lower than that of most small crossovers and a bargain for all the model has to offer.

What's New for 2017?

New for 2017 are updated 17-inch alloy wheels on SV and SL grades. The SV adds heated cloth seats and side mirrors to its list of standard equipment.

What We Like

Quick-footed handling; responsive engine; available all-wheel drive; comfortable seats; custom personalization program

What We Don't

Limited cargo space; some cheap interior materials; lack of rear-seat headroom; love-it-or-hate-it styling; ride can be rough

How Much?

$21,190-$31,500

Fuel Economy

The 2017 Nissan JUKE and JUKE NISMO are fitted with a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine. Output is 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. On the high-performance NISMO RS model, horsepower jumps to 215, with 210 lb-ft of torque. Energy is channeled to the front wheels by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The JUKE also offers a 6-speed manual transmission, but only on front-drive NISMO trims. All-wheel-drive (AWD) models are only available with the CVT automatic.

The Environmental Protection Agency's fuel economy estimates for the front-wheel-drive JUKE are 28 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The AWD JUKE's fuel economy ratings are 26 mpg city/30 mpg hwy. The front-drive NISMO is offered only with the 6-speed manual and earns 27 mpg city/33 mpg hwy. The AWD NISMO comes only with the CVT automatic and earns 26 mpg city/30 mpg hwy. The NISMO RS earns 27 mpg city/31 mpg hwy with the manual and front-wheel drive, while the AWD NISMO RS with the CVT earns an estimated 25 mpg city/29 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

Nissan offers five trim levels for the 2017 JUKE: S, SV, NISMO, SL and NISMO RS. All-wheel drive is available on all trims.

The JUKE S ($21,190) includes a CVT automatic, power windows, locks and mirrors, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary input port, a rearview camera, Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start, Bluetooth, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, Siri Eyes Free, a trip computer and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The JUKE SV ($23,490) adds premium fabric, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, the Integrated Control (I-CON) multifunction controller, automatic climate control, USB/iPod control, a power sunroof, rear privacy glass and SiriusXM radio.

The JUKE SL ($26,180) is loaded with navigation radio, NissanConnect with mobile apps, Rockford Fosgate ecoPUNCH audio with a powered subwoofer, Nissan's Around View Monitor with moving-object detection, leather upholstery, heated front seats, fog lights and auto-on/off headlights.

The JUKE NISMO ($25,770) adds sport tuning for the suspension and steering, a lowered ride height, 18-in wheels and unique NISMO exterior and interior treatments. Also standard are navigation, NissanConnnect with mobile apps, Rockford Fosgate ecoPUNCH audio and the Around View Monitor with moving-object detection.

The JUKE NISMO RS ($28,960) brings a more powerful engine, a limited-slip rear differential (for manual models) and sport brakes.

All-wheel drive adds about $1,850 to the bottom line. The Tech package (navigation, Rockford Fosgate audio and the Around View Monitor with moving-object detection) can be added to the SV trim, as can the Black Pearl Edition by Color Studio.

Safety

Standard safety features for the JUKE include anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, active front head restraints and six airbags (front, side and head-curtain).

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the government gave the 2017 Nissan JUKE four out of five stars overall, with three stars for the front-end crash test, five stars for the side-impact test and four stars for the rollover test.

The JUKE earned the highest crash-test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in all but the small-overlap front crash test, in which it received a Poor rating.

Behind the Wheel

The JUKE's turbocharged engine delivers a healthy dose of exhilaration. Both off the line and in midsprint, this energetic little hatchback has plenty of get-up-and-go power. Passing other cars is especially fun, as the drivers you overtake are sure to give the JUKE a look that says, "What in the world is that thing?"

To customize the driving experience, Nissan equips the JUKE with its I-CON System, which allows the driver to choose from three operating modes: Normal, Sport and Eco. Each mode alters throttle response, steering speed and transmission settings based on your preferred driving style.

The JUKE is an agile handler, benefiting from a precise steering system and a firm suspension. It's particularly nimble in corners, remaining stable and well planted even at higher speeds. And like most good sports cars, its performance seems to tighten up more as it's pushed harder. Add all-wheel drive and the JUKE becomes a capable 4-season vehicle. When there's no snow or mud to tread through, you can apply the all-wheel drive to a performance-oriented drive on a curvy country road.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Kia Soul -- The front-drive-only Kia Soul offers more cargo-carrying capacity and an available 201-hp turbocharged engine. Both vehicles have a descending roofline that compromises rear-seat headroom.

2017 MINI Countryman -- The JUKE and the Countryman are comparable in performance, but the Countryman is more expensive and has a smaller dealer network.

2017 Honda HR-V -- The HR-V lacks the JUKE's turbocharged engine and bold styling, but it offers better fuel economy in a more versatile and roomy package.

Used Subaru WRX -- A Subaru WRX offers more power, excellent handling and standard all-wheel drive with a manual transmission. There's also more interior room, although the audio and navigation systems are inferior to the JUKE's offerings.

Autotrader's Advice

The midlevel 2017 Nissan JUKE SV makes the most sense to us. You'll get a nice array of features without paying the premium the up-level SL requires. If you can swing the extra $1,500, we recommend that you add the optional Tech package, too. For those living in colder climates, all-wheel drive is suggested.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Nissan Juke: New Car Review - Autotrader