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2013 Nissan Juke NISMO Review

That was no ordinary Juke waiting for me in the parking lot at Auto123. When I took possession of the fun little toy that is the high-performance 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO, I wondered: Who is it for?

With unique styling and size, the Juke NISMO looks like a cross between a hatchback and a small SUV. In my opinion, buying this vehicle is a prime example of one's emotions throwing virtually all reason out the window.

What is the Nissan Juke NISMO?
Sporty and turbocharged, the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO was tuned by the Japanese automaker's performance division, namely NISsan MOtorsports. Over 100 characteristics were improved, from exterior and interior design to power and handling.

Beyond that, it's still the same funky crossover that desperately wants to catch everyone's attention and make a statement only Nissan can.

2013 Nissan Juke NISMO Prices and Specs
The regular model boasts a 1.6L, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine that produces 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO adds 9 hp and 7 lb-ft, yet averages 10L/100km (on my watch). You can have either front-wheel drive with a 6-speed manual transmission, or all-wheel drive with a CVT.

Exclusive to the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO are 18” aluminum wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, and revised steering for quicker response. The available AWD system includes torque vectoring to further boost handling and safety in all conditions.

My tester had a base price of $24,998. However, with the CVT and AWD, the final tally was $28,478 before tax and other charges.

Driving the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO
Despite the promise of extra performance, don't expect the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO to achieve the same level of handling and excitement as genuine NISMO cars; driving dynamics are much closer to those of a compact SUV.

Unsurprisingly, the CVT proves fairly noisy. On the other hand, the brakes do a great job of cooling off the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO, visibility is good, and the sport seats are fantastic at keeping your body in check.

Inside and Out of the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO
This vehicle is as polarizing as it gets when talking about exterior design; either you absolutely love it or you think it's the ugliest thing around. No matter which side of the fence you're on, you must give credit to the 2013 Nissan Juke for being bold, and damn proud of it.

As for the NISMO edition, the various add-ons produce a recipe that's even harder to digest: the distinctive grille, red mirror caps, thin red stripe along the lower sides panels... there's a whole lot going on! One thing's for sure: The LED-accented headlights make the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO look more modern and sophisticated.

Inside, more passenger room would have been appreciated, especially in the back. The cargo area is also quite small. On the flip side, the front bucket seats are accommodating and comfortable. The 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO further stands out with suede-trimmed seats and steering wheel with contrasting stitching, a red-coloured tachometer, as well as keyless entry with push-button start. There's no denying the sporty character of the interior.

Finally, the touchscreen-based multimedia system with satellite radio isn't the most user-friendly I've seen, in large part due to the small controls. Fortunately, Nissan's voice command system is good at understanding orders and complying with them -- and should serve as a lesson for many companies.

Comparing the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO
Very few vehicles -- if any -- come close to matching the 2013 Nissan Juke's description. One could make a case for the new Subaru XV Crosstrek, which also offers all-wheel drive but slightly more cargo space. However, it's much less powerful and lively than the Juke, let alone the NISMO edition.

Potential Juke buyers may also want to consider hatchbacks such as the Suzuki SX4 and Toyota Matrix, although none of them will make heads turn quite as much as the Juke.



 

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