Saturday, March 24, 2012

REVIEW: 2012 Nissan Juke SV

You get a lot of looks from people when you roll up to a traffic light in the 2012 Nissan Juke. The facial expressions are all the same:  like they’ve sort of seen one of these at a distance, for a fleeting moment, but never up-close until now. 

It’s a memorable expression. 
The Juke is a memorable vehicle.

I’ve had the unique pleasure of driving the Juke SV for the past week. Yeah, that was me, the graphite-blue blur you just nearly saw go past. 

The SV-edition features the I-CON Integrated Control System that enables tweaking of the engine performance and ride suspension through three settings. 
I don’t know how the other two settings work, because I can’t seem to take it out of “sport,” or wipe the smile off my face every time I hit the gas.

Bug's-eye view of those bulbous
signal/front marker light assemblies
Gartner Research compared automobile ownership between today’s 20-somethings and those of yesteryear: 46% would rather have internet access instead of owning their own wheels. Seriously?

Automakers are enlisting the help of MTV and Facebook to reach younger drivers—and potential buyers. All they need to do is put them behind the wheel of one of these for an hour, and then show them where to sign the paperwork. 
Yes, it’s that. much. fun.

The 1.6-L DIG Turbo'd power plant
The Juke SV has a 1.6-L Direct-injection engine, enhanced by a turbo booster, mated to a six-speed manual transmission to drive the front wheels. 

The only criticism I have is that all that torque is felt just a little bit in the steering wheel…I feel like Randy on American Idol telling someone “it’s a little pitchy.”

Okay two things—the back seat and rear door access is not designed for the stiff-limbed or long-legged. But all in all, this is a snappy, tight package offering exhilarating driving bang for a reasonable outlay of bucks. 

The SV edition I’m driving totals $22,015 on the sticker with the manual shift/front wheel drivetrain. It comes in an automatic/AWD version that I’d probably have to take medication for afterwards.

(Go on the video)

 As for the 46% of “yout’s” who’d rather have internet than wheels…youth is wasted on the young.