Nissan's new Juke compact SUV heralds a new segment in the automotive world, with entrants from BMW and Mini soon following. The Juke has the dimensions of a typical compact hatchback, but sits up high, and also comes with all-wheel-drive.

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The styling of the Juke is unique. The front end uses round headlights set low, and larger turn signal jewelry molded onto the top of the fenders. The fenders are exaggerated, and the cab looks squashed in the middle.

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The engine is particularly advanced, a direct-injection turbocharged 1.6-liter four cylinder. Although small in displacement, this engine produces 188 horsepower.

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The Juke is a five-seater, although the back seat feels cramped. The rear doors open with handles in the C-pillar.

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The ride quality tends toward the rigid in the Juke, which helps it maintain stability in cornering. Nissan makes an all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring available for the Juke.

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As a hatchback, there is a reasonable amount of cargo space in back.

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The cargo space is increased considerably with the rear seats down.

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Although not luxurious, the cabin of the Juke looks quite nice. There are quality materials on high-touch surfaces. The navigation unit is only available at the top trim.

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The steering uses an electric power unit, and Nissan has two different programs for it. Normal is fine for everyday driving, while the sport mode tightens up the response.

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Nissan uses analog gauges for the tachometer and speedometer, and virtual gauges on the display in the center for fuel level and temperature.

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In front-wheel-drive versions, the Juke comes with a six-speed manual transmission. All-wheel-drive Jukes come standard with a continuously variable transmission.

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Buttons on the steering wheel control the stereo and the voice-command Bluetooth phone system.

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A small LCD at the bottom of the stack lets you access climate control or D-Mode, which sets the different drive modes.

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In normal drive mode, the display shows a torque graph. In sport, it shows the amount of turbo boost.

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You can also look at a g-force meter, which shows lateral and longitudinal force.

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The stereo in the Juke includes iPod integration, but the interface is not very good for browsing an iPod library.

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A Bluetooth phone system is standard, but it is a bit behind the times, as it doesn't offer voice command over a paired phone's contact list.

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