The Juke is an oddity in the Nissan lineup, a small SUV with funky styling and a unique power train.
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Turn signal and parking light casings form a sculptured ridge at the top of the front fenders, a cue that seems to be taken from the Nissan Leaf. The round headlights are an odd counterpoint to the other shapes at the front of the car.
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The 1.6-liter engine benefits from direct injection and turbocharging to make 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.
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The handles for the rear doors are camouflaged by the rear pillars. The front seats are comfortable for two, but the rear seats do not have nearly so much room.
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The Juke can be had in front-wheel drive, as is this one, or with an all-wheel-drive system.
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The rear cargo area is compromised by the rake of the rooflines toward the rear, and how the sides come in from the fenders.
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With the rear seats down, the cargo area opens substantially.
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The cabin of the Juke uses cloth and hard plastics, not deviating from the car's economy segment.
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The Juke uses an electric power-steering system. It felt well-tuned, with resistance toward the lock points.
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Fuel and temperature gauges occupy the small monochrome screen between the tachometer and speedometer.
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The Juke can be had with a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT) in front-wheel-drive versions, while the all-wheel-drive version can only be had with the CVT. Nissan's CVT delivers very good performance, acting like a high-performance transmission in Sport mode.
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The Juke's Bluetooth phone system integrates with a paired phone's contact list, and enables calling by name through voice command.
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The stereo supports iPods, but few other digital audio sources.
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At the bottom of the stack sits this color climate control screen and controls.
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Pushing the D-Mode button turns the climate control screen into a drive mode screen, also affecting the surrounding buttons.
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The Juke's Sport mode sharpens acceleration, tightens the steering, and puts the transmission into a power mode.
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