Nissan Juke forges new car tech in the compact set

The funny-looking little Juke is pretty mediocre in its cabin electronics, but its running gear offers versatility unavailable in other cars of this class.

2012 Nissan Juke
Josh Miller/CNET

Some compact cars offer Eco buttons and fewer have Sport modes. The Juke not only has both, but makes these settings more comprehensive than any other car in its class.

The car's D-Mode (which does a very techie-cool swap with the climate controls) includes a color display that shows the different features for each setting. For example, Eco mode not only detunes the throttle, but runs the air conditioning on lower power. Sport mode affects not only the engine and transmission, but also the power steering.

These D-Mode settings are made possible in part by the Juke's advanced running gear, a small-displacement turbocharged engine, electric power steering, and a continuously variable transmission, that last piece being a bit of Nissan perfection.

In comparison with the performance tech, the cabin electronics were old hat, with a stereo and Bluetooth phone system that might have been cutting-edge five years ago.

Check out CNET's review of the 2012 Nissan Juke.

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