The 2014 Nissan Juke is offered in S, SV, SL and Nismo models. The Juke is powered by a turbocharged, direct-injected 1.6L 4-cylinder engine that makes 188 horsepower in S, SV and SL models, or 197 hp in the Juke Nismo. It's mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) in most models of the lineup, although a manual gearbox is available in front-wheel-drive versions of the SV and Nismo.
Each of the models in the lineup can be equipped with all-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive versions of the Juke include torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive hardware that normally sends torque equally between the front and rear wheels and can also send more of it to one of the rear wheels than the other--resulting in capable all-weather traction plus some lively driving dynamics on curvy, dry roads, too.
Inside, the driver has access to a small control screen called the Integrated Control (I-CON) system, where can be accessed climate-control functions but perhaps more importantly, one of three different driving modes--Normal, Eco and Sport can be selected. Throttle sensitivity, transmission shifting behavior and steering feel vary significantly. Sport mode helps allow the most enjoyment of the Juke's well-tuned suspension and all-wheel drive system.
Fundamentally, the Juke is laid out like an economical small car, with a front strut setup and a precise, quick-ratio rack-and-pinion steering system with electric boost. All-wheel drive models get a fully independent setup in back, while front-wheel-drive models have a torsion-beam rear (which makes room for rear underfloor storage). Nismo models make the most of it with a lowered suspension including springs that are ten percent stiffer than those used in the rest of the lineup, as well as wider performance tires.
Appearance-wise, Nismo models also differ from the rest of the lineup with their red gauge faces, sport seats with red stitching and leather-and-suede steering wheel.
Standard features on the Juke include a 6-way manual driver's seat and 4-way manual front passenger seat, power door locks, Bluetooth hands-free calling, an iPod interface and a CD audio system with steering-wheel controls. SV models step up to satellite radio compatibility, upgraded cloth upholstery, the I-CON system, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a few other items, while SL models get an upgraded Rockford Fosgate sound system with subwoofer, USB connectivity and a navigation system with real-time NavTraffic information.
Factory options are limited to three packages. SV and Nismo models can be upgraded with a Navigation Package, while S, SV and SL can gain some of the performance-oriented appearance of the Nismo with the Sport Package. A Midnight Edition appearance package includes black 10-spoke wheels with mirror caps and a black spoiler. Standalone options include several wheel upgrades, a stainless steel exhaust finisher, a center armrest and illuminated kick plates.
The quirky Juke and performance-oriented Juke Nismo carry into 2014 essentially unchanged. Two new exterior colors--Red Alert and Bordeaux Black--have been added to the palette for 2014, while Metallic Bronze has been dropped.