By Aaron Bragman on March 3, 2014
Nissan unveiled an updated version of its controversial Juke subcompact at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show. The diminutive SUV is a best-seller in Europe, its most popular market, but hasn't found much fanfare in the U.S. Nissan hopes this update will allow it to continue its dominance of the premium subcompact category overseas and maybe turn more heads in the U.S.
The new European version maintains the unusual exterior style of the current Juke, while adapting some front and rear styling from the broader look of the Nissan family. The most notable change is new running lights, which look similar to those on the Altima sedan, and are still prominently located in the upper fenders. The large, round headlights are now nestled into a revised grille and lower bumper design.
More prominent taillights seem glued onto the rear fenders. They're a more aggressive design than the current Juke, but no less distinctive and polarizing. Some new wheel designs ranging from 16 to 18 inches have been included, and in Europe, special colored customizing packs will be offered for wheels, side mirrors, side sills, roof spoiler and door handles.
The Juke's sport-bike motorcycle themed interior continues largely unchanged in the new model however.
Three powertrains will be offered in Europe, including a diesel, but that would be unlikely to hit the U.S. New to the Juke is a turbocharged 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine, making about 114 horsepower and 140 pounds-feet of torque. This replaces the non-turbo 1.6-liter base engine in the Juke with a more powerful motor that will get better fuel economy, according to Nissan. Optional will be the 190-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that's been revised to make more torque below 2,000 rpm. As before, transmissions will be a choice of a six-speed manual or Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission with optional all-wheel drive.
The new Juke goes on sale in Europe later this year. There's no word on when it will show up in the States, but it will likely look like this when it does. Click on any image for a larger version.
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron