Nissan Juke Nismo RS Review: Hot Cross Fun

juke nismo rs

When Nissan launched the Juke in 2010, reactions were mixed. While some in the automotive press were not impressed with its unconventional design, the public responded positively, making the Juke a success and a defining vehicle in its segment. Now, with news of the Juke being replaced, we wanted to take a closer look at the range-topping Nismo RS model.

Umm… eww?

The Juke’s unique styling has always been a talking point, and it continues to be with the Nismo RS. While some car enthusiasts may find the design divisive, the fact remains that the Juke’s distinctiveness has set it apart from its competitors. Despite being around for seven years, the Juke has consistently attracted buyers who appreciate its unconventional looks. The upcoming replacement, the Nissan Kicks, has already faced criticism for its more conservative design.

Okay, so what’s special about the Nismo?

Nismo stands for NISsan MOtorsport, and while the Juke Nismo RS is not a race car, it is a sportier version of the regular Juke. With a power output of around 220hp, it offers significantly more performance than the base model. The Nismo RS features a larger braking system, a mechanical limited-slip differential, and stiffer suspension. It also sports Nismo badging and a distinctive color palette with pearlescent white or black with red accents.

Nissan Juke Nismo RS Review: Hot Cross Fun

Pretty sporty then?

Indeed, the Nismo RS model is the opposite of its regular Juke counterpart in terms of performance. While the regular Juke is responsive but lacking in power, the Nismo RS offers hot hatch-like acceleration. It is capable of reaching 0-60mph in under seven seconds, and its exhaust note adds to the overall driving experience. However, the Nismo RS’s firm suspension setup may be less comfortable for longer journeys.

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Any better on the inside?

The Juke’s interior has always been a point of praise. The cabin features a distinctive center console design resembling a motorcycle seat and fuel tank, adding character to the overall look and feel. The Nismo RS model stands out with suede upholstery, contrast stitching, and Nismo red accents. The infotainment system, although a bit outdated, includes navigation and Bluetooth connectivity. The cabin layout suits the driver and offers a pleasant driving experience.

Nissan Juke Nismo RS Review: Hot Cross Fun

Who would buy it then?

The Juke Nismo RS appeals to both crossover and hot hatch enthusiasts. It combines the high driving position and roofline of a crossover with the performance of a hot hatch. With its unique position in the market, it has a wide appeal and is likely to attract buyers who appreciate its distinctive looks and performance.

Anything they’d look at instead?

Direct rivals for the Juke Nismo RS are hard to find, as very few vehicles of similar size offer the same level of performance. In terms of hot hatches, the Renaultsport Clio, Peugeot 208 GTI, and Vauxhall/Opel Corsa VXR/OPC are some alternatives. As for crossovers, the Mazda CX-3 is the closest competitor in terms of performance.

Nissan Juke Nismo RS Review: Hot Cross Fun

What’s the conclusion?

The Juke Nismo RS is a unique combination of two popular automotive segments: crossovers and hot hatches. It offers a distinctive interior, standout design, and impressive performance. However, its handling can be underwhelming, and its fuel economy and small fuel tank may pose challenges for daily use. While there are better crossovers and hot hatches available, the Juke Nismo RS still holds appeal for those who appreciate its individuality. As the Juke is nearing the end of its production, it may even become a cult classic in the future.

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Verdict:

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FAQs

  1. Is the Nissan Juke Nismo RS a race car?
    No, the Nismo RS is a performance version of the regular Juke, developed by Nissan’s motorsports arm, Nismo.

  2. How does the Nismo RS compare to the regular Juke in terms of performance?
    The Nismo RS offers significantly more power, with around 220hp compared to the regular Juke’s 100hp.

  3. How does the Nismo RS handle compared to the regular Juke?
    The Nismo RS has a firmer suspension setup, which provides a sportier driving experience but may be less comfortable on longer journeys.

  4. Are there any alternatives to the Juke Nismo RS?
    In terms of hot hatches, the Renaultsport Clio, Peugeot 208 GTI, and Vauxhall/Opel Corsa VXR/OPC are some alternatives. The Mazda CX-3 offers similar performance among crossovers.

  5. Is the Juke Nismo RS a practical daily driver?
    While the Juke Nismo RS offers crossover practicality, its fuel economy and small fuel tank may require more frequent refueling, which could be a consideration for daily use.