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by Tim Beissmann

The Nissan Juke is now on sale in Australia, targeting buyers in the rapidly expanding compact SUV market with standout styling and a sharp $21,990 starting price.

The Juke’s belated Australian arrival comes more than three and a half years after the quirky crossover – which shares its platform with the discontinued Tiida – debuted at the 2010 Geneva motor show, and around 18 months after Nissan Australia made the call to bring it here.

The UK-built Nissan Juke launches with two 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engines (one naturally aspirated, one turbocharged), three transmissions (five- and six-speed manuals and an automatic CVT), two drive modes (front- and all-wheel drive), and three model grades (ST, ST-S and Ti-S).

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The Juke ST is the sole variant equipped with the non-turbo motor, which produces 86kW of power at 6000rpm and 158Nm of torque at 4000rpm. The five-speed manual version is priced from $21,990 while the optional CVT costs $24,390. Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 6.0 and 6.3 litres per 100km respectively.

Standard in the Nissan Juke ST are 17-inch alloy wheels; fog lights; Dynamic Control System with Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes; cruise control; climate control; tilt- (but not reach-) adjustable steering wheel; leather-accented steering wheel; and a four-speaker audio system with USB input and Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming.

The mid-spec Juke ST-S benefits from the turbo engine from the Pulsar SSS. It produces an extra 54kW and 82Nm than the base motor for peak outputs of 140kW at 5600rpm and 240Nm at 2000-5200rpm. It is paired exclusively with a six-speed manual in the $28,390 ST-S, and consumes a claimed 6.9L/100km combined.

Additional features over the entry-level ST include auto headlights and wipers, auto-folding door mirrors, keyless entry and push-button start, five-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and rear-view camera, and an upgraded six-speaker audio system.

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The flagship $32,190 Juke Ti-S is also offered in one equipment level, pairing the same turbocharged engine with a CVT with manual shift mode and a selectable torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. The Ti-S is unsurprisingly the heaviest of the trio, weighing in at 1374kg (ST: 1166-1191kg, ST-S: 1249kg), and the thirstiest, consuming 7.4L/100km combined.

The Nissan Juke Ti-S also gains leather upholstery and front seat heaters over the ST-S, as well as multi-link rear suspension rather than the torsion beam set-up of the front-drive models.

Awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating earlier this month, the Nissan Juke comes standard with electronic stability control, six airbags (dual front, side and curtains), and a host of other active and passive systems and features.

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Nissan Australia won’t reveal its sales targets for the Juke, although admits it will be a niche product rather than a volume seller like fellow compact SUV, the Dualis (to be replaced in late 2014 by the Qashqai).

It also says it’s uncertain at this stage which variant will be the volume seller, highlighting the sharp pricing of the base model and the value of the turbo models.

Nissan Australia executive general manager of marketing Peter Clissold says the local division expects the Juke to attract buyers that would never previously have considered the brand, including first-time new-car buyers in their 20s, middle-aged women looking for something exciting and different, and many in between.

CarAdvice attended the launch of the Nissan Juke in Melbourne this week. Stay tuned for our review when the embargo lifts on October 24.

 

Nissan Juke manufacturer’s list prices:

  • ST 2WD manual – $21,990
  • ST 2WD CVT – $24,390
  • ST-S 2WD manual – $28,390
  • Ti-S AWD CVT – $32,190



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