First Drive: 2011 Nissan Juke

Filed under: Budget, Crossover, Nissan, First Drive

Unlikely Baby Crossover Confounds and Delights

2011 Nissan Juke – Click above for high-res image gallery

Remember the Nissan NX of the mid-’90s? The tiny, econobox-based sportster was as cute as a bug and spent its brief lifespan mixing it up with other long-gone, sporty front-wheel drive affordables like the Mazda MX-3, Honda Civic CRX, Toyota Paseo and even the Hyundai Scoupe. While there were a lot of inexpensive, racy looking coupes back then, most automakers just don’t see any money in that segment anymore. Instead, when they look to spin something off of their entry-level B-class chassis, most veer toward the white-hot crossover segment.

Consider the latest example, Nissan’s 2011 Juke. Come to think of it, this in-your-face city slicker has some startling similarities to the NX. For one, at 162.8 inches long, it’s deceptively small – just 0.4 inches longer than the ’90s coupe. Further, both the Juke and the NX1600 rely on 1.6-liter four-cylinder power. And like the Sentra-based NX, the more emotional Juke is based on the same humble underpinnings that give structure to Nissan’s workaday offerings, in this case, the Versa and Cube. And while the Juke may not be cute as a bug, there’s something downright insectian about its Predator-like mug.

Despite not being a traditional sporty car, Nissan has been talking up its controversially styled mini-ute with many of the same descriptors, so we hopped a plane to Vancouver to see if the Juke could bob and weave its way into our hearts. Follow the jump to find out how it fared.

Gallery: 2011 Nissan Juke: First Drive

Photos copyright (C)2010 Chris Paukert / AOL

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First Drive: 2011 Nissan Juke originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 Aug 2010 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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