Nissan Juke an antidote for boring

6 November 2012
, CarsGuide
Nissan Juke an antidote for boring
"The Juke will compete with a number of cars, mostly from the small-car and small SUV segment."

The crazy looking crossover is confirmed to slide beneath the family-focussed Dualis with a starting price that Carsguide believes will shimmy below $25,000.

Nissan claims it will provide an antidote to the boring blandness of small-car showrooms, as it has already done in Europe. "Feeback from buyers is that many of the biggest sellers are unoriginal and uninspiring," the managing director of Nissan Australia, Bill Peffer, tells Carsguide. "Many buyers want something a little different."

Peffer is confident the Juke is more than different enough for the job, without sacrificing the practicality promised by its five-door SUV body. "I don't think it's oddball at all. I think it's an exciting car that, like our popular Dualis, will attract many first-time Nissan customers.

"As a crossover it will deliver what small-car buyers want - fuel efficiency, agile handling and compact dimensions - but with more driving fun and more space. "We expect the Juke to be a popular model. If Juke's overseas experience is any indication, small-car buyers seeking something new and original will find the Juke very appealing."

The boxy Soul from Korea is an obvious opponent but Peffer believes the Juke will have plenty of other rivals. "The Juke will compete with a number of cars, mostly from the small-car and small SUV segment."

He avoids any specifics on specification - the Juke is available with four engines including a diesel, as well as front and all-wheel drive - but is happy to hint on pricing without getting into detail. "We've been able to secure the right balance of specification and price. It's too early to reveal any hints about prices but they will be competitive."

But the timing for the Juke is already locked. "At present, production for the first Australia-bound Nissan Dukes is scheduled for quarter three in 2013. So, at this stage, we could have the Juke in Nissan showrooms by the end of next year or the start of 2014."

He is also hoping Nissan Australia will be able to provide a tasty tease with a guest appearance in Australia of the ultimate Juke - the limited-edition Juke-R that's powered by the twin-turbo V6 engine and all-wheel drive package from the Nissan GT-R supercar.

"I'm a car guy. I think a GT-R powered Nissan Juke is a great expression of our brand's excitement so I'm naturally keen to showcase the Juke-R. I'm certain the car-loving Australian public would find it fascinating," Peffer says.

"I can't confirm a Juke-R appearance in Australia but, if we do, then expect me to have the keys first."