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Cool, compact and a cutie, too

Say hello to yellow: The oh-so cute and cool Nissan Juke

There was something special about the Nissan Juke when it was first launch in early 2016. I remember that launch day clearly, the Juke not only caught my eye, but it captured my fancy, too. I guess you could call it love at first sight; after all the Juke is such a cutie, and I would have had to be blind not to have fallen for it.

A little history lesson: First launched in Japan in 2010, the Juke immediately captured the attention of the global automotive scene because of its fun, bold design, and exciting driving performance. In March 2014, with a minor change Nissan Juke was unveiled in the Geneva International Motor Show, bringing an even more refreshed take on the eye-catching vehicle. The minor change model was then brought into the Southeast Asia and was first introduced in Thailand in February 2015. It is no wonder that since then, the Juke has been making its mark in hereabouts.

How can one not be enamored with the Juke? For starters the Nissan Juke combines boldness and excitement, and is Nissan’s answer to the growing local compact crossover segment. But with the Juke, looks are not the only thing, it also showcases the ability to take on daily challenges driving in out oh-so complicated road and traffic conditions.

When the Nissan Juke was launched here in Manila, I remember how badly I wanted to get behind its wheel. Much like a child in a candy store who can’t wait to taste the cutest and yummiest candy available.

I got the chance to take the Juke on a second test drive recently. And, just like the first time, I was not disappointed.

No matter how heavy traffic is, when one is behind a cool set of wheels all the stress of Manila driving takes a backseat and the cool ride takes over.

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The Juke is designed to project an energetic agility, bringing together the toughness of an SUV and dynamism of a compact sports car into one vehicle through Nissan’s Robiotic design concept. Under this, Nissan takes the mechanical (ROBO) and combines it with the living body (BIO) to produce a masculine and agile exterior, and an interior that combines mechanical precision with dynamic movement. The new Nissan Juke’s unique crossover styling gives it a bold, must-not-miss look on the road. And, I have to say that even a year after its launch, folks on the street still give the Juke a once-over when stopped in traffic.

More than a Cutie

From the outside, the Nissan Juke immediately commands attention because of its boomerang LED combination lamps set high upon the hood, complementing the large round headlamps. Nissan’s signature V-grille, coupled with an under guard intake, further enhance the sportiness of the new Nissan Juke’s exterior.

And then of there are the front pillars which open up to a large windshield area for perfect all-around visibility, while a sloped rear roofline combines with its muscular lower body sides to emphasize its strength and sportiness. Embedded rear door handles in the rear pillars recall the design of a two-door sports coupe. On the ground, 17-inch alloy wheels gives added boldness and power to the new Nissan Juke’s overall design. Together, these elements add to the aerodynamics of the new Nissan Juke for an enhanced driving experience.

As the ever slow and grinding traffic on EDSA started to move, I shifted my focus to the cockpit inside. I really love the radical character lines and hooded gauges on the center console, which add to the vehicle’s bold nature. Sport-bolster driver and passenger seats, which keep the rider’s body in place when in motion and a diving fin inspired door trim design, add to the new Nissan Juke’s sporty personality.

The new Nissan Juke’s also offers enough space for five passengers to fit in comfortably. A fold-down 60/40-split bench rear seat and flat load floor can be configured as needed in order to accommodate groceries, sports gear, luggage or people.

If it sound like I totally the adore the interiors of the Juke — I do.  The Nissan Juke features the new intelligent control display called the Integrated Control System (I-CON). This versatile, multi-colored system allows drivers to change the drive and climate modes at a touch.

Today, I had set my driving just up and down C5 and to the end of SLEX. It was a weekday and I wanted to make sure that I made it back to Pasig before the afternoon traffic build up.

Just drive: The cockpit of the Juke

As I headed towards C5, I liked the way the engine sounded and how well the Juke handled as I drove out of EDSA. An engine sound that calls me to drive on, drive further.

The Nissan Juke also features the new intelligent control display called the Integrated Control System (I-CON). This versatile, multi-colored system allows drivers to change the drive and climate modes at a touch.

As I fiddled more with the controls of the Juke and made myself familiar with the best way to drive it, I began to appreciate just what lies under the hood of the Juke. 

I noticed that on Drive mode, the I-CON system offers three different settings: Normal, Sport and Eco.

I tried each mode. The Normal mode combines performance and efficiency, best suited for everyday driving, while Sport mode delivers more power for a more agile and responsive drive. Finally, Eco mode maximizes the vehicles fuel efficiency.

For this drive, I had opted for the Sport Mode as I wanted to get the best performance from the Juke as I drove down SLEX. The Juke did not disappoint, and whether I was overtaking the slower moving vehicles on SLEX or just picking up speed up the Sta. Rosa road towards Nuvali, where I had planned to have a quick lunch.

Of course, the I-CON also toggled the controls in Climate mode, with the display panel showing the interior temperature settings and air flow preferences. This allowed me to keep the inside temperature as cool as I wanted when I wanted it. 

The Juke’s 1.6L DOHC gasoline engine and its new-generation Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) made driving the Juke truly fun.

I arrived at Nuvali hungry and ready for a quick lunch. It was a cloudy day, and now matter the dampness of the day, I was a happy camper as I jumped off the Juke.

Lunch over, time to head home.

The Juke got me back to Pasig in a little over an hour — the traffic gods were kind as they held off the afternoon rush for me.

Inside the Juke I had a fuzzy warm feeling; much like the feeling I had when I was a child and I got my fave candy at the store.

Well, the Juke is way too cool for just one short drive.

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