Juke out of the box

Nis­san’s manic cross­over car is con­firmed for these parts

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

show­rooms, as it has al­ready done in Europe.

Feed­back from buy­ers is that many of the big­gest sell­ers are un­o­rig­i­nal and unin­spir­ing,’’ Nis­san Aus­tralia manag­ing di­rec­tor Bill Pef­fer says. 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 five­door 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,’’ he says. ‘‘ It will de­liver what small-car buy­ers want— fuel ef­fi­ciency, ag­ile han­dling and com­pact di­men­sions— but with more driv­ing fun and more space.

‘‘ 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 ri­val but Pef­fer says the Juke will have plenty of ri­vals ‘‘ mostly from the small car and small SUV seg­ment’’.

The Juke is avail­able with four en­gines in­clud­ing a diesel, and comes in front and all­wheel drive.

‘‘ We’ve been able to se­cure the right bal­ance of spec­i­fi­ca­tion and price,’’ Pef­fer says.

‘‘ It’s too early to re­veal any hints about prices but they will be com­pet­i­tive.’’

But the tim­ing for the Juke is al­ready locked in. ‘‘ Pro­duc­tion for the first Aus­tralia-bound Nis­san Jukes is sched­uled for (the Septem­ber quar­ter) 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,’’ Pef­fer says.

He hopes 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, pro­pelled by the twin-turbo V8 and all-wheel drive pack­age from the Nis­san GT-R su­per­car.

‘‘ I’ma car guy,’’ he says. ‘‘ 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.’’

In­spi­ra­tion: The Juke leads Nis­san’s drive away from dull­ness

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