Don't spend too much time looking at photos of the 2020 Nissan Juke. It looks way better than the original Juke that left our shores two years ago, and the new one's not coming here. That's right. We're cursed with the somnambulic Nissan Kicks that was supposed to be more appealing to the mainstream. Funny thing is we haven't seen a single Kicks driving around the Chicago area while old Jukes still roam. Meanwhile, the new Juke will be sold pretty much everywhere else but the states. Great. Just great.
The new Juke keeps the same bug-eyed headlights that now are ovular instead of circular. The rear C-pillar door handles are also still there. The contrast colored roof also carries over, which provides personality to the already unique Juke. We like the new taillights, though they are more conventional horizontal units compared to the old L-shaped versions. The front haunches are less dramatic, but the overall body creasing has been elevated and refined. The new Juke is slightly larger than the old model, as well. Overall space inside is bigger, and there's also more usable cargo space (a 20% increase).
Nissan claims the 2020 Juke is 51 pounds lighter than the last one. The bad part about the new Juke is the dearth of power. The engine is now a 115-hp 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo compared to the old 188-hp 1.6-liter turbo in the original Juke. At the very least, buyers can get a six-speed manual transmission, so the power can be exploited. The automatic transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch unit.
The new Juke will get more safety features that include automated emergency braking, traffic-sign recognition, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. The Juke will get available ProPilot which is semi-autonomous and can maintain speed and lane centering with minimal driver input. The interior of the new Juke is still very sporty but gets totally reworked. Gone is the shiny, amorphous center console and the thick center stack.
The infotainment system sits atop the dash now instead of inside it, and there are three new circular HVAC vents in the middle to match the outboard ones. The steering wheel now has a flat bottom, its hub is smaller, and the spokes are now thinner. Contrasting trim colors are also more prominent on the dash and seat trim.
There's no word about whether or not we'll get the new Juke someday. That's too bad because it looks better than ever and would sell in great quantities (if it had more than 115 hp) than the last one because it is more mainstream without losing that unique Juke flavor. Let's hope it gets more juice, and Nissan changes their mind about bringing it to our shores.