The Nissan Juke is a cult classic, a quirky mutant boxcar that was part frog, part hot hatch. None other than Chris Bangle, in conversation with CDN back in 2014, noted that the Juke seem to break every rule of Car Design – and yet that seemed to be part of its gonzo charm and popularity with young buyers.
Alas, all gone now..
Nissan announced a North American version of its compact SUV, the Kicks, here in Los Angeles. It will go on sale in the Spring of 2018. Slotted both in size and market segment just below the Rogue, it is aimed at the young urban buyer market – those who need some extra room and functionality in a compact city car.
The styling borrows heavily from other Nissan offerings – the V-motion grille, the broken C-pillar, blacked-out roof, etc etc. It also references its Brazilian concept predecessor, also named Kicks. All this brings it closer to the Nissan brief as the line goes forward. No more black sheep Jukes with their cheeky attitude lurking around Nissan’s dealerships.
The interior appointments are nice for its class, and some design cues from larger Nissans have trickled down into the interior. There’s room for four in reasonable comfort. Safety features like automated braking and forward collision warning come as standard, and other safety/warning systems are available at higher trim levels.
All in all, the Kicks should be a capable and cute addition to Nissan’s lineup and calls into question whether small cars like the Versa are even needed. But we will miss the attitude and fun of the Juke.