LOS ANGELES – While Mazda and Honda are debuting their first small CUVs here at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show, Nissan is showing a refreshed version of its 4-year-old Juke.
The Juke went on sale in the U.S. in 2010 as an ’11 and receives various enhancements for the ’15 model year, including better fuel economy thanks to the second generation of Nissan’s 1.6L direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cyl.
The engine still makes 188 hp and 177 lb.-ft. (244 Nm) of torque but has several updates, including a higher compression ratio (10.5:1 vs. 9.5:1), “reduction in turbocharger inertia,” with a lower maximum torque peak (1,600 rpm vs. 2,000 rpm); and the addition of a low-pressure exhaust-gas-recirculation system, the latter lowering exhaust-gas temperature and improving knock sensitivity, Nissan says.
There’s also 12% less internal friction thanks to spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores, limiting knock and engine weight vs. the previous iron liners, Nissan says.
Additionally, a variable-pressure oil pump, revised piston shape and optimized injector performance help contribute to the 12% reduction in CO2 emissions from ’14 to ’15 for the Juke.
Fuel economy rises by 1 mpg (0.4 km/L) in Juke front-wheel-drive models in city and combined driving, with the model now hitting 28 mpg and 30 mpg (8.4 and 7.8 L/100 km), respectively.
In all-wheel-drive Jukes, fuel economy is up by 1 mpg in city, highway and combined driving, to 26/31/28 (9.0/7.6/8.4 L/100 km).
A unique introduction for the ’15 Juke is the ability for owners to personalize the exterior and interior of their model via the Juke Color Studio program.
Accents, possibly mimicking a Juke owner’s favorite sports team, can be applied to various exterior points, including outside rearview mirror caps, side sill and door handles.
Inside the car, red, yellow, orange, white, electric blue, black purple, matte black, carbon-fiber look, or white accents can be added to heater vents and other elements, Nissan says.
Color Studio accessories will be sold and installed at Nissan dealers, with buyers having the ability to wrap the costs in monthly loan or lease payments.
The Juke design changes for ’15 including an updated front fascia with projector-beam headlamps, LED accent lamps, a grille incorporating Nissan’s new V-Motion appearance, and thicker trim below the bumper.
The rear fascia is shaped “more aggressively,” Nissan says, with a look matching the Juke’s tweaked boomerang taillights.
Added content standard across all grades of the ’15 Juke include integrated LED turn-signal repeaters on side mirrors, standard intelligent key with push-button start, a rearview monitor, NissanConnect infotainment system with a 5-in. (13-cm) color display and USB port, Bluetooth, and hands-free text messaging assistant.
On SL and SV Tech grades of the Juke, Rockford Fosgate’s ecoPUNCH audio system is standard.
SL Jukes also get standard navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, traffic and weather, and a 5.8-in. (15-cm) touchscreen as part of the NissanConnect suite.
Nissan adds three new paint colors to Juke’s palette for ’15: Super Black, Solar Yellow and Cosmic Blue.
Nissan makes slight changes to its Juke Nismo models, which also get some of the same enhancements as the regular Juke including the projector-beam headlamps and reduced emissions from the 1.6L DI turbo 4-cyl.
The ’15 Juke Nismo AWD adds standard paddle shifters, previously only standard on the Juke Nismo RS AWD model.
The 211-hp Nismo RS AWD Juke sees an optimized engine control setting and a larger-diameter main tube for its exhaust system, which also has been tuned “to create a highly visceral sound,” Nissan says.
Juke sales this year are up 7.5% through October to 34,021 units, WardsAuto data shows.