Nissan is sticking to what it does best with its newest sport utility vehicle: making every day, practical cars a whole lot of fun to drive. That was their intention when they created the new JUKE NISMO RS, and they appear to have hit the nail on the head. It’s possibly the thing that Nissan does best.
When Nissan first introduced the JUKE, it was meant to compete with vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. They kept up with putting the “sport” in “sport utility vehicle” when they created the JUKE NISMO, and now they’ve topped themselves with the RS model.
It’s actually pretty stunning how much the JUKE RS is race-inspired. It has bare bones red-stitched Recaro racing seats; the kind you just don’t see in SUVs. Hop in and you’ll think you’re in a tricked out 370Z. It’s pretty clear that the car was designed for those soccer moms and dads who have a passion for driving, but need a practical, reliable, and safe car for their family.
And those people will be mighty pleased when they pop open the hood. The RS comes with two different versions of its 1.6-liter DOHC turbocharged inline-4 engine. For the more practical (or off road) driver, there’s the all-wheel drive version with Nissan’s ever-improving continuously variable transmission. The all-wheel drive CVT option cranks out 211 hp, and 184 lb.-ft. of torque.
But for the true driving enthusiast, there’s the front-wheel drive 6-speed manual transmission, which boasts 215 hp, and a very impressive 210 lb.-ft. of torque. This ain’t your mama’s SUV.
The NISMO RS also sports a revised exhaust system with a larger main tube, resulting in an engine sound as satisfying as the drive is.
Of course, it still retains the JUKE’s very odd Pokemon-esque exterior design, but at least it’s not bland, like many of its counterparts. And aesthetics be darned: there’s no denying that the NISMO RS is a car you want to hit the open road with.
Photo Credit: Nissan