Nissan Juke Review – 1.6T Tekna: Parkours free running, To move fluidly through your environment using your surrounding structures as an obstacle course. Or, those crazed enthusiasts you saw on YouTube who throw themselves off urban buildings running, jumping, rolling and vaulting. These aren’t yobbo’s with hoodies and spray paint people, they’re precision athletes. Crazy, yes, but athletes nonetheless.
It’s not something I’ve ever practiced, nor intend to, I’m just not made for it, I accept that. It all looks incredibly dangerous and if I did try it I’d probably rollover an ankle or sustain an injury far worse. Which is why, when I do pry myself from behind a steering wheel to air, I stick to running on flat surfaces like roads, or better yet, a running machine. Safe.
Like all sports, if you want to run up the side of building, jump off and land without shattering both legs you need the right gear. Now, I don’t presume to know anything about Parkour gear but I reckon Reebok Zigtech running shoes are where it’s, and if you’re not overly concerned with how they perform whilst acting like spiderman, you’ll certainly get noticed doing so. Just look at that sole, all ziggy and zaggy, ready to absorb a second story drop and propel you on to the next urban obstacle.
Nowadays you don’t need to be a marketer to understand that exclusivity sells cars, clothes, shoes, accessories, the more outrageous, the better. It seems then that the JUKE couldn’t have been released at a more opportune time.
The JUKE’s design needs no explanation. By now you would’ve seen one in the metal and made your own mind up. Like the ridiculously styled Reebok Zigtech the Nissan Juke polarizes opinion, you either adore it or detest it, and a six month waiting list has backed up due to the number of people who agree with the former. It’s a hit then, amongst the far-out and the funky.
And by far-out and funky, I do actually mean young because the JUKE can only really be targeted at the young, most likely single professional. Take the JUKE’s interior, which takes the rulebook for modern car interiors and throws it out the window. The centre transmission tunnel is supposedly modelled on a motorbike’s petrol tank and can be had in bright red or gun metal colour depending on your penchant for bling, or the centre dash area which would normally display traditional aircon and radio functions, in the JUKE displays things like TORQUEÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ BOOSTÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ and G-FORCE. Not the sort of gimmick which would find favour with my parents, but let’s be honest, amongst us, the youth of today who have grown up with PlayStations and iPhones, the JUKE’s interior has a fair dollop of cool!
Whether or not you’ll find use for a G-FORCE readout is neither here nor there. I didn’t. Granted, in bright sunlight I couldn’t read anything on the dashboard anyway, which is fine because driving a JUKE is not about staring at BOOST usage, it’s about staring at fellow road users whose facial expressions reflected anything from glee to guffaws.
I only have one gripe with the JUKE’s designers and that’s why. Surely they could’ve made room for another set of headlights? The JUKE’s face certainly is one that only a mother could love and is like nothing else on the road today, although I think Nissan should give Fiat some kudos for their inspiration after all it was they who debuted the multi-level-headlights-multi-wrong-on-so-many-levels Multipla.
The JUKE’s profile is a Feng Shui antithesis with all those headlights, rakish windscreen, pumped up wheel arches, sloping coupe-like roofline, hidden rear door handlesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ it’s a busy design, not something you can exactly relax around. If it were a personality type, I’d say more ADHD than Buddhist Monk.
With its raised suspension and chunky tyres, the JUKE will easily navigate any urban environment and even a farm road or country lane. The JUKE is billed as an urban cross-over so if you attempt anything larger than a parking lot pavement, I’m afraid you will come unstuck.
Price is not a sticking point because for shade under R250 000 you can get your hands on JUKE, granted it’s the bog-standard 1.6l non-turbo bell and whistle free Acenta model but if you spec the optional alloy wheels, no one will notice the difference. Top of the range 1.6 DIG-T Tekna will set you back R302 800!
The JUKE is so unique and such a pleasing sight on our roads that I’m almost willing to forgive it its shortcomings. The engine and gearbox could be better, the ride could be more forgiving and fuel consumption should be better. Boot space is minuscule and rear passenger room even less, but to harp on about the JUKE’s failures is to miss the point.
When it comes to Parkour gear I’m sure there are better shoes than the Reebok Zigtech, which will handle better, absorb more shock and wear better. There’s probably something that’ll do all that as well as traverse glossy shopping mall tiles, hike up a mountain and run a marathon, a real cross-over. Likewise there are more comfortable, better specced, better performing cross-overs vying for your attention, but the Nissan JUKE, like the Reebok Zigtech, by virtue of its outrageously unique design, is a monumental success no matter what you intend to use it for.