Updated: Jan 26, 2019
The recent news coming from Nissan that their bug-eyed masterpiece will cease production fills me with joy. Accompanying this joy is a fleeting sadness. My connection to this comes from many years of dislike and two weeks spent gallivanting around Europe.
When Nissan released the bug-eyed crossover in 2010, they made a statement. They proved that they could sell something as ugly as the terribly named Juke. It was not until 2017 that my disgust with this car was finally justified. Since its creation seeing this car on the road gave me anxiety. I could not understand how people with eyes could buy this car. What was it about this pretend crossover that lured buyers? If there was ever a conspiracy I truly believed in it was this. Nissan has to be blackmailing people with perfect vision to buy these. Last I checked it’s against the law to drive a car if you’re blind. Aside from its looks I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. I thought, “Maybe it’s fun to drive?” or “Maybe the interior is comfortable with a quality interior?”. Wrong.
Let’s get back to my gallivanting in Europe. I convinced my wife we would tour France for their castles. Little did she know that I planned the trip around the 24 hours of Le mans. Upon our arrival in France I was expecting our rental to be something comparable to the new VW Tiguan. To my dismay, we were presented with keys to the Nissan Juke. Instantly in my mind I felt like the universe was punishing me for all of my trash talk about this car I had never driven. I even fell back to my Nissan conspiracy. I thought maybe Nissan forced the rental company to put me in this car. Like they had NSA capabilities and heard all of my trash talk. Either way, the bug-eyed monstrosity was my home for the next 2 weeks.
Driving through the French countryside I was completely enthralled by the scenery passing us by as we drove. Rolling hills, marvelous chateaus, beautifully paved roads and good company made this journey almost perfect. Almost. Arriving in the town of Angers a magnificent castle greeted us with the reminder of how lucky we really were. This feeling of serenity was quickly forgotten the moment I stepped out of the car.
No matter where we drove I was reminded of the bug-eyed mode of transport I had to live with for the next two weeks. Driving from France to Germany, Germany to Switzerland then back to France, I was consistently reminded of the uncomfortable car we were forced to deal with. Driving through Germany was my biggest disappointment with the monstrosity. For those who do not know, there are only sections of the German Autobahn that have no speed restrictions. No, you can’t drive without speed limits the whole time you are in Germany. Also, for those of you who enjoy being a complete idiot and sit in the left lane, it’s not allowed in most of the world. Do us all a favor and learn how to drive. That is a subject for another time.
The Nissan Juke is not a car you want to be in while trying to keep up with German traffic on the unrestricted section of the Autobahn. While attempting to get the Juke to above 130 KPH/80MPH, the whole car would vibrate terribly. While I realize tires play a big part of that as does the alignment. This I am certain was not the case for this car. The wind noise was appalling, rattles sounds like the buzzing of drone by my head, steering feel was nonexistent, and I could not get past a Toyota Camry hauling a trailer. There is a reason this car is being discontinued by Nissan.
Despite all of its downfalls I found a connection with this car that I did not expect to have. Even with the terrible interior, drone sounding rattles and constant back ache. This car allowed me to attend the 24 Hours of Le Mans, see various chateaus, helped me experience the autobahn, transported me back in time to Normandy and so many more experiences that there are too many to list. The one thing I cannot fault the car on is the confidence I had in it when we were traveling. I knew deep down, I would never be stranded on the side of the road. This is the connection I have with this bug-eyed excuse for a car. This car will forever remind me of the wonderful journey I spent with it through Europe.
Would I buy this car? In short, Never. Nissan I bid you a Final Farewell.