AUTOS

L.A. Auto Show: Nissan gives Juke more power, efficiency

L.A. Auto Show: The Nissan Juke is back with a refreshed look

Four years after its debut, the Nissan Juke is back with a refreshed look, a torquier and more efficient engine, and a pair of performance models going under the name Nismo.

The baseline Juke sticks with the company’s winning formula: a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine -- rated at 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque -- delivering a combined 30 mpg in the front-wheel drive model and 28 in the all-wheel drive version.

That’s up a bit from the 2014 Juke and also produces, the company says, 12% less CO2 emissions.

The other good news is low-end torque. The new Juke’s power band starts at 400 rpm below its predecessor, for some good low-end power.

The horsepower and torque are distributed through Nissan’s Xtronic automatic transmission, this one featuring a “sport” mode for more dramatic driving.

But the Nismos are also available with a manual transmission, and all the Jukes are available in all-wheel drive.

The five-passenger Jukes come in several flavors. The traditional Juke can be arrayed as an S, SV or SL model. The SV and SL models feature options such as heated leather seats, fog lights, a moon roof and audio-video extras such as Sirius XM radio and the NissanConnect communication system.

The Nismo models feature a battery of interior and exterior appointments special to the two units, including specific color choices, body details and features such as a “high-gloss paint finished center console, inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank.”

Under the hood, the standard Nismo produces 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, in both the front-wheel and all-wheel drive machines. The RS beefs that up. Horsepower increases to 215, while torque rises to 210 -- 211 and 184 on the all-wheel drive version.

The Nismo gets a combined 30 mpg in the front-wheel model, and 28 mpg in the all-wheel configuration, while the Nismo RS gets 27 mpg in both formats.

The RS version gets leather seats and carbon trim, but both Nismos feature as standard most of the amenites offered as options on the Juke, plus others such as a keyless ignition.

The base model Juke will have an MSRP of $21,075 for FWD, while the Juke SV is $23,125 and the Juke SL is $26,065. (Add about $2,000 for AWD models.) The Nismo starts at $25,655 for the manual transmission FWD, and the Nismo RS is $28,845 in that version. That rises to $28,055 for the Xtronic AWD Nismo, and $30,845 for the Xtronic AWD Nismo RS.

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