Nissan Juke Nismo RS

The sporty crossover joins the Japanese car maker's performance-enhanced Australian fleet.

The Juke NISMO RS is the latest of three performance-enhanced models recently injected into the Japanese car maker’s Australian fleet.
 
The sporty crossover joins the 370Z NISMO coupe released in August 2017 and the hell-raising $299k supercar, the GT-R NISMO, launched in February of the same year.
 
There’s a choice of variants: two-wheel-drive with six-speed manual transmission ($37,790) or all-wheel-drive with CVT ($41,490). Warranty is three years/100,000km, less than the best these days.
 
Telling the NISMO RS apart from the standard Juke are: body aero kit, revised front grille, 10-spoke 18” alloys with 225/45 R18 tyres, rear diffuser, suede sports seats with red stitching, leather/Alcantara steering wheel with red stitching, NISMO RS front kickplates and carpet mats. Tick also leather shift knob, suede door panels and meter hood, carbon fibre-look finish on the head unit and gear-shift surround, gloss black centre console, door trim and air vents.

Nissan JUKE NISMO RS interior

 
Safety features include lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and 360⁰ camera system with moving object detection, but notably there’s no autonomous emergency braking (AEB).
 
Mechanical changes include a beefed-up clutch, re-tuned and lowered suspension, revised steering, body reinforcement, a NISMO RS exhaust system, optimised ECU and
NISMO-tuned engine for increased outputs, limited slip diff (manual 2WD model), and a revised CVT transmission with eight manual steps.
 
The engine outputs rise to 160kW (+20kW) and 280Nm (+40Nm) from standard for the manual 2WD, or in the case of the AWD CVT model, 157kW (+17kW) and 250Nm (+10Nm). Recommended fuel is 98 RON rather than the 95 RON used in the other versions. In the case of the FWD manual, the ADR number rises by 1.2 litres/100km to 7.2. On test, we averaged 9.4.
 
The uprated 1.6-litre engine is willing and able and engenders a free-flowing feel with no hint of turbo lag, while the manual box shifts smoothly in unison with the well-weighted clutch. However, torque steer is prevalent under hard acceleration, particularly when steering lock is being applied or on a damp road surface.
 
Otherwise, twists and turns are dispatched with confidence and composure and the ride, while firm, is agreeable enough. The cabin is presents well and the front seats are ultra-comfortable, particularly by way of deep cushioning.
 
If the Nismo RS appeals, then best get in quick.  Production at Nissan’s UK plant has wound up and just 240 of the NISMO-enhanced Juke came Down Under. 

KEY STATS

  • PRICE: $37,790 (excludes on-road costs)
  • ENGINE: 1.6-litre, turbo petrol 4-cyl
  • ANCAP SAFETY RATING: N/A
  • TAILPIPE CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km): 168
  • FOR: responsive engine, well equipped, comfortable cabin. 
  • AGAINST: Space saver spare, no steering reach adjustment, torque steer.

Nissan JUKE NISMO RS on track