Nissan's Juke subcompact dropped from U.S. lineup


Nissan stressed that the Juke was supposed to be an alternative to the standard crossover.

Nissan’s Juke subcompact crossover was intended to be polarizing in a bid to attract young buyers to the brand. But it proved too polarizing for U.S. consumers and has been dropped from the lineup.

Nissan sold 10,157 Jukes in the U.S. in 2017, down 48 percent from a year earlier.

By contrast, the Juke remains one of the brand’s better-selling nameplates in Europe, with 95,000 in sales there last year. Last week, Nissan announced that its assembly plant in Sunderland, England, had turned out its 1 millionth Juke.

In the U.S. in an era of ever-roomier crossovers with generous cargo holds, the Juke was pitched as a “sports car crossover” — a racy little model with an interior designed to evoke a motorcycle.

Its rear seating was cramped and lacked headroom — but Nissan planners explained that it wasn’t intended for family buyers. Target buyers were single young men.

Nissan stressed that the Juke was supposed to be an alternative to the standard crossover. Instead of graduating to a Pathfinder or an Armada, a Juke owner might move up to a 370Z.

Four years ago, speaking about the importance of the Juke continuing as a “not for everybody” product, then-global design chief Shiro Nakamura said his vision for the next-generation Juke was to make it even more polarizing.

But in the end, the nameplate didn’t produce enough U.S. volume, and Nissan North America has opted out of future imports.

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