Due to some recent changes at Casa Negro I find myself on the hunt for a small vehicle which can carry my crap, three dogs or home improvement implements. I don’t need anything particularly big, I want something small and fun to drive and also kind of practical.
Nissan introduced the U.S. spec NISMO Juke at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. It’s got a modest power boost (up to near as makes no difference, 200 hp) stiffer shocks, recalibrated steering feel and some functional aero bits that add downforce, but do nothing to subtract ugly. Basically it’s a relatively quick car with good handling and limits which are approachable on the street at legal speeds.
It’s also available in all wheel drive and with a six speed manual. Unfortunately it’s not available in all wheel drive with a six speed manual.
Which is bullshit.
There aren’t a whole lot of players in this space. There’s the arguably better looking (but still no beauty queen) Mini JCW Countryman and in a month the Mini Paceman aka the Countryman Coupe. While the NISMO Juke and the Paceman are still a month or more from hitting dealerships, I can get a JCW Countryman from my local Mini dealer now.
Which begs the question, if I smoke that much crack rock, how do I hold onto a job that will allow me to make $45,000 for a car?