Tested: 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS | Shaun Keenan
2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS | Shaun Keenan

Hello again, Nismo

It didn’t have the amazing 2015 GT-R Nismo exclusive matte grey paint the Juke Nismo RS had at the New York auto show. And I would have preferred the test car – the 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS – come in Sapphire Black or Brilliant Silver. But this Pearl White is sportier than the non-RS model I drove last summer, and that’s a plus in the Nismo column.

With the exception of new RS badges, the 2014 Nismo looks identical to the 2013 model year. The Nismo front and rear fascias, roof spoiler, side skirts, chrome exhaust finisher, red mirror covers, tri-coat paint, pin-striping and 18-inch alloy wheels all carry over. Body-colour fender lip mouldings, high-gloss B-pillar finish, smoked headlights and LED DRLs round out the list of noteworthy exterior features.

2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS | Shaun Keenan
2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS | Shaun Keenan

The Nismo RS combines a sporty design with enhanced performance. Its 1.6-litre direct injection turbo four-cylinder makes 215 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque – that’s 18 hp and 26 lb-ft more than non-RS models, and 27 hp and 33 more lb-ft than the standard Juke. The 2014 RS comes with a six-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential as standard.

Inside, the leather-trimmed, cloth Recaro front sport seats are the most obvious improvements. They’re more supportive and less bulky, giving the RS interior a more “sporty” purpose. Confirmation of this can be seen in the reorganization of the climate and driving mode controls on the lower dash where Normal, Sport and Eco buttons allow access to independent engine torque, steering, and climate control settings. Digital torque and boost gauges are included!

The instrument cluster has been improved too, albeit slightly vis as vis a RS-emblazoned speedometer that accompanies the red Nismo 8,000-rpm tachometer. The fake carbon fibre trim looks cheap, but the Alcantara and leather-wrapped steering wheel means business with its red racing stripe pointing dead ahead.

The RS is not available with all-wheel drive or the Xtronic CVT, but while only the former will be missed (the non-RS model does offer both), there is no crazy cool racing-inspired double clutch auto-box here to impart any kind of performance driving feel. You can tell the electronic nannies to take a break, but that’s about it.

Continue reading my experience with the 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS on the IGNITION MAGAZINE website!