As the flagship trim in Nissan’s 2012 Juke lineup, the Juke SL boasts a boatload of standard creature comforts and appearance goodies as well as the turbocharged pep, 36 cubic feet of total cargo area, and smile-inducing handling adroitness of its lesser siblings.
This 5-seat, 5-door subcompact hatchback again comes with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof and power-adjustable mirrors draping its somewhat oddball exterior, with leather upholstery, heated front seats, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, split-folding rear seats, auto climate control and full power accessories adorning the interior. Cruise control, of course, also comes standard, as do tilt-wheel steering, added cabin trim bling and a rear-view camera.
Standard techno-goodies, meanwhile, include Bluetooth hands-free calling, a memory-card-based navigation suite, and a Rockford Fosgate premium audio system boasting an MP3-capable single-CD player, 7 speakers, satellite radio, auxiliary iPod interface and a USB port.
As with its lesser siblings, the flagship Juke SL can be optioned-up with the Sport Accessory Package, flaunting upgraded 17-inch alloy wheels, stainless steel exhaust tips and a rear spoiler. Further options include the Chrome Package, with chrome body moldings and body-color mirrors and door handles, and the Illumination Package, sporting enhanced cabin illumination and lighted door-sill plates.
As with its lesser siblings, the front-wheel drive (FWD) 2012 Juke SL packs a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant that kicks out 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque under the management of the standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). Additionally, this top-shelf trim can be outfitted with an available 6-speed manual transmission for some extra sporty commutes. Variable valve timing (VVT), meanwhile, means mileage estimated at 27 mpg city/32 highway with the standard CVT and 25/31 with the optional stick-shift.
Further, this high-end trim flaunts the standard I-CON system with D-Mode that allows 3 driver-selectable settings, Normal, Sport and Eco, that master throttle and CVT responses in tuning the drive to particular needs. The Eco mode offers the most economical drive, of course, while the Sport setting offers the biggest cruising kick.
Notable standard safety features, finally, include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, and front head restraint whiplash protection. A remote antitheft alarm is standard across the Juke spectrum, while the flagship SL additionally boasts standard front fog/driving lights and dusk-sensing headlights.