Rumor has it the niche Nissan Juke will be replaced by the more mainstream Kicks crossover in the US.
The Nissan Juke arguably paved the way for the surge of subcompact crossovers invading the auto industry. While its quirky looks may have been polarizing when it debuted back in 2010, the Juke was a resounding sales success - or at least it was. Seven years on, and with no sign of a refreshed replacement model, sales for the Juke have unsurprisingly plummeted. Demand for subcompact crossovers is showing no signs of slowing down, yet Nissan only managed to sell 986 Jukes in the United States last month, down by 47.8 percent last year.
Rumor now has it that the unloved Juke is about to be put out of its misery in North America. According to The Truth About Cars, two sources are claiming that the Juke will be killed off after the 2017 or 2018 model year, despite Nissan’s attempts to spice it up with more powerful variants inspired by the GT-R-powered Juke R. If you need any further indication of the Juke’s declining popularity in the US, GoodCarBadCar reports that only 19,577 units were delivered in North America last year compared to its peak year in 2014 with 38,184 deliveries. The Juke will allegedly be replaced in the US by the larger Nissan Kicks (no, we’re not fond of the name either) which launched last year overseas.
Compared to the Juke’s strange styling, the Kicks has a less polarizing appearance that’s more likely to achieve mainstream success. In other markets, the Nissan Kicks is powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter engine that churns out 112 horsepower, but the US-spec Kicks is more likely to adopt the Juke’s 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder unit with 188 horsepower. Unlike the Juke which had optional all-wheel drive, the Kicks may only be initially available with front-wheel drive.