Nissan has just dropped the Juke crossover from its US line-up, which may have come as a surprise to some who reside in that local market since it wasn’t the slowest of sellers there, but suddenly those who did want a compact little jacked-up hatch are found with one option fewer.
Pretty much since the frog-eyed Nissan had received its official premiere, the Japanese automaker could count on the SUV-hungry American market for some steady sales, and only recently had they announced proudly that their UK assembly plant had rolled out its 1-millionth Juke. However, after 7 years, that run has come to an end, or so says a report by Automotive News.
That said, despite the Juke nearing the end of its like, the fondness that the American market once held for the crossover has since faded and shows no signs of recovery - unlike certain European markets where it continues to enjoy healthy numbers.
It might have been one of the first crossovers to blend funky looks and a more petite footprint, but with the introduction of new competitors into the fore such as the Toyota C-HR, Hyundai Kona, Kia Stonic, and others, it’s uniqueness may have seemed played out by comparison.
Then again, the Juke’s apparent appeal was never meant to be focused on the practicality minded family man or woman. At least in the US market where the better proportioned but more conservatively stayed Nissan Qashqai isn’t sold, the Juke was - believe it or not - seen as a bridge vehicle to their sporty Z cars and eventually a GT-R, hence its more aggressive looks and sports-oriented variants, even the Juke-R experiment (where they shoved a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 up front).
That ladder still seems to be in place, though. Australia, for example, will be receiving the Juke NISMO this October, equipped with a firmer suspension and the turbo-petrol engine straight out of the Renault Clio RS. However, with the much newer and better equipped Micra-based Kicks crossover spreading into more markets, we do wonder why Nissan continues to bothers with the Juke. There’s also no rumblings of an all-new replacement, adding to the argument against it.