By Emme Hall.
I like to take risks. I’ve navigated the deserts of Morocco with just a compass and an old map, I’ve raced the Baja Peninsula in an air cooled bug , I’ve even dated that guy I knew was just no good. So I like to see other people take risks, and I especially like it when car companies take design risks. I mean, the world needs another 4 door sedan like it needs a hole in its head, am I right?
Today’s Autocomparo takes a look at two risky designs: the 2013 Scion xB 10 Series and the 2013 Nissan Juke SV FWD. Both are funky looking vehicles that you either love or love to hate, but which one of these quirky cars gets the business?
The Scion xB is powered by a 2.4L inline 4 cylinder engine knocking out 158 hp and 162 lb/ft of torque. Power gets to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual transmission, although a 4-speed automatic is optional. 60 mph arrives in 8.6 seconds and EPA fuel ratings are 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined.
The Scion xB 10 Series arrives to you with 16” alloy wheels, power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, and a 6 speaker Pioneer sound system with a CD player, controlled with a 6.1” touchscreen. There are no factory options, but you can purchase plenty of dealer accessories including different wheels, satellite radio, some performance parts, a rear spoiler, Smartphone app integration, and a rear seat entertainment system.
While the Scion is not going to win any performance awards, most people will find it pleasant to drive. It’s moderately quick off the line and the ride is adequate, but there are other crossovers that offer more comfort. The cabin is bit noisy, from both tires and wind, and keep in mind you’re basically driving a box. Crosswinds are not your friend.
The 2013 Nissan Juke SV gets a turbocharged 1.6L inline 4 cylinder engine, good for 188 hp and 177 lb/ft of torque. Power gets to the front wheels via a 6 speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). If you want AWD you’ll have to settle for only two pedals, as the Juke inexplicably does not offer AWD with a manual transmission. The Nissan Juke SV will scoot you to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, and EPA fuel ratings for the CVT are 27 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. Expect numbers to be a bit lower with the manual.
The Nissan comes standard with 17” wheels, air conditioning, keyless entry/ignition, cruise control, power accessories, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a sunroof, and the I-Con system allowing choice between Normal, Sport, and Eco driving modes.
You can option up your Juke SV with the Navigation package which includes touchscreen nav with real time traffic, a rearview camera, and iPod integration. Also available are a few packages that add some unique exterior features like a rear spoiler, more chrome than should be legal, painted wheels, and accent lighting.
On the road, the Nissan Juke turns in a lively performance. The steering is nicely weighted and offers decent feedback and suspension is tuned towards the stiff side. Some more sensitive types might find the ride harsh in city driving, where rough roads can be the norm. I only wish Nissan offered the AWD with the manual, not just the CVT. While CVTs can return excellent fuel economy, they just don’t give you the same driving pleasure as a manual. Instead, of having a set of fixed gear ratios, you have essentially one long gear and the system is always searching for optimal fuel economy. The result is either wildly fluctuating RPMs, or high RPMs holding steady long past the shift point of any sane person.
The 2013 Scion xB 10 Series starts at $19,210 and the 2013 Nissan Juke at $20,990. My money is on the Juke, but only when equipped with the manual transmission. It’s quicker, gets better gas mileage, and visually I enjoy it’s quirks a bit more. Now, if only Autocomparison could send me the performance enhanced Juke-R to test. Please?