Nissan’s recently introduced 2011 Juke is an interesting design study. The compact crossover is aimed at single males under the age of 35 who live in urban areas and earn $45,000 per year, and Nissan hopes the look reflects the tastes of those consumers.About The Juke
The Juke is a four-door hatchback with curvy looks, a sloping rear roofline, bug-eyed headlights mounted below angular turn signal lamps, and an interior that offers modern design cues such as body-colored plastic on the center tunnel.Intended Audience
The question is, will the Juke go over well with the intended audience? Viewed up close, the Juke looks more than a little “cute,” and recent history has indicated that male buyers sometimes prefer the boxier looks of bigger SUVs. Swoopy sports cars do well with young males (as long as they offer plenty of “manly” horsepower), but curving lines—even if they are interrupted by angular edges—might not do as well with that audience.Possible Sales Results
If so, it wouldn’t be the first time that the “wrong” audience purchased a particular car. Scion, which is a division of Toyota, has offered youth-oriented products since its inception, but many have been purchased by middle-aged empty nesters.Other Design Challenges
The Juke also has some other challenges brought on by its design. The sloping roofline will limit rear-seat headroom, and cargo space is a bit on the small side. Rear visibility to the corners is also slightly affected.
But then, these are the kind of sacrifices automakers make in order to produce visually appealing designs that will get customers into showrooms. The question is, will consumers be willing to make the same sacrifices?