No, they're mostly driven by old people. The top two demographics buying the Juke in the US are males in the 50-59 age range and males 60+. Nissan has the Scion problem with this car; marketed and intended for young people, bought mostly by old people.
Recently had another rental: BMW 216i Active Tourer. The FWD BMW MPV - with 3 cylinders. The automotive Frankenstein of sorts. Did 400km in it, mostly Autobahn at 120km/h-ish.
Stuff I liked: Manual 6 Speed transmission that was super smooth. The 102hp 3 cyl was alright for this kind of usage. Not fun, but usable. Decent Seats - despite being quite hard, they did not give me back-pain contrary to the Ford I had this summer. Fuel consumption came in at under 5l/100km, which is decent for a petrol Car of this size. Interior is nice, but I would definitely invest in some of the optional upgrades. It was very quiet inside the car even at 150km/h.
Stuff I disliked: Bmw style Indicators. Rear legroom was tiny. AC on "Auto" let the side-windows fog up constantly despite the two days being rain-free. Exterior - looks like a real Bmw had an front-collision.
Overall a decent car. I can see why people consider it in this segment of the market. But it is definitely not something to excite you. And the transmission really is very good. I don`t think I've ever driven any car with a transmission that is smoother and fits the engine so perfectly. Now only if the car had 60hp more or so, then you might even have some everyday fun with it ... (that would be the 220i then) ...
Had a Mokka 1.4T for a few hours... ignoring offroading in an Amarok, by far the most thirsty car I've driven in a looong time, maybe since the Camaro in 2014 paid more than twice as much for petrol on the same trip than for the - admittedly diesel-powered, but still - Megane a few weeks ago. One trip storage hadn't been reset for 5300km, averaged 9.3l/100km, I did about 8.9. Most of the distance was restricted to 130, 120, 100, or 70 with maybe 25% derestricted at around 160.
That being said, it's A Car. Reasonably quiet and comfy, low on the fun scale, and it suffers from the usual Opelesque problems: Way too many buttons in the centre console, cheap feel from the orange/red trip computer, cheap feel from the fuel filler cap that needs a dozen turns to open and then dangles the fuel-end along the paintwork with nowhere to put it, the wall of text in the display every time you change the cruise control speed, and the need to press the volume button on the steering wheel a million times before anything changes. "50" was a reasonable setting for the satnav lady.
To keep people from touching the non-touch centre screen they moved it waaaaay back into the dash, weird solution to a cost-saving problem.
It lost one Opelesque annoyance: The indicator and wiper stalks aren't monostable any more!
It's been a good year for me in terms of driving cars that I've lusted after. In August I got to drive around in an E28 M5 and an E30 M3 and today, on an unusually warm day (50F but drizzling), I went out in a C5 Corvette.
The Vette looks way better in person than in pictures. I also always thought it was rather large but turns out that's just due to its proportions. The trunk is quite large even in the convertible, while the targa-top coupe has a huge hatchback. The interior is restrained by 90s American standards - it's not elegant but it's not awful either; it's simple and utilitarian, so to speak, and I actually liked it much more than I expected. The seats, while comfortable, feel very flimsy and the seat back has a good 3" of play. The shifter is stiff and the gears are very close together but I like notchy shifters generally and here it was easy to find gears. The V8 sounds fantastic, even with the stock exhaust, and puts out boatloads of power and torque - it was easy to start from a stop in 2nd and it was easy to cruise around in just 3rd - even from low revs the car pulls hard.
TL;DR - had a ton of fun. Need a Corvette in my life now.
usual Opelesque problems: Way too many buttons in the centre console, cheap feel from the orange/red trip computer, cheap feel from the fuel filler cap that needs a dozen turns to open and then dangles the fuel-end along the paintwork with nowhere to put it, the wall of text in the display every time you change the cruise control speed, and the need to press the volume button on the steering wheel a million times before anything changes.
Well it's pretty straight forward since there's a little slot and nothing else on the door (the penny pinchers at GM even did away with the famous dust cap unscrewing tool I see, tsk tsk) and a corresponding tab on the fuel cap. And it's in the manual. Pictograms are for people who don't read the manual. Germans read the manual. I thought you of all people should know that
The dust cap unscrewing and tire thread dept measuring device however was not described at all in the manuals back when they had them.
I'd actually argue that the dedicated tab that Opel put on the door is easier to understand intuitively than this Skoda Fabia is:
I stared at that picture for a good while and couldnt' work out where I should hang it.
I needed a car until I get a replacement for the E28, so I'm borrowing this 1.6 CVH from Posmo, who moved into... *gasp* FWD cars. So here's my short review.
This is the village bicycle of the finnish chapter of Finalgear. Public bought it from an old person, tried to convince himself and the rest of us for a year that he liked it, then Taneli (brotan) had it for some time, and then Posmo famously bought it from public in a bar, almost exactly a year ago. And now I have it for a month.
To be honest, I approached this car with a great deal of prejudice. I never liked the design of this era Fords, I think they look dull and totally uninspired, inside and out. It felt always very proletarian to me. A car for the masses, not to enjoy, but to commute in, to look at your huge analog clock in the dash and feel miserable. On the other hand, I'm not actually very fussy about comfort, and since Sierra produced some very famous and praised derivatives, I had hopes that I could extract some joy from driving it, especially since it's winter and the car is RWD. I have to admit now, that I was wrong on almost all accounts.
But hey, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth, so no more negativity! There are many good things about this car. Let's see...
+ quite comfy seats
+ good ergonomics for an 80s car, I found a good position easily
+ not as loud as I expected, especially after my old E28
+ it's in quite a good condition I think, it hasn't broken down in a week, almost no rattles anywhere, shifter isn't sloppy, starts up without any fuss
+ a very potent heater
+ good tyres
The first very obvious feature is the lack of power steering. It's been a while since I've driven a (full-sized) car without one, but it's actually not so bad. The wheel turns approximately 32 times from lock to lock, which in addition to allowing an absurdly precise steering input also means that not so much effort is needed to turn it even while standing still. The level of sophistication is also evident from the fact that despite a direct, unassisted connection between the steering wheel and the wheels, the driver isn't burdened with any information coming from the road. I suppose this could be partly attributed to good tyres. So effortless is the steering, that at speed the car practically steers itself. To the extent, that I'm in fact beginning to wonder whether the toe-out alignment was done with enhanced track-cornering-performance in mind.
The ride is smooth and mushy. And so are the brakes. The modest options list has a bright side of offering an excessive amount of storage space in the interior. The ergonomics of the pedal layout ensures that you're automatically blipping the throttle on every braking-downshift, for a smoother experience. Or when just braking.
I don't know if I can put it more eloquently than this sentence from an unnamed journalist:
The 80-horsepower, naturally aspirated, four cylinder, continuously harshly vibrating boat anchor of compound hemispherical whatever that was taking an all-too-modest portion of underhood space has been such an underdog, that I was worried for a minute if it would actually make it up the hills on the track.
Yes, amazingly, it doesn't feel too underpowered. Let's say, it is adequately matched to the chassis.
Ok, honestly now, I have to admit that it has started growing on me. I don't think it's so horrible any more. It's just not very good, but it has certain boy-racerish charm. Makes you feel like you got your license last week. It's not a completely unlikeable car.
The difference to E28 is stark. It many ways this feels a lot more modern, but E28 felt both more grown up and much more joyful to drive. I do think that this would be a great first car, but only a first car. I guess my biggest issue with Sierra is that it's so utterly uninteresting in almost every respect, even if it does some thing OK.
And unfortunately, it hasn't snowed yet this week, so I can't even exploit its RWDness. High hopes for a good January!