Nissan Ride the Thrill: Sand, sea, and speed

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In the recently concluded Nissan ‘Ride the Thrill’ ride and drive, the new Nissan Juke braved the roads from Manila to San Juan, La Union and finished in spectacular fashion. With adrenaline rushing through our veins, the Speed team geared up for a thrilling experience with the subcompact crossover. And the Nissan Juke certainly delivered power and poise, allowing us to drive with ease through the traffic-infested roads of Quezon City to the smooth roads of the expressway.

Nissan Jukes on Stanby before the big drive
Nissan Jukes on standby before the big drive

The morning of January 21 started early with breakfast served and briefings laid out at around 7:30 a.m. at Nissan North EDSA. Everyone was already itching to get stationed in a Juke and begin an exciting day on the asphalt. Once everything was in order, Speed, together with the Nissan team and other motoring media, set off for their first stop: Petron Lakeshore in Pampanga. Our first taste of driving the Juke was a pleasurable experience. Holding its ground against the different vehicles on the road, the 4×2 subcompact crossover sped through traffic both in city streets and on the highway. The 20-strong Nissan Juke convoy owned the North Luzon Expressway with its unique aesthetic appeal and powerful engine roar. The group took a quick breather after the energized morning drive at the Petron Lakeshore. There were a few idle chats, photo-ops, and restroom breaks before we moved on to the second leg of Day One of the Nissan ‘Ride the Thrill.’

Nissan's first stopover at Petron Lakeshore
Nissan ‘Ride the Thrill’ first stopover at Petron Lakeshore

The next stop was lunch at Agoo, La Union’s hotspot Makkan Ilocano. A sumptuous lunch refilled the drivers’ empty stomach tanks and everyone felt ready to continue the ride. For the last time on Day One of Nissan’s ride and drive, the engines roared and the Jukes rushed to the coveted finish line: the Kahuna Beach Resort in San Juan, La Union.

A Red Alert Juke is fitted with a surfboard after the lunch stopover at Makkan Ilocano, Agoo, La Union
To the finish line: a Red Alert Juke is fitted with a surfboard after the lunch stopover at Makkan Ilocano

The Escola de Samba de Manila welcomed the ‘Ride and Thrill’ delegates to the resort. The drivers, media crew, and the Nissan team tipped their hats off to a successful day of driving, took a few photos with the Juke, and checked in for a much-needed break.

Media and friends together with Nissan Philippines pose for a photo op culminating the successful launch and drive of the Nissan Juke
The Nissan Juke delegation arrives at Kahuna Beach Resort in San Juan, La Union

The exhilarating drive to San Juan was culminated by a night filled with fun, games, and good music at Kahuna’s beachfront. Food and drinks were served, followed by a special number from Escola de Samba de Manila, a special message from Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director Toti Zara, awarding of the ‘Ride the Thrill’ photo contest winners, and a live performance from The Voice 2015 runner up Leah Patricio and the Fat Sessions band. The beach merriment continued ’til past midnight.

Nissan Philippines President Antonio Zara giving his message of thanks to the media during the dinner at Kahuna Beach Resort
Nissan Philippines President Antonio Zara giving his message of thanks to the media during the program

On Day Two, surfing champions Luke Landrigan and Nikki dela Paz conducted a special clinic at the San Juan Surf Resort. Lunch was served at the Kahuna restaurant, where the group filled their tanks again for their drive back to Manila. Even with a long drive looming, the Speed team had nothing to worry about getting behind the wheel of the Nissan Juke. The vehicle’s comfort and power stayed consistent throughout the entire drive from the coast of San Juan to Nissan North EDSA. The Juke offers three drive modes: Normal, Eco, and Sport. For everyday drives, the Normal setting will serve you well with its light steering and peppy throttle response. When stuck in traffic, you’d do well to put the Juke on Eco mode to lighten the steering, decrease the throttle response, and save on fuel. But Sport mode is where the thrill is. On the highway, we put the car on this setting to help us overtake slow-moving vehicles and match (or overpower) some of the faster ones. After an almost six-hour drive from the surfing capital of the north, we arrived at the North EDSA dealership and bid our bittersweet goodbye to the fun and funky crossover. Now we finally understand what Mr. Zara meant when he described the Juke: this car is “built to thrill and designed for those who can handle the attention.” The new Nissan is now available in all Nissan dealerships nationwide with the single 4×2 variant priced at P980,000. The subcompact crossover comes in four colors: Red Alert, Solar Yellow, Pearl White, and Black Obsidian.

Words JOHN SOSMEÑA Photos JOHN SOSMEÑA and ANTONIO JOSE GALAURAN