Compact dimensions and quirky eye-catching design for Nissan’s smallest SUV
- Quirky styling
- High seating position
- Generous kit levels
- Refined engines
- Firm ride
- Leans too much in corners
- Cramped rear seats
- CVT auto compromised
Offering eye-catching looks that set it apart from all manner of rivals, from the slightly dull Ford EcoSport and Vauxhall Mokka X, to the more interesting Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, the Juke has been a runaway success for Nissan, proving that the crossover class is very much here to stay.
The Juke has a high driving position and there is a four-wheel drive set-up available on the top-powered petrol versions, but let's get real, you're not going to be using your fancy new Juke for farm work. Front-wheel drive is standard in most petrol and diesel versions.
Essentially, this is a cut-price boutique item aimed at young go-getters who, inevitably, want 'something different'.
Whatever, its big draw will probably be the price and with that you get a funky looking car, a decent engine range and plenty of kit available across the line-up.
What Nissan will have to face is the huge amount of competition that has cropped up more recently, as a result of the Juke becoming a trend-setting car back in 2010.
SUV driving position
The high-set driving position of the Juke is like that of an SUV, so it offers excellent forward vision and a commanding view of the road ahead and to the sides. Because of the rakish looks and the interior design, it still feels quite sporty.
It’s also very comfortable and simple to get into and out of, at least for those in the front. Add in the excellent comfort of the seats and the ease of adjusting the driving position for drivers of most shapes and sizes and the Juke is pretty comfortable.
It might look like a three-door but it's actually a five-door - the rear handles are disguised next to the windows to further promote that athletic image.
Less impressive to drive
There’s no doubt the Nissan Juke hangs on determinedly through corners thanks to the grip and balance of its set-up. It makes the Juke surprisingly agile and quick at changing direction, which is not something you would instantly associate with a car of this type.
However, the Nissan’s ride is too firm at any speed, transmitting shocks and jolts through to the occupants too much of the time for the car to be considered comfortable. There is also a lot of body lean through corners, which is at odds with the fine grip.
Performance is provided by a choice of petrol engines and one diesel unit, all found elsewhere in Nissan’s range of cars.
Nissan Juke Nismo RS
First named the Juke Nismo with the firm’s turbocharged 190hp 1.6-litre petrol engine, the Nismo RS packs more punch and an even wilder look with lashings of spoilers, vents and red trimmings, as well as a set of sports seats inside.
The RS is fitted with an even more powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 218hp and 280Nm of torque. It’s available in front-wheel drive form with a manual gearbox, or four-wheel drive with a CVT automatic and a detuned 214hp, 250Nm motor.
The Parkers verdict
The Nissan Juke was one of the first compact crossovers, and it still looks fresh today, whether you like the styling or not. It’s showing its age compared with more spacious and more frugal rivals, but it holds its own with a decent drive and a generous level of standard kit.
Read on for the full Nissan Juke SUV review
What owners say about this car
Nice to drive, both in town and on the motorway, the Juke has been 100% reliable, with no problems whatsoever. Read owner review
Firstly, I couldn't reccomend Chorley Nissan in Preston highly enough. They helped me sort out the finance on my girlfriends... Read owner review
Good points. the 1.5 dci pulls really well especially in sport mode. cheap road tax and sat nav. stop... Read owner review