Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7
  • Just one petrol option for now
  • Available with automatic or manual gearboxes
  • New powertrains could join range in future

Choosing an engine for your Nissan Juke is easy – there’s just one. It’s a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol, producing 117hp and up to 200Nm of torque.

This is about on par with our preferred engines in most rivals, such as the 115hp units in the SEAT Arona or Skoda Kamiq, and is more than the 100hp engine in the Peugeot 2008. However, the Juke’s engine doesn’t feel quite as willing as some of those rivals, with a slightly laggy response and turbine-like whirr rather than the characterful thrum we’ve come to expect from three-cylinder engines. The whistling from the turbo is also quite prominent in the cabin, too.

It’s far from fast, but offers plenty of performance round town, and the power arrives quite low down in the rev range making for relaxed progress as you row through the gears.

Of course, you won’t need to row through the gears if you opt for the dual-clutch automatic. It changes smoothly when you're already on the move, but can be laggy from rest, so much so it can be very jerky and hard to manoeuvre at low speeds. Unless you really want an auto, we’d opt for the six-speed manual every time. The automatic is also significantly more expensive.

The Juke has adjustable driving modes, selected by a switch marked ‘D-mode’ behind the gear lever. It cycles through Eco, Standard and Sport modes, altering the response of the accelerator, the weight of the steering and, in automatic models, the ferocity of the gear changes. Most drivers will leave it in Standard for the majority of the time, but switching into Sport made a marked difference that could be attractive when you get onto a really good B-road.

Handling

  • Surprisingly good control for a tall car 
  • But a C-HR feels more like a regular hatchback 
  • Doesn't feel too big on the road 

The Juke’s suspension strikes a good balance between ride and handling, and this feels like one of the better crossovers to drive on a winding road (as long as it's not fitted with larger wheels found on Tekna and Tekna+ trims).

The steering is accurate and quite nicely weighted, giving you plenty of confidence to stick the front end into corners if you fancy more of a sporty drive. There’s a fair degree of body movement when you do this, though, with a feeling of the car leaning over as you go round a bend. Some rivals such as the Toyota C-HR do feel more planted to the road, with greater control.