Review

Nissan Juke SUV

Price  £13,930 - £21,910

Nissan Juke SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Good value
  • High driving position
  • Head-turning styling
Cons
  • Not practical
  • Not fun to drive
  • Poor automatic gearbox

At a glance

Our Pick
Acenta 1.2 DIG-T 5dr £15,630
The greenest
Tekna 1.5 dCi 5dr £19,675
The cheapest
Visia 1.6 5dr £13,930
The fastest
Tekna 1.6 DiG-T 5dr £19,710
Top of the range
Tekna 1.6 DiG-T Xtronic 4x4 5dr £21,910

"The Nissan Juke has distinctive looks, generous specification and commands good prices on the used market, but its limited practicality and average running costs mean other models might have a wider appeal."

For a car that's been around since the dawn of the compact crossover boom, the Juke has remained a surprisingly and consistently popular choice. Over half a million have been produced since it was introduced in 2010, with a good proportion of them being sold in the UK.

As a result, the Juke probably didn’t desperately need the mid-life refresh it was given in 2014. However it was facelifted, and became a noticeably more appealing ownership proposition. 

For example, the update gave the Nissan an all-new, 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that's head and shoulders above the 1.6-litre it sits above in the range. With decent power and good fuel economy (47mpg with 16-inch wheels; 46mpg with 17-inch wheels), this petrol is our favourite engine in the Nissan Juke range.

Those with a larger annual mileage, however, will probably find the 1.5-litre diesel engine to be the more worthwhile choice. While it's less refined than either of the petrols, it does settle down to a relatively hushed tone at motorway cruising speeds, and claimed 70mpg economy makes it comfortably the most efficient engine you can order in a Nissan Juke.

Another highlight is the impressive spec list – all models come with air-conditioning, a full set of electric windows and Nissan's latest emergency braking assistance technology, while the more affordable trim upgrades add features like tyre-pressure monitoring, cruise control and climate control. Safety credentials are further bolstered by the Juke's impressive five-star crash-test rating.

Practicality is fairly good by class standards, too, although this is where the Juke starts to lose its advantage over its fresher-faced rivals. Only front-wheel-drive models have the headline 354-litre boot capacity – even with an optional storage upgrade, all-wheel-drive models can only carry up to 251 litres – and the sloping roofline is one of many reasons why the rear seats will be tight for taller passengers.

It also doesn’t help that the interior fit and finish is starting to lag behind the standards we expect from a compact crossover, plus the Juke isn’t a particularly enjoyable car to drive – a fidgety ride, okay front-end grip and a fair bit of tyre roar on models with larger wheels all hold it back from being the best-in-class in this area.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.8 / 5

No Nissan Juke engine is tax-exempt and they aren’t the most frugal in this class – but the diesel can return an impressive 70mpg

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

Fairly perky engines and responsive steering aside, the Nissan Juke isn’t an especially enjoyable car to drive

Interior & comfort

2.5 / 5

Despite the Nissan Juke having a funky interior design, material quality isn’t the best and it’s not the most comfortable car in its class.

Practicality & boot space

2.9 / 5

An update in mid-2014 saw the Juke get a bigger boot, but it still lags behind rivals when it comes to carrying passengers and luggage

Reliability & safety

4.1 / 5

The Juke holds a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP. Owners report reasonable reliability in our Driver Power survey

What the others say

3 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"Distinctive styling, decent equipment and strong economy mean the Juke is a tempting compact crossover, but it's getting on a bit."
2 / 5
“The Nissan Juke is a refreshingly different small car that successfully blends supermini with SUV. Many rivals are more practical and better to drive, though.”
3.5 / 5
“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.”
5 / 10
"We totally understand why you’d be tempted by the Juke; it looks fantastic and is affordably priced. Unfortunately, it's also cramped and uncomfortable."
What owners say 
3.5
3.5 /5 based on 4 reviews
75%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
10 Feb 2016
Own this car? Leave your review.