Nissan Juke SUV
Price £13,420 - £21,300
- Good value
- High driving position
- Head-turning styling
- Not practical
- Poor automatic gearbox
- Not fun to drive
At a glance
"You can’t mistake a Nissan Juke for anything else. Its distinctive styling is unlike anything on the road, but it’s a shame that those funky looks aren’t matched by a more enjoyable driving experience."
The Nissan Juke isn’t just revolutionary in the way it looks – it also kicked off a whole new class of supermini-SUV models.
Since the Nissan Juke has gone on sale, it's been followed by the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Ford EcoSport and Vauxhall Mokka – to name but a few – with each aiming to capitalize on the huge sales success that the Juke has achieved.
It's a pretty simple formula: take a small car, raise it up, give it chunky looks and watch the sales rack up. Despite looking like off-roaders, the majority of these cars are front-wheel drive only and they don’t really have any off-road ability.
Even though it was first – and as such is one of the oldest models of its type – the Juke is still among the best, although we prefer the Peugeot 2008 by the smallest of margins.
The Juke's funky exterior styling continues inside, where you’ll find a centre console between the seats that's been styled to look like a motorcycle fuel tank. But for all the promise of space, it's more cramped than its rivals. And despite the boot being enlarged in 2014, it's still smaller than we’d hope.
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The Juke's engine range consists of 1.2 and 1.6-litre petrol engines (the latter either with or without a turbocharger) and a 1.5-litre diesel. The turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol is the only one available with four-wheel drive, but it's considered more of a performance-enhancing addition than an off-roading one.
If you want petrol, we’d recommend the 1.2-litre turbo – it's powerful, smooth and ideally suited to the Juke's playful character. The 1.5-litre diesel is appealing for its performance and fuel economy, but it's a little bit rattly and noisy when you accelerate.
We’d recommend you go for the Acenta trim level, because it's reasonably priced yet still has a decent amount of standard equipment. You get alloy wheels, climate control, electric windows all round, as well as sat nav, a Bluetooth phone connection and an MP3 player port.
The Nissan Juke isn’t the cheapest car of its type to run. Although the diesel isn’t tax-free, it promises more than 70mpg.
The Nissan Juke isn’t particularly comfortable or fun to drive, but it has a reasonable line-up of eager and powerful petrol and diesel engines.
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.
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.
Prior to the 2014 update, the Juke was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP. Owners report reasonable reliability in our Driver Power survey.