Nissan Juke SUV
Price £13,930 - £21,910
- Good value
- High driving position
- Head-turning styling
- Not practical
- Not fun to drive
- Poor automatic gearbox
At a glance
"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.
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
Fairly perky engines and responsive steering aside, the Nissan Juke isn’t an especially enjoyable car to drive
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
The Juke holds a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP. Owners report reasonable reliability in our Driver Power survey