Nissan Juke SUV
Nissan Juke SUV
Price £13,420 - £21,420
- Striking looks
- Economical diesel
- Cheap to buy
- Stiff supension
- Cramped back seats
- Cheap interior plastics
At a glance
“The new Nissan Juke has the same eye-catching looks of the outgoing model, but gets a range of more economical engines, a larger boot, and more tech.”
When the original Nissan Juke was launched in 2010 it was the only car of its type – as a small crossover to the same mould as the larger Nissan Qashqai. The Juke doesn’t have it all its own way now, though, and rivals include the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, and the soon-to-be-launched Audi Q1.
Nissan has given the car some significant revisions for 2014 that include new technology and a bigger boot, as well as more customisable options to keep the Juke's youthful buyers on side.
Nissan gives Juke customers the choice of four petrol engines including the basic 1.6-litre, a new hi-tech 1.2-litre engine, and the top-of-the-range 1.6-litre DIG-T that can produce 187bhp.
But it is the one diesel model – the 1.5-litre dCi – that is expected to be the bestseller, thanks to excellent economy and emissions that mean the new model will cost just £20 to tax. Of the Juke range, only the DIG-T and 1.6-litre petrol are available with Nissan's grippy Xtronic four-wheel drive system.
Trim levels include Visia, Acentc, Acenta Premium and Tekna.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Diesel is even more frugal
There's a good reason why the new diesel Nissan Juke is expected to be the bestseller, and that's running costs. It will be by far and away the cheapest model to run thanks to impressive economy of 67.3mpg and emissions of 109g/km that mean road tax will be just £20 annually.
The arrival of the new 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine means you have a much more economical option than the old 1.6-litre and it can return a decent 47.1mpg, although road tax will be a comparatively pricy £100 per year.
The most expensive model to run will be the DIG-T fitted with four-wheel drive, although exact MPG figures have yet to be confirmed we do know that it will return emissions of 153g/km, so road tax will be £180 per year.
Interior & comfort
Noisy on the motorway and bouncy suspension
There is plenty to count towards the Nissan Juke in terms of comfort, including a driver's seat and steering wheel that offer plenty of adjustment to get comfortable. The Juke's upright driving position also gives you an excellent view of the road ahead, and gives a nice feeling of security.
Sadly, the Juke's off-roader stance also counts against it. And, while engine noise on the diesel car we drove was well suppressed, the same was not true of the road noise produced by the car's large alloy wheels. Despite having a revised shape, including new bumpers, wind noise is also noticeable at a cruise.
Another problem is the Juke's suspension. It makes the car genuinely fun to drive in the corners, but the trade off is suspension that feels a bit too firm for Britain's potholed roads.
Practicality & boot space
Tiny boot has been improved, to offer a more family-friendly setup
Passengers in the new Nissan Juke are not going to find a huge difference between it and the old car. That means space up front is fine, but the rear is tight. That's not helped by use of black plastics and small rear windows, which make the rear-seat space seem even smaller. Noted, Nissan will happily add plenty of colour to your Juke, in the form of a painted centre console.
Where you will notice difference is in boot space. Not a Juke strongpoint in the past, the new model is 40 per cent bigger than the old car. While the previous-generation Nissan Juke got a 251-litre boot, the facelifted version boasts a much bigger 354-litre boot. That's thanks to a removable floor, which reveals a big space and more room for carrying luggage and shopping bags.
However, the bigger boot is only available in two-wheel drive versions, as the bulky transmission tunnel needed to send drive to the rear wheels on four-wheel drive versions means those cars are limited to just 201 litres.
The new model also keeps the large glovebox and cupholders of the old car.
Reliability & safety
Safer than the old car, but not yet tested by Euro NCAP
As the car has just been revamped, the new Nissan Juke is far too new to feature in our 2014 Driver Power survey, but the old model was edged out of the top 100 cars to finish in 101th place, a result the new car's improved fuel economy would have doubtless helped to better. Nissan, meanwhile, made a disappointing drop of 10 places to finish in 22nd place out of 33 firms in our manufacturers' rankings, although it did place 14th for reliability.
The old Nissan Juke got five stars for safety when it was evaluated by Euro NCAP and we would expect the new car to follow suit. As with the old model it gets airbags and electronic stability control, but also a host of new technology. A large part of that is Nissan's Safety Shield, which includes Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, and Moving Object Detection, which can warn of people or objects moving behind the car. The Juke also gets tyre-pressure warning buzzers and an around-view monitor that has cameras mounted on all sides of the car.
Engines, drive & performance
Choice of new economical engines
The 1.5-litre diesel Juke is expected to be the bestseller in the range and it gets 108bhp, which is enough to get it from 0-60mph in 11.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 109mph. It also gets a revised gearbox, which gives the diesel Juke quicker acceleration at low speeds and allows it to cruise more quietly at high speeds.
The new 1.2-litre, meanwhile, is quicker still and gets from 0-60mph in 10.8 seconds.The turbocharged DIG-T model is fastest all, and has the performance to compete with hot hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta ST.
All Nissan Jukes are also surprisingly fun to drive thanks to stiff suspension that cuts out body lean in the corners, making it the best driver's car in its class, although it's not up to the standards of the a hot hatch such as the Ford Fiesta ST.
Price, value for money & options
Generous kit levels and strong resale values
No matter which model you choose, the Nissan Juke comes well equipped. Basic Visia models get 16-inch alloy wheels, a CD player, air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, and height adjustment for the driver's seat. Acenta trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a Bluetooth phone connection, climate control, cruise control, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, while Acenta Premium models get sat-nav and a reversing camera. The fast DIG-T models top all this with 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless go, and electric folding door mirrors. The exterior personalisation packs, which add flashes of colour, are priced from £170 to £520.
The Juke should also have decent second-hand values that better cars from the likes of Ford and Citroen.
What the others say
“Some superminis feel hamstrung by the weight of a diesel engine in the nose, but the Juke isn’t one of them. It’s genuinely chuckable, and doesn’t feel out of sorts along a twisty B-road. The trade-off comes in ride comfort, which is pretty stiff to afford the Juke its amusingly agile handling.”
“The Juke is one of Nissan’s success stories, and despite the competition, this facelift plays to its strengths – style and price – as well as strengthening its weaknesses – boot size and fuel economy. The customisation offerings also mean that the new Juke won’t look like the 500,000 that’ve been sold since 2010.”