Nissan Juke SUV
Price £13,420 - £21,420
- 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.
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.