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

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

"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."

Nothing else looks quite like the Nissan Juke. The compact five-door SUV has quirky styling and – just like its bigger brother the Qashqai – it's blazed a trail that others (including the Renault Captur, Vauxhall Mokka and Ford EcoSport) have since followed.

The Juke's high driving position and radical styling appeal to buyers seeking something a lot more interesting than a run-of-the mill hatchback. Such people have little need of four-wheel drive, so despite its chunky looks, most versions of the Juke are offered with front-wheel drive only.

The Juke is powered by a range of petrol and diesel engines. The most economical is the 1.5-litre diesel. It's powerful, but a little noisy and rattly when stretched. Representing the petrols is an efficient 1.2-litre turbo. It's our pick for its smooth, powerful and economical nature, plus it suits the Juke's playful personality well. The other petrol engines are a 1.6-litre with a turbocharger (there's a more powerful version in the sporty, range-topping Juke Nismo) and two without. The turbocharged 1.6-lites are the only engines available with four-wheel drive, an arrangement that boosts the car's grip and on-road performance rather than enhance its meagre off-road abilities.

Disappointingly, and despite its radical looks, the Juke is an unrewarding car to drive. with overly light steering and a crashy ride. Automatic versions use a CVT gearbox, but this only makes the car noisier while strangling performance.

At least the Juke is well equipped. Even basic Visia spec features alloy wheels, body-coloured mirrors and electric windows. In addition, there's air-conditioning and driver's seat height adjustment. However, Acenta (the next trim level up) is our pick for its larger wheels, more upmarket finish and climate and cruise control. Top-spec Tekna introduces irrelevant and expensive touches including leather sports seats.

The Juke is quite cramped inside, especially in the rear, where even children may feel uncomfortable over long distances. The boot is small, too. It's safe, though, as demonstrated by its five-star performance in Euro NCAP crash tests. It packs an impressive roster of standard safety kit, too, including rear ISOFIX child-seat mounts, tyre-pressure monitoring, anti-lock brakes and (for an extra £400 on Acenta Premium versions) a safety pack featuring blind-spot and lane-departure warning plus a 360-degree surround-view camera. Reliability isn't as impressive, with the Juke trailing in 101st place in our Driver Power 2014 customer satisfaction survey.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.8 / 5

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

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

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

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 
4
4 /5 based on 1 reviews
100%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend

Owner rating:

5 star   0
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Last updated 
27 Apr 2015
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