Nissan Juke Review
The popular crossover model from Nissan continues to be a success for the Japanese manufacturer.
- Improved deep boot space
- Good choice of economical engines
- High level of safety technology
- A lot of interior plastics
- Ride is a bit harsh
The Nissan Juke first came onto the scene in 2008 as a ‘crossover’ - a mix of SUV and Coupe with its looks. In what has become the second best-selling model after the Qashqai, 700,000 have been sold in Europe since it went into production in 2010 while in 2015 Nissan sold over 40,000 units as the Juke underwent a refresh.
Nissan have used their ‘V-Motion’ shape front on their SUV lineup updates of late and the latest Juke has this. It might be a case of less-is-more as on first glance the changes were quite subtle but it has taken on an even more robust look to stamp its authority on being the leader of the crossover brigade.
On the Road
There are plenty of petrol and diesel variants for the Nissan Juke, buyers can choose from the dCi 110 diesel with a 1.5-litre offering 110PS with 260Nm of torque that is also highly fuel efficient with a 70.6mpg combined figure.
There is a petrol DIG-T 115PS and 190PS; the 115PS has a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds and can hit near the 50mpg mark in fuel economy.
If you want to go down the performance route then the Juke NISMO RS is an option producing 218PS with 280Nm of torque and plenty of interior and exterior racy design features.
The Juke isn’t bad to drive as it offers plenty of responsive, solid handling but it isn’t always a comfortable ride as it’s too firm and any slight pot hole can make you feel like you’ve driven over a crater. It seems to fair better hoovering up the motorway miles.
It can handle any sort of terrain you throw at it thanks to the All Mode 4x4-i system which gives you plenty of traction in certain road conditions with the handy Torque Vectoring system also aiding in helping when you need to feel in control of the car by giving the right amount of power to the right wheels.
It’s not the most refined of cars, both petrol and diesel engines can be quite loud, but road and wind noise seems to be well insulated from the interior, which makes motorway journeys a lot more pleasant.
In the car
Nissan really want to make the Juke all about personalisation to reflect the buyer, so if you like to make a statement then the Nissan Design Studio will help you personalise your Juke adding different colours to both the interior and exterior to tailor it to your specification. You can alter an array of items such as the centre console, air vent rings, steering wheel stitching, even the bumper.
Behind the wheel Nissan have made sure that not only are seats comfortable, the driver benefits from a higher seat position for better visibility but that the cabin offers plenty of space up front.
Although the climate control display panel does look a bit dated the Juke features for technology lovers the Nissan Connect system which links to social media apps, entertainment and is controlled through a 5.8-inch touchscreen. This features all media, navigation and 360 degree camera views when parking using their Around View Monitor.
After feedback from owners one of the more significant changes Nissan made was to boot space. This was increased by 40% on two-wheel drive models to 354-litres, so finally it could cope with a few more bits of luggage, but although that has been increased, it definitely lacks in head and leg room if you’re sat in the rear, so it’s better suited to having children in the back.
There is the option of a panoramic glass roof to give the compact car extra feeling of light and space.
The entry-level Juke starts from £13,930 while the manual Nismo RS will set you back £21,995. It comes with 3 year or 60,000 miles warranty which includes paint and anti-corrosion. Nissan know they have a hit with the Juke and the next generation will be built at the manufacturer’s UK plant at Sunderland.
With Nissan focussing on providing more fuel efficient engines, expect running costs to be low across the range with CO2 emissions as low as 104g/km for the 110PS diesel then road tax will cost just £20 annually, but there aren’t any versions that are VED exempt.
The only gripe with the Nissan Juke is the amount of plastic inside it, but once it has been personalised with bright colours abounding about the cabin it just makes the model lack in premium quality which is a shame as it’s a great little car.
The Juke hasn’t done so well when it comes to how happy owners are with the model and the practicality seems to be the major negative. While it performs better in reliability surveys these are definitely areas that Nissan need to improve upon for the next generation.
The Nissan Juke scored the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP ratings in 2011 with 87% for adult protection and 81% for children.
With airbags, ISOFIX points, a tyre pressure monitoring system and an alarm and immobiliser the Juke has good levels of both safety and security.
Nissan’s Safety Shield system includes the Around View Monitor, lane departure warning and blind spot warning and moving object detection, ideal when you’re reversing out of a space with limited visibility.