Mainly seen as one of the vehicles that started the crossover trend, the Nissan Juke has been around for more than nine years and was one of the original models to take a supermini-sized package and give it a few extras inches in height.
Now though, the crossover market is more crammed than ever – with pretty much every mainstream brand now providing customers with crossovers, it could be tricky for the Juke to keep up to speed.
But after receiving an update early on in 2018, can the Nissan still be considered one of the better crossovers on the market? We take a look…
Nissan offers the Juke with just two units, a 1.6-litre petrol that can be teamed with a five-speed manual or a CVT transmission, or a 1.5-litre diesel that is only paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. With the petrol engine on-board, we found it suited the Juke just right as it develops 111bhp and 144Nm of torque – which is delivered smoothly to the front wheels.
The performance of the Juke with the 1.6-litre DIG-T isn’t particularly ground-breaking – 0-60mph takes 12.3 seconds and it has a top speed of 111mph – but that’s not what most Juke drivers are after. They want something that is easy to drive and efficient enough for the day-to-day, and Nissan has – on the whole – achieved that.See Available Juke deals
Ride & Handling
The Japanese crossover sits on a firmer suspension than you might expect, meaning that when you go over a series of bumps the Juke can feel a bit unstable and sharp – especially when larger alloy wheels are applied. We would prefer the setup to be a bit softer, although there is an issue with body roll, as the top-heavy car can lean a fair amount through the corners.
Handling is rather solid on the Juke, as at slower speeds is feels responsive and allows you to get in and out of turns quickly. However, as you add more lock going around a corner, the steering weight increases considerably. The Juke is mostly well-refined, although you will find the diesel unit can be quite grumbly.
Interior & Equipment
Due to the sportier shape of the body, the Juke’s interior room isn’t particularly generous, with the low roofline cutting down on headspace for people throughout. Also, as cars in general have got larger since the Juke was released, elbow room is also limited – with legroom for passengers in the back not being that great either when compared to rivals like the Citroen C3 Aircross.
As the Juke is quite compact, the 354-litre boot space is actually rather good, but the boot opening is quite narrow so it can be tricky fitting some items in the rear. Folding the split rear seats allows users to access a 1,189-litre loading area, which is, again, quite good for the segment.
Available in four trim levels – Visia, Acenta, Bose Personal Edition and Tekna – Nissan provides the Juke with the bare essentials from the base level. Features include 16-inch alloys, a radio with Aux input, LED daytime running lights, 60/40 split rear seats, manual air conditioning and electric windows.
The Acenta model is likely to be the most popular option as it comes with more kit for not much extra money. Bluetooth, rear privacy glass, LED front fog lights, a multifunction steering wheel, cruise control with speed limiter and automatic climate control are all added.
The main additions on the Bose Personal Edition include a Bose surround sound stereo system, a 5.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, reversing camera and multiple design options via the Nissan Design Studio.
Top-spec Tekna models come with Nissan’s safety shield tech, featuring around view monitor, lane departure warning and blind spot warning, as well as leather upholstery and heated front seats on top of the items added to the Bose Personal Edition.
Prices for the Juke start from £15,505, which gets customers the entry-level Visia trim with the 1.6-litre petrol and five-speed manual. If you’re after a car with the dCi diesel unit, prices start from £17,450.
Efficiency-wise, the diesel unit will come out on top, as it can achieve 49.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 123g/km CO2 – with the 1.6-litre petrol able to return around 35mpg and emit 149g/km CO2 at best.
The crossover market is arguably the most competitive around and with the Juke close to 10 years old, we think that it’s time for a complete revamp. There are elements of the Juke that we like – the refinement, its urban driving sensibility and the smooth petrol unit.