The Nissan Juke was a revolutionary model at the time when it debuted in 2010. The Sunderland-built crossover essentially invented the small crossover segment we know today – spurring on other manufacturers to launch similar models.
It may not match the larger Qashqai when it comes to sales, but the Juke has made regular appearances in the top 10 sales charts with Nissan selling over 1.5 million of them. A tough act to follow then for the second-generation model, then.
With that in mind, it’s not a massive surprise to learn this is an evolution, rather than a revolution. One of the most differences is the ‘love it or hate it’ design, though it’s perhaps not quite as controversial as the original. It takes on a more modern and grown-up look, with a bold new grille with a large chrome strip.
It also features a new chassis, though of plenty of interest to buyers will be the increases in cabin and boot space – one of the biggest criticisms of the original.
Times have changed massively since the original Juke debuted, so now slow-selling diesels have been removed from the line-up. For the time being then, there’s just one choice – a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine, which produces 115bhp and 180Nm. Power is sent to the front wheels either by a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
With the manual gearbox ticked, it manages 0-60mph in 10.2 seconds and offers a top speed of 112mph. As for efficiency, Nissan claims that it will achieve up to 47.9mpg on a variety of roads, along with CO2 emissions as low as 112g/km.
It’s a hard setup to criticise – the engine delivers an adequate power delivery and there seems to be plenty of torque. It’s no performance model, though, so it could be worth holding out for a more powerful engine option.
Ride and handling
According to Nissan, the Juke is now more fun to drive than ever, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a sports car. It remains at its best when in the city centre.
The steering is light and is fantastic to navigate around tight streets – also assisting when it comes to parking. That’ll be ideal for many Juke buyers, but it’s not the most engaging car in its class. If you’re looking for something more involving, take a look at the Volkswagen T-Cross or Mazda CX-3.
It’s not at its best on a motorway, with a bouncy ride and plenty of wind noise not making it a byword for refinement, but for short trips in normal driving, it’s hard to fault.See Available Juke deals
Interior and equipment
Step inside and that’s where you’ll notice most of the Juke’s changes. In terms of size, its longer, higher and wider – each leading more to space in the cabin. A key asset given the Juke’s rear headroom and boot space were flawed previously. You’ll still struggle to fit three adults in the rear, but that is the same as every car in this segment. The boot is also much larger than before – now measuring 422 litres. That’s quite a hefty increase over the regular car’s 354 litres.
Throughout the cabin material quality has improved, too, with faux leather trim giving the car a far more premium feel than the model offered previously. There are still a few harder and cheaper plastics, but they’re certainly less apparent than before.
Standard equipment on the Visia includes LED headlights, cruise control, DAB radio and Bluetooth. Choosing Accenta brings an eight-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring and a reversing camera. Opting for N-Connecta adds keyless start, automatic climate control and a leather steering wheel.
Meanwhile Tekna versions add loads of extra kit – including a Bose sound system, heated front seats, 19-inch alloy wheels and a safety pack that offers an around-view camera, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. The flagship Tekna+ grade is focused on personalisation – offering interior and exterior option packs and two-tone paintwork.
The Juke is no longer the bargain model it once was, though it remains affordable, with pricing starting from £17,395. That puts it on par with many rivals for price, though with range-topping models costing from £25,395, that’s when the Juke starts to look pricey, even though it does come with an extensive list of standard kit.
Nissan has done a great job with this second-generation Juke – carrying over the original’s charm, but it’s better in all areas, crucially on space.
It might not be the revolutionary sales hit that the first Juke was, nor is it particularly engaging to drive, but this is a model that ticks plenty of boxes for buyers and deserves to be another hit for Nissan.