Nissan Juke Review

The Nissan Juke is a fun compact crossover that has all the benefits of a city runabout with the lofty driving position and practicality of a small SUV.

£11,096
Average price
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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Lots of technology
  • Good quality interior
  • High driving position

Cons

  • Poor infotainment system
  • Firm ride
  • Limited engine choice
  • MPG

    54 - 56

  • CO2

    113 - 119 g/km

  • Video

  • Price Guide

  • Trims

  • Summary

Review

The Juke started the ‘supermini crossover’ niche when it went on sale in 2010, and it was so popular in its home country of Japan that Nissan sold nearly 10 times its target in its first month of sales. It was a game-changer and following the success of the Qashqai, it’s no surprise it proved a popular choice for anyone looking for a fun, practical supermini with the high driving position of an off-roader.

The Juke’s popularity was enough to see rival manufacturers clamour for a slice of the sales pie, so it wasn’t long before rivals appeared on the scene, and there’s now more than 15 models in this sector in 2020.

The Juke’s main issue was its limited interior space, as the small dimensions and sloping roofline resulted in a cramped cabin with little storage space, though it soon became well-known for its bold styling.

Latest model

While many rival manufacturers are playing a game of catchup with launching their first compact crossovers, Nissan is already on its second generation with the Juke. That means it was able to rectify all off the issues from the first model.

Launched in 2019, the new version of the Juke maintained the same profile as the first generation, but whereas the original had a love-it-or-hate-it look, the second generation is far more conservative. And while the styling has been sharpened, it’s also grown in size – being 35mm wider and having a wheelbase that’s 105mm longer. That’s good news for rear passengers who now get more head and leg room.

The British-built Juke has also taken a leap upmarket – particularly with the interior, with the materials and seats feeling more premium than before, with leather and Alcantara in abundance.

Value for money

The latest Juke continues to offer good value for money with basic models starting at £17,440, and while they come with alloy-wheels, air conditioning and daytime running lights, it’s worth upgrading to a mid-spec to add Bluetooth or USB port for your phone. Top-spec models are a bit pricey, though, with the flagship Premiere Edition available from £24,040, which is quite a lot of money, though you do get loads of standard kit.

If you’re looking at the original Juke, models start from as little as £3,500, though it’s worth opting for one of the post-2014 facelifted models, as the technology noticeably improved, increasing value for money with it. Expect to pay around £5,500 for the cheapest versions.

As the latest Juke hasn’t been in showrooms long, prices remain high, but you can still expect to save several thousand pounds off a new model by looking at a six-month-old or ex-demonstrator example.

 

Looks and image

The original Juke was unique when it first went on sale, and the fact that its looks were so different to anything else on the market made it popular with some, but a turn off for others. What made it stand out was its many personalisation options, with numerous colour-coded combinations to choose from.

With more competition than ever before, Nissan has played it safe with the second-generation – giving it a much more conservative look, with narrow ‘conventionally placed’ lights at the front rather than the raised Z car inspired offerings in the original. The rear end has the familiar Juke design to it, but it has been toned down to keep in line with the front end. Despite not being as bold as its predecessor, though, it remains a stylish and funky-looking crossover.

The interior is one of the area’s that’s been vastly improved though, with good quality materials and logically laid out equipment being introduced, and it’s overall a big step up compared to its predecessor. Despite having a new touchscreen system, though, the unit’s graphics aren’t as sharp as those in rivals, and it’s not especially responsive. 

Video review

Space and practicality

As we said earlier, the second-generation Juke is built on a larger platform which means there’s now more space in the cabin. After all, that was one of the big criticisms of the previous model. There’s still a sloping roofline which does impede headroom for taller rear passengers, and while legroom is improved, some rivals offer more space – the Volkswagen T-Cross being a great example.

The driving position is more flexible than the outgoing model, and because you sit slightly lower, tall passengers will be fine for headroom. And with plenty of seat adjustment it means you won’t have any problems getting a perfect driving position.

Forward visibility is good, although because of its unusual shape, it does mean you don’t see its corners particularly well, which makes parking a bit tricky – especially when you take into account the rather poor visibility out of the back window.

The Juke is practical with good sized door bins and a usable glove box. The boot is also bigger than the outgoing model too – that’s thanks to the increased size of the Juke. It’s also

a squarer shape too, and the boot opening is slightly wider as well. This makes loading larger items easier and – as with the previous generation – there’s a moveable boot floor.

With the rear seats in place it has 422 litres of boot space, which grows to 1,088 litres when they’re folded flat.

Engines

As it stands there’s only one engine available – a 115bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol, which means there isn’t as much choice as some of its rivals, which is a little disappointing. There’s no diesel or even a hybrid version, which when you consider the brands involvement in electric powertrains is a little surprising. However, there is likely to be a hybrid further down the line. Diesels have been ruled out though.

So, for now, that means your choice is extremely limited. However, the engine is gutsy enough for a 1.0-litre, and it’s available with either a manual or automatic gearbox. You will have to work it hard to get the 0-60mph time of 10.4 seconds, though.

Some of the Jukes rival – especially those from the Volkswagen Group – will offer a better driving experience, and ultimately more choice.  

Running costs

 We’ve already established there isn’t much engine choice for now, so it’s very much a case of what you see is what you get when it comes to economy and running costs.

It’s not the best in class when it comes to mpg and CO2 emissions, but it’s not going to put a big dent in your wallet either. Drive it carefully and you should average over 45mpg with CO2 emissions of 135g/km for the manual and 138g/km for the automatic.

Things to look out for

 The latest generation Juke is still relatively new, and most of the tech is proven, which should mean there are few questions regarding reliability.

With regards to the previous generation, shortly after the Juke had just hit the market, a recall was issued relating to door locks and turbochargers.

The first issue was that locks could freeze in cold weather, making it difficult to open or shut the door. Secondly, a sensor in the turbocharger would provide incorrect readings causing the check engine light to come on.

Neither poses a safety risk, but it’s worth double checking these problems have been addressed if you’re looking to buy a 2010 or 2011 car.

Aside from those relatively minor issues, common problems seem to mostly relate to interior build quality. Many owners have complained about the parcel shelf fixtures breaking easily, while rattily interior fixtures are also common.

Rivals

The Nissan Juke might have had the supermini crossover market all to itself in the early days, but now there are a plethora of rivals to contend with. The most obvious is Renault the Renault Captur, which the Juke shares things in common with.

Probably the best options in this segment are the Peugeot 2008 or Citroen C3 Aircross, with their classy styling and refined, modern diesel engine option. The French carmakers have really stepped up their game with interiors recently too.

Other rivals include the Toyota CH-R. It has styling as wild as the Juke, but is classier and offers economical hybrid powertrains. The Kia Stonic is worth considering if you like the idea of a longer warranty or the Audi Q2 if you can stretch the budget just a little bit further.

Depreciation

There was a lot of demand for the original Juke and despite there being more rivals now, the latest version is expected to remain popular. It should hold around 50 per cent of its value after three years, which is slightly better than the Renault Captur.  

Older versions of the Juke have held their value well in the used market, and there’s plenty of demand – helped in part by the low insurance groups and economical engines.

Perhaps one concern long-term will be the quirky styling. While it’s currently proving popular with buyers, there’s no way to predict whether it will continue to be considered ‘cool’ as design trends change.

Which Juke to pick

Cheapest to buy when new

1.0 DiG-T 114 Visia 5dr

Most MPG

1.0 DiG-T 114 Visia 5dr

Fastest model (0-60)

1.0 DiG-T 114 Visia 5dr

Trims explained

With nine official trims for the Juke, you’d be forgiven for wondering what on Earth could vary so much between bottom and top spec. Fortunately, some trims are split in two, with special ‘design packs’ available, so it’s not quite as needlessly complex as it seems.

Visia

The range starts with the Visia model, and is pretty limited when it comes to equipment, but covers most of the basic essentials. It features 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and LED headlights, along with plenty of safety kit – including traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist and cruie control with a speed limiter.

Priced from £17,440

Acenta

Equipment levels in the Acenta are a step up, and most importantly it gains an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with 17-inch alloy wheels and a reversing camera.

Priced from £19.040

N-Connecta

If the latest tech is important to you, then you’ll want to start at the more expensive N-Connecta, which gains satellite navigation, a seven-inch digital driver display and keyless entry and start. You also get a leather steering wheel and automatic climate control.

Priced from £21,040

Tekna

The Tekna may seem expensive, but it offers the best equipment levels without plumping for the range topping model. It comes very well-equipped – adding 19-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and Bose sound system. It also comes with a useful 360-degree camera system.

Priced from £22,540

Tekna+

There’s little difference between the Tekna and Tekna+ trims other than some personalisation touches, which include customisable colour trims on the bumpers, side sills and revised 19-inch alloy wheels.

Priced from £23,940

Premiere Edition

Sitting at the top of the trim levels is the Premiere Edition. This comes painted in a two-tone black and red colour scheme, along with Alcantara and leather seats.

Priced from £24,040

Summary

  1. Premium interior
  2. Stylish design
  3. Unique optional sound system
  4. Good on road manners
  5. Improved practicality
  6. Limited engine choice
  7. Ride firm on larger wheels
  8. Infotainment fiddly to use
  9. Good levels of safety
  10. More grown up than before, but still very appealing

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