• SUV, coupé and even motorcycle styling meet in likeable compact crossover
    SUV, coupé and even motorcycle styling meet in likeable compact crossover
  • Boomerang-shaped rear lights frame an unusually convex rear window
  • Headlights are inspired by a rally car’s auxiliary lights set below the grille
  • Upper lights contain sidelights and indicators only
  • Not a sumpguard but a valance with circular vents for cooling
  • The interior plastics are generally unyielding
  • Dials appear to sit separately above the dashboard in their casing with a ‘floating’ canopy above, just like a motorcyle
  • All the controls are here within the Nissan Dynamic Control System
  • Cloth seats have great lumbar support; steering wheel adjusts for height only
  • Rear space is adequate for two, but the Juke lacks any MPV-like adjustability
  • Boot is small but load lip is low and there’s extra space under the false floor
  • The Juke is heavy for a supermini, so it has to be short-geared
  • Juke can seem a bit breathless; despite this, it’s lots of fun to drive
  • It’s a very quiet-idling engine spoilt by the short-term start-stop of the radiator fan even when cold
  • Low-end torque isn't great so hills often need a downshift and a lot of throttle
  • Outright grip is reasonable, allowing the Juke to make good progress
  • Steering is accurate but unwilling to engage the driver
  • Great fun and great value, despite its 'love it or loathe it' looks

So, do all the disparate design influences gel into a complete car? They do, to a surprising degree. Driving the Nissan Juke is always fun, partly to gauge reaction from the rest of the world, mostly because it really does drive as its looks suggest it should.

To make a tall car handle with such verve without totally annihilating the ride is an impressive achievement, so you don’t have to suffer much for your high vantage point and your SUV-meets-coupé-meets-motorcycle vibes.

Matt Saunders

Deputy road test editor
It’s good to see a volume car maker daring to be different and making it work

This isn’t a particularly practical car, but that’s not what the Juke is about. Rear accommodation is passable, but the ride worsens for rear passengers and the tightening window line makes it bleak in the back. The boot isn’t especially large, either.

However, the sense of fun is heightened by a stylish interior that’s very different to anything else out there. It’s well appointed, too, which adds to the sense of value the Juke gives you.

Even the entry-level car is decently equipped for the money, while Acenta and Tekna models offer impressive kit levels at a competitive price. Running costs are pretty reasonable, too.

Is the Juke for us? We found ourselves liking the car a lot. Interior plastics and numb steering count against it, but on the other hand it is good value for money and will be cheap to run. Best of all, it’s good to see a volume car maker daring to be different and making it work.

The only worry is what will happen when the novelty value wears off. There are timeless designs. And there’s the Nissan Juke.

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