Earlier, we mentioned that the Nismo variant of the Juke had been given no drop in ride height over the standard car, which itself has a fairly loping ride and easy body movements.

That, presumably, gave Nissan two options when tuning this variant: nail the ride down hard to effect full control of the body’s lateral and longitudinal sway, or keep spring settings slightly easier and afford a bit of roll and pitch at the expense of some keenness, which can then be reined in with good damper tuning. Nismo has chosen the latter route.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The Juke responds well to a smoother driving style

On the upside, this means that driving a Juke Nismo is, mostly, no more of a dynamic chore than driving a regular Juke.

The ride is fairly compliant, the brakes are keen and the body feels quite deftly checked after an initial deflection. In fact, had they had no experience of a regular Juke, your passengers would be unlikely to realise that this was a sporting version of a more conventionally configured car.

The thing is, though, that even the driver is unlikely to find the Nismo much more sporting than a regular Juke. Even though the steering is reasonably weighted and geared, you get precious little back from it. And on more challenging roads or, woe betide, a circuit, the disadvantages of allowing such body movements and compliance really come to the fore. 

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Nissan range

Driven this week

Consequently, around corners, the Nismo pitches and rolls, spinning easily a lightly loaded inside wheel as it scrabbles for grip out of even low-speed bends. If Nismo was aiming for a dynamic demeanour that’s never challenging to its driver, then it has entirely succeeded.

Similarly, though, this Juke is never engaging, which seems like a shame for a car wearing a Nismo badge.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week