From £13,2207
Downsized 1.2-litre engine adds to the Juke's appeal, with its smooth feel and punchy responses suiting both urban commutes and the open road

Our Verdict

Nissan Juke

With its exaggerated styling, the Nissan Juke takes the notion of a crossover in a new direction

What is it?

The mid-life makeover for Nissan’s baby crossover.

You can hardly blame Nissan for patting itself on the back about the success of the Juke. Since the model was launched three years ago, the wildly styled baby crossover has sold half a million units across the world and 100,000 in the UK alone. As Nissan also points out, the Juke has not yet been copied, but rivals are undoubtedly currently working their way down the pipeline.

This mid-life makeover includes changes to the front and rear styling, while a new, downsized 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine is added to line-up along with more options for personalisation in the form of coloured trim accents for the interior, exterior and wheels. Nissan's new Google-linked multimedia system is also now available and there’s a much-needed hike in boot space, giving up to 40 per cent more load bay volume in the front-drive models.

What's it like?

Perhaps the biggest improvement to the whole range is the improvement in the Juke’s ride. Nissan says the changes have been achieved simply by tweaking the existing suspension hardware, but the result is impressive. Even on the cobbled streets of Lisbon, the Juke did a decent job of smoothing away crumbling surfaces.

Overall, this particular Juke was an impressively crisp and easy-going companion on a cross-country drive and came into its own on the narrow streets of the Portuguese capital. The Juke is snug up front and a little claustrophobic in the back, but it makes for an excellent urban car thanks to the high driving position and small footprint.

What really made the car, however, is its new 1.2-litre petrol engine. It is smooth, refined and punchy and worked well with the Juke's particularly positive six-speed manual gearbox. In this compact and reasonably light machine, the combination of engine and transmission worked in absolute harmony. 

Should I buy one?

In summary, this is a brisk and neat small car with a fine new turbocharged petrol engine and a comfortable, elevated driving position.

If the looks – which have definitely settled in a little over the past three years – had until now put you off, think again. Purely from a driving perspective, this Juke makes town commuting easier, it’s a fine motorway cruiser and the front seats give a great vantage point for cross-country touring.

Nissan Juke 1.2 DIG-T 115 Premium

Price £16,470 0-62mph 10.8sec Top speed 111mph Economy 50.4mpg (combined) CO2 129g/km Kerb weight 1236kg Engine 4 cyls in line, 1197cc, turbocharged, petrol Power 109bhp at 4500rpm Torque 191lb ft at 2000rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
18

15 May 2014
I like to think we have adopted Nissan somewhat with the Juke doing so well and the Qashqai being developed and built here. Looks like a good improvement to the Juke. Good car!

15 May 2014
With all due respect, anyone who buys this turd of a car needs to have their head (and eyes) examined. It's quite possibly the ugliest car on the market right now. Also it's interesting to note that Nissan seems to have copied much of the interior design from the Kia Soul from the three-spoke steering wheel and the centre console to the door handle and even the position of the gearlever. Shame that they didn't mimic the exterior styling- had they done so it would have looked infinitely better.

15 May 2014
chewbacca wrote:

Also it's interesting to note that Nissan seems to have copied much of the interior design from the Kia Soul from the three-spoke steering wheel and the centre console to the door handle and even the position of the gearlever. Shame that they didn't mimic the exterior styling- had they done so it would have looked infinitely better.

I too have noticed the similarity between the interiors of the Juke and the Soul, but as the Juke has had this design since it was introduced four years ago, whereas the Soul has just been released, I think its fair to say its Kia who have been doing a bit of copying. I like the Juke, and I think this is a decent upgrading of the model. This new petrol engine and 6 speed transmission would seem answer one of the main criticisms of the previous range.

15 May 2014
catnip wrote:
chewbacca wrote:

Also it's interesting to note that Nissan seems to have copied much of the interior design from the Kia Soul from the three-spoke steering wheel and the centre console to the door handle and even the position of the gearlever. Shame that they didn't mimic the exterior styling- had they done so it would have looked infinitely better.

I too have noticed the similarity between the interiors of the Juke and the Soul, but as the Juke has had this design since it was introduced four years ago, whereas the Soul has just been released, I think its fair to say its Kia who have been doing a bit of copying. I like the Juke, and I think this is a decent upgrading of the model. This new petrol engine and 6 speed transmission would seem answer one of the main criticisms of the previous range.

+1....

15 May 2014
Well said Chewie. Overpriced, supermini based, small, awkward, ugly, pointless turd. If you really have to have one, at least this petrol drives reasonable well with a 6 speed box. Never get out of it so you won't have to look at it :)

K_A

17 May 2014
chewbacca wrote:

With all due respect, anyone who buys this turd of a car needs to have their head (and eyes) examined. It's quite possibly the ugliest car on the market right now. Also it's interesting to note that Nissan seems to have copied much of the interior design from the Kia Soul from the three-spoke steering wheel and the centre console to the door handle and even the position of the gearlever. Shame that they didn't mimic the exterior styling- had they done so it would have looked infinitely better.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I love the Juke's styling; it's eye-catching, head-turning, and unconventional. I've purchased a used model because not only could I not afford a new one, the Juke boasts a commanding seating position over other superminis, has higher ground clearance, and is compact enough for town use, where I spend most of my time. Before the recent surge of B-Segment crossovers and SUVs, I would have been forced to look at compact SUVs (Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Kia Sportage, Jeep Compass, and Ford Kuga) to meet my aforementioned needs.

Meanwhile, the steering wheel is borrowed from the Infiniti FX (now QX70), which debuted for the 2009 model year.

15 May 2014
As far as the exterior styling is concerned, Nissan have tried to polish a turd and failed.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

MrJ

15 May 2014
Hideous but original. Popularity indicates that a lot of people value its unique looks. Not me, but I give Nissan top marks for being bold enough to produce it.

15 May 2014
These should only be allowed out between the hours of 0200 and five past when most of us are in bed. Family members of a nervous disposition should stay indoors and away from the windows.

15 May 2014
What a bunch of stiffs! It looks great, different, refreshing. Let me guess, you all drive 'follow the herd Audis' because your trying to impress your friends. I think things are cool because I think they are cool.....Innovation means we move forward and style dinosaurs like yourselves get left behind.

Amazing, this 1.2L petrol engine puts out as much torque as my 2.5L Landrover Defender 300 Tdi!!.....engineering innovation brought this technology. But I suppose you want us all driving carburettor'd engines.

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