From £13,2207
Revamped Juke gets minor tweaks for 2014 and remains an appealing, interesting and well-priced choice

Our Verdict

Nissan Juke

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

Nic Cackett
3 July 2014

What is it?

This is the facelifted version of the popular and distinctive Nissan Juke, a compact crossover that rivals the likes of the Skoda Yeti and Citroën C4 Cactus.

Revisions for the new 2014 version include a restyled front and rear end, new alloy wheels, a different audio system, a host of additional customisation options and myriad other detail changes.

Nissan has even managed to boost the available storage space in two-wheel-drive models, as tested here, with the luggage area growing by 40 per cent to 354 litres. That puts the Juke's boot capacity on a par with the likes of a many a conventional hatch, whereas previously it matched only small city cars.

Tested here is the manual 1.5-litre dCi diesel model, an engine unchanged from 2013, in the third highest trim level – Acenta Premium. It's a comprehensively equipped car, replete with a 5.8-inch sat-nav and media system, DAB radio, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a reversing camera and climate control.

What's it like?

Very easy to get on with. The first thing that strikes you is the spacious interior; even in the rear there's ample room for six footers.

The Nissan's cabin impresses elsewhere. Visibility is good, with the high seating position granting further improved all-round views, and the vast majority of materials used throughout the cabin feel of a suitably decent standard.

It's also gratifying to see Nissan paying attention to the smaller details. For example, in front of the gearlever is a rubberised pad that firmly locates any mobile phone. Besides providing you with somewhere convenient to put your phone, it positions it conveniently by the USB and auxiliary ports.

There are only a few minor gripes with the Juke's cabin. Folding electric wing mirrors aren't standard, somewhat counter-intuitively given the comprehensive kit list, and the steering wheel doesn't adjust for reach.

The Juke's split-level boot should serve most people's requirements but, stowed underneath in another compartment, it's somewhat disappointing to find only a tyre repair kit instead of a spare wheel.

Nevertheless, the Juke is both practical and comfortable inside – and smart-looking fabric choices and some thoughtful touches serve to deliver an ambiance befitting of its price and character.

On the road the Nissan proves to be a competent car. Its steering is comparitively precise and quick to react, it's easy to maneuver and it comes to a stop from speed without fuss.

The ride quality, however, isn't quite what some buyers might hope. In line with the Juke's purported slight sporting and youthful nature, it's quite stiffly sprung. While it consequently doesn't lean to an unpleasant extent in corners, and handles in a capable fashion, it does unfortunately tend to crash and jar over bumps.

Elsewhere, it's much as you might expect. The economical 1.5-litre diesel engine can be coarse when pushed hard, and always feels slightly agricultural, but it serves up plenty of low-end torque and rarely leaves you wanting.

The Juke's six-speed manual transmission offers up a short, notchy throw; although occasionally slightly obtrusive its overtly mechanical action does make the Nissan feel a little more involving to drive.

A neat-looking 'Dynamic Control System', mounted in the console ahead of the gearlever, also allows the driver to tailor the Juke's throttle responses and to view various readouts.

It's an interesting feature – and it does make a difference to how the Juke responds – but its display is otherwise mounted too far out of your eyeline to be of any practical use.

Should I buy one?

The Nissan Juke is a certainly worthy of consideration if you're in the market for a compact crossover. 

Besides being an affable car to drive, with a spacious interior and a wide array of equipment, it's also competitively priced. An entry-level diesel Skoda Yeti, with far fewer creature comforts, costs £18,055.

The more recent Citroën C4 Cactus does offer similarly standout styling compared to the Juke and, in equivalently specified form cost around the same, but many buyers will likely prefer the fact the Juke is a known quantity.

Alternatives such as the Dacia Duster may further be of interest, and are far cheaper, but offer a much less resolved and polished package.

Buyers set on a Juke, however, should probably consider opting for one of the more refined petrol-engined variants. Even more so if you're not going to be commuting substantial distances each day.

While the gruff diesel grants the Juke an additional air of rough-and-ready urban off-roader, the quieter and smoother petrol powerplants make it a more pleasant prospect on a daily basis.

The Juke would benefit from a softer ride too but, regardless, it's still quite hard to fault its overall appeal – especially when you consider its price tag and generous equipment levels.

Nissan Juke Acenta Premium dCi 110

Price £17,865 0-62mph 11.2sec Top speed 109mph Economy 70.6mpg CO2 104g/km Kerb weight 1378kg Engine 4cyls, 1461cc, turbocharged diesel Installation Front, transverse, front-wheel drive Power 109bhp at 4000rpm Torque 192lb ft at 1750-2500rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual

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Comments
4

3 July 2014
I'm surprised by some of the comments in this review regarding accommodation. My mother in law has a Juke and the back seats are not fit for adult males, it's tight and claustrophobic. The Yeti that I owned for two years was a much more palatable option for passengers. I like the Juke though (in a subtle presentation), don't get me wrong, but it's B segment and the Yeti is C and so price comparison is daft.

A34

4 July 2014
Shrub wrote:

... the back seats are not fit for adult males, it's tight and claustrophobic. ... I like the Juke though (in a subtle presentation), don't get me wrong, but it's B segment and the Yeti is C and so price comparison is daft.

The Juke seems very popular though. Skoda skimped on their recent Yeti upgrade (keeping its old engines) and it's a box versus the curvy Juke.

4 July 2014
Morning Shrub. The only annoyance for me, in the rear seats at least, was the small rear doors – meaning entry wasn't as easy as I'd hoped. The Yeti is indeed more spacious and a slightly different prospect but, if people are looking for a smaller 4x4-style car, then it's one of the more prevalent alternatives – hence the comparison, just to grant some perspective. How has your mother-in-law been getting on with her Juke otherwise?

4 July 2014
Lewis Kingston wrote:

Morning Shrub. The only annoyance for me, in the rear seats at least, was the small rear doors – meaning entry wasn't as easy as I'd hoped. The Yeti is indeed more spacious and a slightly different prospect but, if people are looking for a smaller 4x4-style car, then it's one of the more prevalent alternatives – hence the comparison, just to grant some perspective. How has your mother-in-law been getting on with her Juke otherwise?

Afternoon Lewis,
Mother in Law has got on fine with the Juke but to be honest her annual mileage is maybe 2-3k and her expectations are not high. They are incredibly loyal Nissan people although, like me, are disappointed that Nissan don't have an mpv in the range following the direction that they took with the latest Note. I think that she preferred her old Note to the Juke.

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