Nissan Juke Crossover full 9 point review
The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol is nippy enough; short gearing helps make the most of its 93bhp, although it does mean you need to make frequent gearchanges. There’s also a 115bhp version of the same engine, along with a 1.6 turbo, which is available with either 188bhp (in standard guise) or 197bhp in the sporty Nismo model. Neither turbo is especially flexible, but both are rapid when revved. The 109bhp 1.5 diesel has a reasonable amount of mid-range power.
Ride & Handling
Despite the Juke’s tall stance, it doesn’t lurch around uncomfortably through corners. The price for this comparatively sporty feel is a firm ride, although it’s not uncomfortable. Only the limited grip lets the side down – try to get through a corner swiftly and the front end starts to drift wide quite early. The steering is vague, too.
There’s a big difference between the various engines. The diesel is grumbly, and the short gearing of the 1.6 makes for high revs and lots of noise on the motorway. However, the 1.6-litre turbo petrol is smooth and pretty refined, although you’ll have to get used to a bit of turbo whine. Given the car’s bluff front, there’s not too much wind noise, but road noise is an issue.
Buying & Owning
Most versions look reasonable value – only the Nismo models and the turbo DIG-T with four-wheel drive cost silly money. Modest discounts are available, too, and resale values are pretty strong. The diesel is economical, and the non-turbo petrol shouldn't use too much fuel, either.
Quality & Reliability
The Juke looks striking from the outside, so it’s a shame that some of the plastics let the side down once you step inside. They feel cheap, but we have little doubt that the cabin will prove decently hardy. In the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, the Juke was awarded average marks for mechanical reliability.
Safety & Security
Like the majority of modern cars, the Juke was awarded a maximum five-star crash test safety rating from Euro NCAP. However, the scores it received for adult and child protection were some way behind those of newer cars such as the Vauxhall Mokka. Security expects Thatcham awarded the Juke five out of five for guarding against being stolen, but only three stars for resisting being broken into.
Behind The Wheel
The stylish interior takes inspiration from motorbikes, with ‘floating’ instruments and a painted centre console that resembles a bike’s fuel tank. What’s more, most of the controls are clearly labelled and intuitive to use. On the downside, rear visibility is poor, and the driving position would be better if the steering wheel adjusted in and out as well as up and down.
Space & Practicality
There’s plenty of space in the front, but the Juke’s sloping roofline means lanky teenagers will feel cramped in the back, and the rear door openings are narrow. The boot is fairly small, too, although there’s a useful storage area under the floor and the rear seats fold flat.
Even entry-level Visia trim has alloy wheels, air-conditioning and four electric windows, so it’s our favourite. Step up to Acenta and you’ll get climate control, Bluetooth, an iPod connection and Nissan’s Dynamic Control System, which lets you alter the steering and throttle settings to be sporty or eco-friendly. N-tec adds sat-nav and a reversing camera. Tekna and Nismo models get leather trim and keyless entry and starting, but they’re expensive.