New Nissan Juke hybrid vs Toyota Yaris Cross: interiors

With fuel-sipping hybrid power, these small SUVs both promise to keep running costs low. But which is the better all-rounder?...

Nissan Juke Hybrid dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

Both of our contenders offer slightly raised seating positions, so getting in or out is easier than it would be in a traditional hatchback. Once you’re behind the wheel, both provide fundamentally comfortable driving positions with plenty of (manual) seat and steering wheel adjustment.

Only the Toyota Yaris Cross comes with adjustable lumbar support for the driver to help ward off back ache on long journeys. But despite missing out on this level of adjustability, the Nissan Juke’s seat is more comfortable, thanks to more substantial side bolsters (to hold you in place through corners) and a more heavily padded and contoured seat base.

Forward visibility is good in both cars, thanks in part to their raised driving positions, but also because their windscreen pillars don’t block too much of your view at junctions. It’s slightly easier to see out the back of the Yaris Cross, though; the Juke’s heavily stylised rear pillars create sizeable blindspots when you look over your shoulder. Fortunately, the Juke comes with front and rear parking sensors as standard, along with a reversing camera, whereas the Yaris Cross gets only the latter.

Toyota Yaris Cross dashboard

The Juke scores extra points for having the plusher interior. From the soft-touch mid-section of the dashboard to the turbine-style air vents (which have metal-effect rings around them and make a satisfying click when you close them off), the Juke feels like a relatively premium product.

The Yaris Cross, meanwhile, feels sturdy and well screwed together, but the hard plastics used throughout its interior are disappointing to look at and touch.

On a more positive note, unlike a number of competitors (including the Volkswagen T-Roc), both cars benefit from intuitively designed dashboards. Both, for example, have physical knobs and buttons for their air conditioning systems, as opposed to touchscreen-based controls that are more distracting to use while driving.

Infotainment systems

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke Hybrid touchscreen

N-Connecta trim has an 8.0in touchscreen with built-in sat-nav and Android/Apple smartphone mirroring. The menus are fairly easy to navigate, but the graphics look dated and the screen is often slow to react to inputs. It’s a shame you can’t upgrade to the crisp-sounding eight-speaker Bose sound system that’s standard on Tekna models. With speakers in the headrests, it’s much better than N-Connecta trim’s six-speaker set-up.

Toyota Yaris Cross

Toyota Yaris Cross touchscreen

Lower-rung Icon and Design models come with an 8.0in touchscreen, while going for Excel or above (or ordering the Tech Pack on lesser trims) increases the size to 9.0in and adds builtin sat-nav. We prefer the smaller screen, because it has more physical buttons, so it’s easier to use while driving. Its responses aren’t the quickest and the layout isn’t all that intuitive, but you can circumvent this by using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

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